By Betty Carpick

The 11th annual Bay Street Film Festival features 45 exceptional shorts, documentaries, and features from emerging and established filmmakers from Northwestern Ontario and around the world. There’s something for everyone of all ages and interests! Check out 17 films from the region, including work from Confederation College Film Production program’s 2015 graduating class. Look for renowned Canadian cinematographer Charles Konowal’s films, Ain’t About The Money and Visiting Day. A dozen films examine Indigenous perspectives and issues in Canada and internationally with work from media artists Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Michelle Desrosiers, Victoria Lean, Michelle Latimer, and others.

Where To Go

All indoor screenings, the Kick-Off Gala, the Screening Room, Hatch A Film Pitch Night, The Talkies, and master classes are presented at the main venue at 314 Bay Street (above The Hoito) in the historic Finnish Labour Temple. Two films by Thunder Bay filmmakers screen outside at the City of Thunder Bay’s Movie Nights in the Park: Eleanor Albanese’s Under The Pearl Moon on September 4, and Dianne Brothers’ The Scratch on September 11.

Enjoy New State-Of-The Art Equipment

A grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has given the festival the opportunity to secure new projection and production equipment, new indoor and outdoor screens, and more. The improved logistical capabilities significantly build capacity for independent media arts, performing arts, and professional development in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

Have Fun At The Kick-Off Gala

Get in the festival groove on September 9 with live music, performance, and a silent auction featuring experiential prizes. Guests can enjoy refreshments and a cash bar. Outside, on the Algoma Street side of the Finnish Labour Temple, the Windows Collective Tour from Ottawa will present their installation of independent film loopers from dusk until 11 pm. As a fundraiser, the gala helps the festival to provide multi-leveled year-round programming and outreach for filmmakers and the general public. Admission to the Kick-Off Gala is $15 per person and not included with the festival pass.

Get Inspired With Master Classes

On Thursday and Friday, visiting filmmakers present their creative methods and the films spanning their careers, followed by a Q & A. Take in Creating Transient Public Artwith The Windows Collective Tour, Citizen Journalism with Ruchika Muchhala, Cultural Sovereigntywith Joanne Gail Johnson, Process with Michelle Latimer, andMovement in Film with Antionne Marc. Interactive live screening will be available.

Better Than Ever

On Friday, there’s the Pitch Night for the Hatch A Film Contest. On Sunday, at The Talkies, brunch on Finnish pancakes with filmmakers for $10 per person. And, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the film buff, there’s 2015 BSFF t-shirts, tote bags, and tattoos, as well as films for purchase from the filmmakers on site.

Ticket Information

The festival is best experienced by purchasing a $25 festival pass, which provides entry to all screenings plus the new Screening Room where passholders can watch a 2015 BSFF film on demand. Alternatively, sessions are $8 each or pay what you can. Seating is first come, first seated. As part of the festival’s commitment to community outreach, there’s free access to the general public for BSFF Films For Families, the master classes, the Hatch A Film Pitch Night and daytime retrospective films on Thursday and Friday.

The Bay Street Film Festival runs from September 9 – 13 and includes 45 films as well as various events that are free and open to the public. Visit for details.