Largest Windsor International Film Festival ends with big news

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This year WIFF was extended to 10 full days, allowing time to show 165 feature films and documentaries, plus 13 short films.

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The Windsor International Film Festival has partnered with Netflix so local film fans can see Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, The Irishman, before the film streams on Netflix later this month.

The film festival ended its biggest year yet Sunday night with the announcement that the Oscar-qualifying drama The Irishman will be shown at the Capitol Theatre from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28. It won’t be on Netflix until Nov. 27.

“That’s an enormous deal for us to have an exclusive in our region and for us to have it not just ahead of theatres but ahead of Netflix,” Vincent Georgie, WIFF’s executive director and chief programmer, said Sunday.

The mob drama that’s had a limited theatre release stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci and chronicles the mysterious disappearance of labor union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Local film fans will get to see it on the big screen as Windsor’s Capitol Theatre joins other historic independent theatres screening the film such as Broadway’s Belasco Theatre in New York and Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, Georgie said.


Vincent Georgie, executive director of the Windsor International Film Festival, throws popcorn at the Capitol Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, just before the launch of the 15th edition of the popular event.

Dan Janisse /

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The Windsor International Film Festival, which was boosted to 10 days this year, was by far the largest one to date, he said.

The festival was nearing 40,000 tickets sold Sunday night and in the first three and a half days, there were as many tickets sold as all of last year, he said. Numerous films sold out and there were more tourists this year.

“What stood out for us this year very much at the festival is how proud Windsor is of the festival and how many people came this year for the first time,” Georgie said.


Daniel Bombardier a.k.a DENIAL, works on a large mural for the Windsor International Film Festival, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in what is now known as WIFF Alley, located between University Avenue West and Chatham Street West, across the street from the Capitol Theatre.

Dax Melmer /

Windsor Star

This year the festival added something permanent, the WIFF Alley with a permanent graffiti display that spruced up the alley from Chatham Street to University Avenue across from Phog Lounge and the Capitol Theatre.

The festival showed 165 films from 29 countries and wrapped up around midnight Sunday. Last year, the festival ran seven days and had 28,574 tickets sold for 143 movies.

Related

The Irishman will be part of WIFF 365, presented by the Downtown Windsor BIA.

Tickets are $14 general admission and $9 for students and are on sale now. Visit windsorfilmfestival.com to buy tickets.

shill@postmedia.com


On WIFF Opening Night Nov. 1, 2019, Lisa MacLeod, Ontario minister of tourism, culture and sport, talks about WIFF being recognized as the biggest volunteer-run film fest in Canada. WIFF executive director Vincent Georgie watches from the stage.

Nick Brancaccio /

Windsor Star

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