The Ryga Festival is inviting the creative community to participate in a discussion of the challenges and opportunities that face local filmmakers in the Okanagan.
There are many passionate moviemakers and maverick artists who live here, drawing inspiration from local stories and the terrain, how are they finding the paths to self-expression? Is it easier or more challenging than it was for writers and filmmakers one or two generations ago?
George Ryga, the great Canadian playwright and author who lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987, came to national prominence when the CBC broadcast his short teleplay, Indian, and Maclean’s magazine reprinted the whole script the week before it was broadcast. But while Ryga’s novels, poems and plays are still accessible in print, his many contributions to radio and television are much less so; a number of his screenplays remain in the archives unproduced. And his voice, calling for Canadian content and local expression in all our cultural industries, still echoes in a wilderness.
But Ryga would have welcomed the recent trends in filmmaking and content creation that have reduced many technological barriers and increased access to audiences. And he would ask the same questions: What have you got to say? What is a fresh way to say it? And why does it matter?
If these questions interest you, we invite you in the spirit of George Ryga, to come and listen and express your views about the directions film is going and could go in the Okanagan valley.