National Film Day coming to Neepawa's Roxy Theatre



Roxy Theatre Board

For the second year, the Roxy Theatre in Neepawa will be showing a free movie as part of National Canadian Film Day. On Apr. 18, Reel Canada, a non-profit organization that celebrates Canada through film, negotiates with studios and distribution companies to allow communities to show Canadian films at no cost. This year, the Roxy will be showing the animated feature, Ballerina.

Roxy board members are hoping this will be a fun community event for the whole family. “As a community-owned venue with a focus on providing family entertainment, the opportunity to host a free showing was really exciting to our board. Because of our status as a theatrical release venue, it’s something that’s usually impossible for us to do,” said board chair Kate Jackman-Atkinson.

In 2017, National Canadian Film Day was part of country-wide celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary. That year, the Roxy showed the film One Week. “The turn out was good and everyone had a great time, but this year, we wanted to choose a movie would appeal to the whole family. I’m hoping we can fill the theatre for a real community event,” said Jackman-Atkinson.

Ballerina, which was titled Leap! for its American release, is a 2016 animated movie about Félicie, an orphan girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina. Félicie and her best friend, Victor, an aspiring inventor, flee rural Brittany for Paris. There, she passes for someone else and takes a position as a pupil at the Grand Opera house, while Victor becomes an office boy in Gustave Eiffel’s workshop. “The movie has a really strong message of following your dreams,” said Jackman-Atkinson.

Showtime is at 6:30 pm, there will be no admission charge and concession will be available at regular rates.  More than 700 screenings are planned across Canada and the world as part of this year’s National Canadian Film Day.

The Roxy is a community-owned and volunteer-run theatre. Built in 1906 and renovated to its current Art Deco style in 1940, the theatre is a designated heritage building that serves the community as both a cinema, showing new releases and public performance venue available for rentals. Each year, about 300 people volunteer at the theatre, clocking in over 1,500 hours taking tickets, working the concession and cleaning up after shows.