Telefilm, Director X say movies are special when you see them in a theatre

Who: Telefilm Canada, with No Fixed Address for strategy, creative and media; Fela for production; Married to Giants, Wingman VFX and OSO for post-production.

What: “Feel Again at a Theatre Near You,” a campaign to get movie fans back into theatres again after the pandemic.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week during the Toronto International Film Festival, with a screening of the special two-minute hero film. That’s being complemented by 30-, 15- and six-second cut-downs running across digital and broadcast television, along with OOH, public and influencer relations.

Why: Telefilm Canada hired NFA in February to develop a campaign that would help draw people back into movie theatres as the world opens up after two difficult years of lockdowns, social distancing, and general warnings about being near people in public.

“Over the last couple of years we have moulded ourselves into our couches, forgetting the importance or joy from experiences like watching a movie as it is intended… on the big screen,” said Jack Latulippe, chief creative officer at NFA. “We feel the most alive when all our senses are engaged, and theatres provide that unparalleled universal experience. By tapping into those memories we saw an opportunity to engage the whole country, encouraging them to ‘Feel Again at a Theatre Near You.”

How: In the spring, Telefilm put out a call for Canadians to share their #MovieMemories. Acclaimed Canadian film-maker Director X used those memories, along with some of his own, to create the two-minute short film. Narrated by X, the film opens from his perspective, recalling the special moments and memories that come from a trip a theatre with friends.

“People have forgotten that going to the movies is about more than just watching,” he says. It’s the buzz, the anticipation, and the pre-show ritual of popcorn and pop. The film then cuts to other special experiences, from joyful Rocky Horror Picture Show fans in costumes, to a mother and daughter enjoying a movie that reflects their lives, to a young boy awed by a projector, and people crying and laughing. “It’s the experience you can only get at the theatre,” says X. “It’s time to get back to it. Feel again at a theatre near you.”

“I remember going to see Wedding Crashers in theatres. It was sold out, the place was packed and the laughter couldn’t be contained,” said X in a release. “The filmmaker in me began looking around and felt something profound: all these strangers are in this massive theatre, but sharing a singular experience and having a great time… I love the idea of tapping into this experience and finding an artful way to bring one person’s memory to life in a way that resonates with as many Canadians as possible.”

The film was directed by rising Canadian director LeSean Harris, under the guidance of X.

David Brown