IFFO welcomes home filmmaker Pat Mills for a screening of his Ottawa-filmed movie, THE CHRISTMAS SETUP

OTTAWA, ON – On March 18 at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), the International Film Festival of Ottawa (IFFO) will screen the made-in-Ottawa film, The Christmas Setup. Written and directed by Ottawa-born filmmaker Pat Mills, the film is set during the holidays and focuses on queer couple Hugo and Patrick, and what happens when Hugo receives a job offer that forces him to determine what is important in his life. Mills will be in attendance following the screening to participate in a Q&A session with the audience.

Ottawa often moonlights as a stand-in for an American city but local crews and film fans know Ottawa when they see it. From romantic stone buildings and warm city lights to soft white snow, whether real or not, we can all take pride in what is being created here when we see our city on screen“, says IFFO’s Industry and Community Programming Manager Amanda Misko. “IFFO is honoured to champion the hard work of the growing Ottawa film production community by screening a made-in-Ottawa holiday movie such as The Christmas Setup. The film is directed by hometown hero Pat Mills and is Lifetime’s first LGBTQ+ Christmas movie. It’s an excellent example of using our beautiful downtown and historic countryside towns in the Ottawa Valley as a charming film location.

During the screening, attendees are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for familiar Ottawa locations and participate in a “Holiday Movie Bingo” supplied by the Ottawa Film Office. Afterwards, attendees are invited to a Christmas in March Party, presented in partnership with Welch LLP, in the OAG’s Sky Lounge. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided with a special holiday guest in attendance.

Ahead of the screening on March 18, a filmmaker talk with Mills will close IFFO’s Screen Summit. Screen Summit is an event dedicated to strengthening and inspiring Ottawa’s screen-based industries. This year’s event also includes a panel discussion with Ottawa-based organizations about film resources available to filmmakers in Canada’s Capital.

Tickets for The Christmas Setup and passes for Screen Summit are Pick-Your-Price and are available to order in advance.

IFFO continues to deepen its Ottawa roots with a special presentation of Cinema’s First Nasty Women, co-curated by Carleton University’s Professor Laura Horak. The special presentation is accompanied by a live instrumental performance and screens on March 18 at the Mayfair Theatre.

Additional IFFO screenings with an Ottawa connection include short films More than Hair, written and directed by Ottawa-based filmmaker Fitch Jean, and Reply by Ottawa-raised Elle Mills. More than Hair will screen on March 16 at the ByTowne Cinema before the feature film, A Male, while Reply will screen on March 18 at the OAG before The Christmas Setup.

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