• By: Keith Whittier

Flashback Cinephiles as Cineplex Brings Film Festival to Ottawa

Hey Ottawa, are you ready for a film festival? Well if you answered yes then Cineplex has you covered. For the ninth year in a row The Flashback Film Festival is about to take over the city. The only cross-Canada film festival runs from February 2-8. This festival brings classics and cult favourites back to the big screen.  

Recently Ottawa Life had the chance to speak with Brad Ladouceur, Vice President of Event Cinema.

Brad Ladouceur, Vice President of Event Cinema

Ottawa Life: How long have you been with Cineplex?

Brad Ladouceur: 33 years.

For someone who is not familiar can you tell them what the Flashback Film Festival is?

The Flashback Film Festival is Canada’s only coast-to-coast week long festival that takes place every February featuring films of multiple genres, flashing back to fan favourites and we have been doing it for close to 10 years. This year we are in 27 cities with 15 films and what is great about it is fans can pick and choose the films they want to see over the course of an entire week.

How did the Festival get started?

It stated at a time when cinemas were changing over from 35 mm film to digital cinema and we wanted to spotlight how great digital cinema is. For years when an older film would come back to your town or city it would be an older 35 mm scratched print and the presentation wasn’t fantastic. We said this was the opportunity to one, the studios are remastering these films and putting them onto digital hard drives for cinemas and two, they have never been shown on screens this big and certainly not as pristine. This is how the festival would start. 

We started making a list of films working with all of the studios to say ‘What have you got that’s been remastered that is probably more than 10 years old?’ While we run a Classic Film Series and a Family Favourites, this was about fan favourite films. Films that people love to go back and see and quote and share and take a friend that has never seen it with them. I’ll use The Big Lebowski as a good example. This is one people know line for line.  It has got those great quotable moments. Those films that have made its way into pop culture are the ones we love showcasing.

In regards to the selection process, how do you decide which ones you are going to choose on a given year?

The studios provide us with lists but we also look at movies celebrating an anniversary. We always like to throw a trilogy or one day of one genre. This year we are showing The Cornetto Trilogy, ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘The World’s End’ back to back-to-back.

What other things does Cineplex have coming up?

We are just announcing our Classic Film Series. Similar to the Flashback Film Festival, every month we showcase a new remastered classic. This month we are doing Charade with Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Next month we have Dr. Dolittle and To Kill a Mockingbird and in April the 40th Anniversary of Grease.

We also have something called ‘One Nighters’ which is exclusive to our VIP cinemas and it’s a chance for fans to get out on a Monday night and see a real quotable film.

Over the last few months we have been showing films like Dirty Dancing and Mean Girls and Bad Moms and just last week we showed Spice World. It gives people a chance op see them in big recliners and its only $10.

One of the things I have noticed is you will have a 7pm of one of the One Nighters and then you have to add another show because the first one sells out. That just speaks to the popularity of these types of events.

We love the fact that they are selling out in advance and that people are enjoying getting out and seeing these movies.

I think it speaks to the nostalgia and that people want to see their favourite movies on the big screen. And for people who don’t get to the movies too often to go see their favourites.

And if parents want to take their kids to a show and are iffy if they are going to make it, The Family Favourites movies are $2.99.  

We also have the Super Bowl coming up on February 4 in 50 locations across the country not just in VIP but our regular theatres as well.

That all sounds great. Let’s do some rapid fire. What is your favourite movie of all time?

The Empire Strikes Back.

What is the coolest thing about working at Cineplex for you?

I can take my son to any movie he wants to see for free.

Of the 15 movies at this years Flashback Film Festival and you could time port into any of this years films which one would it be?

Back to the Future! I was an usher tearing tickets when that film came out. It’s very nostalgic and it really means a lot to me.

Tell us one fun thing about your CEO (Ellis Jacob)

I think he sees more movies than I do. Ellis is great and has a real passion for film.

Thanks so much

My pleasure, this was great!