Canadian Valley Tech Center hosting film festival

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By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

The film industry has gathered interest in Yukon amid efforts to make the city a film friendly community.

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Another layer of excitement for films will be generated in September with the Great Plains Film Festival. The second annual event will be held from Sept. 16-18 at the Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Cowan Campus, located on Czech Hall Road. The first event was held in Tuttle. 

The festival will feature a total of 45 entries in different genres that include:

  • Documentary feature
  • Documentary shorts
  • High School and college films
  • Narrative shorts

There will also be feature and shorts screenplays. Film genres will run the gamut from comedy to drama and horror with veteran filmmakers to first-time directors vying to make a name for themselves. 

“It’s a newer festival,” volunteer Cheryl McConnell said. “We have some good films and I know some of the people that are entered in it.”

Included in the entries are two filmmakers from out of country. In addition to films, there will be some question and answer sessions with the directors, along with panels and networking events. There are also plans to invite some prominent people from within the industry. 

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“The festival has invited many of the local industry professionals and other pertinent individuals,” she said. 

“We want people to come and see what the possibilities are.”

Aaron Borders, a local filmmaker, reviewed the entries for the event and is serving as the festival director.

McConnell said there is excitement for this year, bringing the festival to the Canadian Valley Technology Center. 

“I think we will draw more people,” McConnell said. “The location is terrific because of shopping, hotels and there is any kind of food you want in Yukon.”

She added the technology center itself is top of the line. There is a nice reception. There are rooms with screens that drop down for the films.

“I think it will be a nice facility and there is room for people to spread out,” she said. 

McConnell also highlighted the efforts to make Yukon a film-friendly city, noting it can have a positive economic impact. 

Festivities will begin with a free mingling event from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16 at Pie Five Pizza, located at 2121 S. Yukon Parkway. Film sessions will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 17-18. A one-day pass is available for $15 and a two-day pass is $25. Both can be purchased at the door.

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