NDG gets cinematic

NDG Off the Wall, a film event now in its fourth year, keeps the hyper-local cinema coming this Friday.

NDG native William Shatner in the great outdoors

NDG Off the Wall presents neighbourhood cinema to residents of the West End Montreal neighbourhood, compiling roughly 20 shorts that are either shot in NDG or directed by NDG-based filmmakers.

“Not all the media talent lives in the Plateau,” says Off the Wall curator John McKay. “My event is a way of celebrating that, and bringing all these people together.”

It’s the fourth annual edition of NDG Off the Wall, which has drawn crowds of 350 to 500 people to view McKay’s 100-minute mixes of fresh fiction, mini-documentaries and music videos on an inflatable 40-by-30-foot screen in Girouard Park.

While screening eclectic, hyper-local film programs under the stars is the primary raison d’être of NDG Off the Wall, it has another purpose, hinted at by the event’s name.

“I have a second projector that I put on the roof of a car on Sherbrooke Street, and I take a copy of the Blu-ray disc that I use in the park and bounce the images off the wall of the Empress building, or the Cinema V,” McKay explains, referring to the 86-year-old theatre that has been shuttered since 1992. “I do that in a non-strident way, just to remind local people that this building had a former purpose and a former glory — it used to be at the cultural centre of NDG. I’d like to see the place open and active again.” 

Well, guess what — the Empress/Cinema V theatre may actually reopen in 2015. Read our interview with the woman behind the project here.

See films from previous editions of NDG Off the Wall here.

NDG Off the Walls has its annual screening in Girouard Park (Sherbrooke & Girouard) on Friday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m., free. In case of rain, the screening will take place at the River’s Edge Community Church (5567 Côte-St-Antoine). Afterparty at Maz Bar (5617 Sherbrooke W.)


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