Old flicks shine light on new issues in Stop The Presses!

By Kristi Alexandra
[culture editor]

His Girl Friday is one of many classic newspaper films being screened this weekend at Vancity Theatre. PHOTO COURTESY OF VANCITY THEATRE PRESS RELEASE.

Local cinephiles and journalists alike are gearing up for Stop The Presses!, a week-long film festival that will be screening movies about newspapers at the Vancity Theatre, kicking off tonight (Jan. 27) at 6:30 p.m. and running until Thursday, Feb. 2.

The mini film fest, part of an off-shoot of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), will be screening 10 films about the newspaper industry, each with an introduction by a working journalist, plus a free panel discussion with local journalists David Beers and Frances Bula on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Tom Charity, programmer for the Vancity Theatre and freelance film critic, says the idea for Stop The Presses! arose from talks with fellow journalists about doing a monthly series on journalism-based films.

“A handful of journalists had been kicking this idea around,” he says. “They really wanted to do a series about newspaper films. It’s obviously a very timely thing to do, the journalism racket is well-aware that it’s a period of real uncertainty and transition so I think they’re thinking about their jobs.”

Instead of moving along with a monthly series, Stop The Presses! will be testing the audience for journalism-based film series—and luckily, there’s a lot to choose from in the future.

“We tried to stick really to newspaper, we have Shattered Glass, which is the exception,” Charity says. “Everything else is about newspapers. We decided not to go into the whole foreign correspondent thing, there are lots of foreign reporter films like The Killing Fields or Under Fire. We decided not to go to TV—broadcast news and all that stuff. So, there’s definitely more ways we could take it if we decide to revisit this idea and there are certainly more newspaper movies—but I think we’ve got the best.”

Stop The Presses! will be showing Tabloid, Citizen Kane, Page One, His Girl Friday, Park Row, All The President’s Men, Shattered Glass, Why Rock The Boat, The Paper and Ace In The Hole. For a complete schedule, visit http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/vifcguide/filmguide/schedule.date.php.

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