Film premiere gala shares the love Photo by Paul Clancy

Film premiere gala shares the love

Sunday, 12 August 2012 00:42

There was love in air from a sold-out house at the gala film premiere of "For the love of Gospel Rock", a fundraiser for the Friends of Gospel Rock Society and film production costs on August 8 at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons.

The green carpet was rolled out for this film premiere, a special event presented by the Green Film Series. "For the Love of Gospel Rock" is the second film by local producer Loretta Macklam. “Hopefully it will educate people about Gospel Rock,” Macklam said. “There are so many people who care.”

The program for the evening was really well received, from Wes Nahanee's beautifully appropriate welcome from the Squamish elders, to the surprisingly engaging older film contextualized for us by Laurie Miller, to the brief but pointed message from the FOGRS, to Loretta's first film, "Forever Lost". I'm sure I'm not the only one who went into intermission with tears in their eyes.

Intermission stretched a little long, though we'd been on schedule till then (fine MC'ing by the Green Films' Gayle Neilson). But again, everyone was having such a great time.

Interestingly, although many of the usual suspects who can be counted on to support Gospel Rock were there, a LOT of faces not even long-time friends of Gospel Rock knew. We wouldn't have cared if we'd been preaching to the converted, but bringing new people up to date was really rewarding.

After intermission, Loretta introduced "For the Love of Gospel Rock", explaining her motivation for making the film. She spoke eloquently, right from the heart, which is where she operates from and where this film was born. The film was received with much enthusiasm and appreciative laughter. You could feel the audience with the film.

At the end, FOGRS president Patricia Braithwaite presented Loretta with a gorgeous perfumey bouquet of flowers, and Loretta invited the "stars" of the film onto the stage with her--Rick O'Neill, LeeAnn Johnson, Dan Bouman, Barry Janyk, Lola Westell, Suzanne Senger, Katie Janyk, George Smith  (missing were Catherine McManus, Matthew Lovegrove, Cheri Le Page, Susan Rule, and Dale Petersen) along with chief videographer and editor Veronica Alice. They all took a bow to much applause.

It was 10 o'clock by then, so we skipped the planned Q and A with the filmmakers and FOGRS and brought the evening to a close. Bookmarks with advice about the upcoming critical public hearing on the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan were handed out. Many people lingered in the lobby, having more wine and desserts, picking up the baking they'd bought earlier, chatting, getting information.

The evening went without a hitch. The giant new screen and brand-new state-of-the-art projection equipment, which this audience was the first to benefit from, performed brilliantly, thanks to Green Film Series' Billie Carroll. I don't think there's a thing I would have changed in hindsight.

The fundraiser was a huge success. The Green Film Series and Friends of Gospel Rock shared the ticket revenues--144 seats at $10 each. FOGRS share and all the proceeds from the stunningly successful Bake Sale and the wonderful Art Sale of Gospel-Rock-themed works (with seven participating artists--Alan Sirulnikoff, Pat Ridgway, I. Sarama, Bodhi Drope, Marje Umezuki, Janice Williams, and Marina Crawford) will make a very tidy sum to help defray Loretta's production costs.

The Green Film Series is presented by Sustainable Coast Magazine (sustainablecoast.ca) and the Gibsons Green Team.

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