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It’s been 20 years…

21 July 2017

20 years!

It’s been an incredible time. That’s what is so great about BFF, it brings people together” – Claudine Benoit, Director, Barrie Film Festival


Every fall, for the last 20 years, a dedicated group of cinephiles come together to showcase a selection of the best in independent cinema, from Canada and around the world.


It’s incredible the many ways that our city and surrounding communities have changed during the last two decades. Much growth and progress has been made, and for us, grass-roots, non-profit, cultural, education and entertainment based organization, we are thrilled to have been along for the ride. How we all experience and view film has also undergone tremendous transformation, technology has advanced the film industry in ways that were unimaginable back in 1997, when the festival began.


In 1995 a small group of cinema-loving friends, Micheal Coughlin, Hanne Fynbo, Tony Gilsenan, John Lister and Jon Oelrichs, initiated a small monthly film club, based at the MacLaren Art Centre. They called the club Screen One and upon it’s early success began an annual Barrie Film Festival. Originally a 3-day event, the Barrie Film Festival is now a multi-faceted ten day film experience. Today, the BFF is an independent not for profit organization with programming all through the year.


  Save the date, BFF20 will be held October 13-22, 2017




The annual Barrie Film Festival began in 1997 with French film PONETTE.


For the last twenty years the Barrie Film Festival has remained your best friend for filmBring on the next 20, the Barrie Film Festival will always be committed to sharing thought provoking, conversation starting and eye opening independent film.


We’ve grown and changed too, and through it all we have had an outstanding group of people supporting us, join us for a moment, and please offer your applause for


~  a stellar group of present and past BFF Board members, 50+ committed volunteers, a small dedicated trio of staff, everyone at the Uptown Theatre, amazing sponsors *some who have been with us all along the way!*, the MacLaren Art Centre, our outstanding local media who have always shouted us out and shared our message, so many other local organizations and partners, the City of Barrie, Tourism Barrie, Downtown Barrie BIA, the County of Simcoe, our provincial and federal governments, the list truly goes on. Also, our wonderful patrons! Thank You to all of you for being a part of our amazing history! ~


Community is at the heart of our longevity and success.


Over the next few months we’ll share photos, quotes from friends, stories on how we’ve changed – many memorable moments of the past twenty years. We can’t wait to reminisce with you on all of the good times, and the incredible films we’ve seen.

How long have you been a friend of the BFF?