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The voices of the world

by Wren Wertin Arts & Entertainment Editor
Special to the DailyIn "Strange Invaders," an alien child arrives on the doorstep.
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When the camera starts rolling, the world comes through the door. The Vail Symposium brings the second annual Beaver Creek Film Festival to the Vail Valley Oct. 3-5. This year, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit will set up shop for the three-day festival.This is not the Toronto Film Festival, which featured such big names as Nicole Kidman and Meg Ryan in weeks past – it’s an entirely new ball of wax.The folks at the Vail Symposium worked with Cam Haynes, director of the Film Circuit, on choosing which films would make the trek to the Rockies.”We told him what we wanted – something different and exciting,” said Ebby Pinson, president of the Symposium. “We wanted different types of films, we didn’t want all of them to be the same. We wanted something to appeal to different ages as well.”What they came up with was six feature films, with a smattering of shorts. Selections include “Le Marais,” translated as “The Marsh,” described as an oversized folk-tale book come to life. “Manna from Heaven” is touted as a witty fable about what happens when you get a gift from God – a financial windfall – but many years later you discover it was just a loan, and it’s due immediately. “The Last Round” looks back at the events preceding the day George Chuvalo, a working class bloke from Toronto, knocked out Cassius Clay.Haynes has particular affection for a short film called “Moon Palace,” where an out-of-work writer is hired to enhance business at a Chinese restaurant by eavesdropping on customers’ conversations and personalizing fortune cookies for them.”The thing that’s most interesting about film is it ends up changing ideals – ideas – and the way we see the world,” said Haynes, who is coming as the master of ceremonies. “It’s a fun area to work in. It’s important to get independent films on screens, because they’re the voices of the world.”The Vail Symposium is committed to bringing learning here to the community in different forms,” said Pinson. “Movies have different ways of reaching people.”As Haynes pointed out, the general public doesn’t usually get a chance to see how other people, other cultures, live on a regular basis. Films can be the windows into those stories, and offer big insight from little stories.”They speak of the history, of the future, of the present,” he explained. “When I first started putting these together, I started noticing it. It’s important for these film festivals to happen. (These filmmakers) are trying to tell people about their life, or life in general.”The Film Circuit has been growing by leaps and bounds. It’s one of five projects of the Toronto Film Festival, and Haynes recently expanded the project.”We try to create access for Canadian and international films in Canada,” he said. “Last year I expanded it to include, well, to include the world. And it’s been wildly successful.”Wildly successful means the numbers have doubled in two years. In addition to the more than 100 stops it has in Canada, the Film Circuit will be traveling to Argentina, Mexico, Europe and most of Latin America.”I think that overall, film festivals open up a new window and door to what’s going on around the world,” he said. “From a very easy standpoint, they’re really quite a lot of fun. … The films are good. I think people will enjoy them a lot. And you have the opportunity to sit in the dark with people, socialize and go to other events.”The events begin Oct. 3 with a reception at 5:30 p.m., leading into the first film of the festival, “Manna From Heaven.” Movies, food and discussions continue Oct. 4 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Oct. 5 they conclude with a wrap-up breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and “Le Marais” at 10 a.m.For more information, contact the Vail Symposium at 479-0954.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.Eye of the beholderwhat: Beaver Creek Film Festivalwhen: Oct. 3-5where Vilar Center, Beaver CreekMore info: 476-0954Pricing: Weekend package, including opening reception, two breakfasts, directors workshop and all films, $125Film package, including all films, $30Individual films, $8


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