Virtual Film Festival BN


Virtual Film Festival Test Page Link (Password protected)

  1. The aim of this brief is to propose the development of a Virtual Military Film Festival. This would be a simple and cost-effective steppingstone towards the development of an Annual Canadian Military Film Festival in collaboration with organizations like the Canadian War Museum and the National Film Board.  
  2. The cost-effective format of the proposed Virtual Military Film Festival has the potential to test the waters of public interest and generate potential support from Canadian film makers, government, and Canadian media giants like Telus, for the development of a real time Annual Canadian Military Film Festival.
  3. The Virtual Film Festival project would launch at the 1 April 2023 Unsung Heroes Gala at the Sage Restaurant, UBC, and would offer a collection of films donated by Canadian Film Makers in support of the project. The films would be available for viewing as MP4s , by donation, on a password access only web page within the Cascadia For Veterans web site. The films would be available for viewing for a finite time frame after which the password would be changed.

4. There are currently several successful Military Film Festivals outside of Canada, the most familiar being the GI Film Festival held in San Diego every year.

i. Established in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego is a multi-day showcase of films for, by, and about military and veteran experiences. Films featured in the festival reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of service members and veterans. The festival also provides veterans and service members with an opportunity to further their creative skills.

ii. Documentaries, shorts, narratives, and feature-length films are presented. The festival includes the Local Film Showcase, which features San Diego’s filmmakers, events, people, or places. Post-screening discussions with filmmakers, actors and documentary subjects are also part of the festival.

iii. This event takes place annually in May and is open to veterans, service members, military families, and civilians.  All are welcome to catch a film, be inspired, and build community.

5. The primary objective of an Annual Canadian Military Film Festival is to provide Canadians with a better understanding of the remarkable men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada. A better knowledge and understanding of our Canadian Armed Forces will lead to badly needed better political and economic support for our military. The project, however, also has the potential to be a reliable and incremental revenue stream for the charitable programs supporting our Veterans. A project of that magnitude, however, will take time and require corporate and government support. Launching a cost-effective Virtual Military Film Festival will make it possible to attract that support, regionally and nationally.

6. Starting with a simple Virtual Military Film Festival is a cost-effective means of testing the waters for the development of a real time Annual Canadian Military Film Festival. Donations for access to the first collection of films would not likely be significant but neither would the costs of creating a prototype Virtual Military Film Festival. In the event of growing interest in the project, however, and participation by collaborating venues such as Legions, Military Reserve Units and Cadets, there is potential for the project to generate incremental funds for Veterans programs and services as it grows in scope and popularity.

7. The proposed virtual format makes it possible to provide access to the selected films to participating venues. The first virtual screening, however, would be held as a real time event at a select Vancouver venue sometime in the fall of 2023. It is anticipated that, with sufficient media exposure, the launch of the project could begin to generate increased public interest in the stories and history of the Canadian Armed Forces and support the development of a real time Annual Canadian Military Film Festival.

8. The GI Film Festival has become a well-attended week-long event in the United States. They screen a great many films specific to the themes of the military and the struggle for international peace. Their events have a range of categories, heavy sponsorship, awards, and a well-attended gala for awards following days of film screenings. A similar event in Canada would provide an excellent opportunity for Canadian film makers to explore the rich but largely overlooked history of the Canadian military. It could also attract international film makers already showing at these other events as a new opportunity to show their work.

9. The Unsung Heroes Gala project seeks to celebrate the noteworthy achievements of a different regional member of the Canadian Armed Forces, living or deceased, at a fundraising military style dinner every year. By introducing the Virtual Film Festival at the April 2023 Unsung Heroes Gala we will be able to provide an introduction to the idea of an Annual Canadian Military Film Festival. It would also raise regional awareness of the remarkable stories of the ordinary men and women who have provided Canada with extraordinary service since before Confederation. Celebrating and sharing these stories would also provide Canadian film makers with material for film and television.


10.     The proposed Virtual Canadian Military Film Festival would initially be available, through password protected log in, for live streaming at a limited number of interested regional venues. Participating venues would donate a subscriber fee to a still to be confirmed charitable organization.  


11.     The development of a Virtual Military Film Festival is a cost-effective means to develop interest in and support for the development of a real time Annual Canadian Military Film Festival.

12.     The Unsung Heroes Gala, successfully commenced by Cascadia Priory in February 2020, is an annual celebration of the untold stories of the uniformed men and women who serve or have served Canada. The introduction of a Virtual Military Film festival at this event is a good starting point to involve community partners and members of the Canadian film industry in a lead up to both an annual Virtual Military Film Festival and the eventual establishment of a real time Annual Canadian Military Film Festival.

13.     The concept of a Virtual Military Film Festival also has the potential to be well received in communities that are home to Veterans and their friends and families across Canada.

Updated 11 November 2022         

By: Melanie Graham Lt (N) Retired 604-628-7967, graham@mywrd