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Bringing cinema back to Trenton

By Michelle Poirier [1]

TRENTON – Quinte West Councillor Duncan Armstrong is looking to bring an international film festival to Trenton starting in 2017.

“Trenton is the birthplace of the Canadian film industry,” Armstrong told QNet News this week. The city was once known as Hollywood North [2] because of the movies that were produced at Trenton Studios here and the famous actors who would come to work here.

Armstrong wants to use the 100th anniversary of the start of the industry in Trenton to kick off the festival.

He has been talking to two of the co-founders of the Toronto International Film Festival [3], Henk van der Kolk and Bill Marshall, and said they are interested in being a part of a festival in Trenton.

Although Armstrong is pitching the festival as an anniversary, he said he hopes it will become an annual event.

A film that he would like to feature during the inaugural festival is Carry on, Sergeant! [4] which was filmed in Trenton in 1928. It is a silent film about a group of workers who decide to join the army during the First World War.

Armstrong said that the new marina [5] would be a good central location to have as headquarters for the festival, and that the National Air Force Museum [6] and military hangars at Canadian Forces Base Trenton [7], the Centre Theatre and the amphitheater in Centennial Park would be good locations to hold screenings, exhibits and workshops.

Whether or not the film festival will happen is going to be decided at the next Quinte West council meeting on Nov. 16, when Armstrong will be looking for support from fellow council members.