Alternative films have found their place in Bracebridge despite criticism there was no room for them here.
Spinning Reels, a not-for-profit organization, began in 2002 on a challenge that Bracebridge was too small a community to support a Film Circuit group like Reel Alternatives in Huntsville.
So far, Spinning Reels has brought more than 100 films to Bracebridge, and in 2007, went from one movie a month to two.
“Our mandate is to bring movies to Muskoka that would not otherwise come here,” said Tamsen Tillson, president of Spinning Reels. “We’re not necessarily trying to bring in the largest crowd.”
Nevertheless, the movies bring in enough crowds that Spinning Reels has been able to make money every year of its 11-year history.
Each year they give money back to the community in the form of a student bursaries and DVD collections to local libraries and seniors’ centres.
Throughout the year Spinning Reels offer alternative movies at the Norwood Theatre on every second and fourth Monday of most months. Each movie is sponsored by a local business.
A few times each year Spinning Reels receives a list of movies from an affiliate of the Toronto International Film Festival which they go through to select the movies to show in Bracebridge.
So far, the films have drawn mostly an older crowd.
“We have a very loyal following, but we’d love to be able to reach out to younger people,” Tillson said.
On Nov. 12, the theatre will be showing Beasts of the Southern Wild, a debut from first-time filmmaker Behn Zeitlin.
The movie takes place in a marshland off the coast of southern Louisiana where a band of uncivilized humans live alongside animals, cut off from their resource-burning northern neighbours.
Among the band a six-year-old girl has to fend for herself while living with her father; the man is emotionally wounded and hasn’t been the same since the girl’s mother left them years earlier.
The show opens at 6:30 p.m. and begins at 7. Reserved tickets are held only until 15 minutes before the show begins.
Tickets are available at Muskoka Natural Food Market in the Bracebridge Shopping Centre or by phone at 705-645-5471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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