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Drive-in and online viewing part of 2021 Kamloops Film Festival

An expanded hybrid version of the Kamloops Film Festival will proceed this year, with up to 35 films on the docket across a week and a half, beginning on April 21.
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Unless plans change, the seats of the Paramount Theatre will be empty for this year's Kamloops Film Festival. But, the event is moving ahead with a hybrid setup with some films viewable online and some at the Twin Rivers Drive-In on McArthur Island.

An expanded hybrid version of the Kamloops Film Festival will proceed this year, with up to 35 films on the docket across a week and a half, beginning on April 21.

While the festival normally occupies the Paramount Theatre in downtown Kamloops, gathering restrictions due to the pandemic will likely prevent that, this year.

So instead, the Kamloops Film Society has opted to split the festival into two parts, presenting some films online and some at the Twin Rivers Drive-In on McArthur Island.

Society executive director Dusan Magdolen said the film lineup is still being worked out, but he expects to show about 20 films online and another 15 films at the drive-in.

Patrons can expect the usual festival fare — quality films that wouldn't otherwise be screened at other theatres in the city. The drive-in films will be rated G or PG, per the rules.

"Anything a little more edgy, 14A or 18A, would have to go online," Magdolen said.

A complete film lineup is expected in the next one or two weeks, according to Magdolen. But what is known is that more films will be on offer — 35, compared to the 20-24 films the festival typically shows each year.

The film society screened films on McArthur Island throughout the summer of 2020. The venue was limited to 50 vehicles with a maximum of six people each, per public health orders.

Magdolen also said the society is working to set up a pre-order system for concession items, with pickup upon arrival to the drive-in parking lot.

With Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry teasing a slow-and-steady easing of restrictions, Magdolen said plans may change if theatres are allowed to operate in some capacity before April, but otherwise the society is going ahead with the hybrid plan.