Free-B film festival returns for 15th year

Film festival returns to Beacon Hill park this summer with a French twist.

The Free-B outdoor film festival returns to Beacon Hill park this summer with a French twist.

This year’s Free-B line-up includes films that span seven decades.

The fun, free festival runs on Friday and Saturday nights throughout August at the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park, except for two special screenings.

The opening screening of the 1966 classic, Batman: The Movie, will take place 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at the B.C. legislature lawn.

The final screening on August 29 will be the 1937 locally filmed and produced by Kenneth J. Bishop, Murder is News, held at Broadmead Village in Saanich.

Unknown to many, Bishop was a big producer back in the 1930s and gave name to the “quota quickies”, films that were produced quickly to hit the designated Canadian quota amount of films.

“Bishop produced 14 films in five years between 1932-1937, which is staggering by today’s standards. Most of the films are hard to find but luckily we secured Murder is News to share some Victorian film history,” said Donovoan Aikman, programmer at the Victoria Film Festival.

A variety of family-friendly French short films (ranging three to 10 minutes in length) will be screened prior to the features. The new addition to the August line-up is thanks to partnering with the City of Victoria and the Francophone Affairs Program.

“It’s a throwback to the old drive-in theatres – you bring the blankets, and snacks– and you get cozy while enjoying classics from your childhood. This is our 15th year and we’re excited to start the evening off with French shorts,” said festival director Kathy Kay.

The 2015 Free-B line-up has a variety of films from the 1930s to the 1990s, including big blockblusters like The Mummy and Wild Wild West.

To see the entire schedule, please go online to freebfilmfest.com.

Free-B is run by the Victoria Film Festival.