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International Fly Fishing Film Festival coming to Olds today

Organizer says it's a first to hold the festival in Olds, although the Fly Fishing Film Festival has been held in some small towns in the U.S.
MVT Fly fishing screen shot-2
An angler catches a fish in a video provided by the International Fly Fishing Film Festival. Screenshot

OLDS — Hometown fly fisherman Dana Lattery and friends have organized a first for Olds. They’re bringing the Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF 4) to the Mayfair Cinema on March 26. 

People are expected to attend from as far as Lethbridge. 

The event is more than watching films – although there’ll plenty of those. It starts with promotion of a new fly fishing shop that opened in Olds on 50th Street, just west of 50th Avenue, from 10 a.m. until noon. 

Then from noon to about 2 p.m. a series of fly fishing films will be shown at the Mayfair Theatre. Lattery, who runs Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters, will serve as MC, along with a guide. 

Then, attendees will be invited to gather for an after party at Tracks Pub. Tentative plans call for that party to include some fly fishing demonstrations for kids in the outdoor area adjacent to Tracks. 

“Everybody’s welcome to come over there, it’s (for) all ages,” Lattery said during an interview. 

Lattery said normally, the IF4 is held in larger centres like Calgary or Red Deer (his company hosted it in Red Deer a couple of years ago). However, Lattery wanted to showcase Olds, the newly opened fly fishing shop and the Mayfair Theatre, hence Saturday’s event. 

"Mostly they’ve been on a Friday night or a Thursday night. People come, watch the movies and leave. We wanted to more; we wanted to bring people to town.  

“So there’s going to be a lot of people from out of town who come here and we’re going to show them Olds,” he added. 

“The fly shop, the cinema and Tracks are within 50 yards of each other. So yeah, we just hope people come out and hang out. Even if you’re not, like, a fishing fanatic, the stories are really cool. They’re really well done.” 

Lattery said most of the films are about seven to nine minutes long, although there may be a few that will be in the 12-minute range. 

One will be a film his company made. 

Lattery entered it in another film fest called the Stimmies which recognizes emerging fly-fishing filmmakers. 

“We were a runner-up, we were a semi-finalist. But because I’m local and the film that I shot was shot 15 minutes from Olds, they’re allowing us to show it on Saturday amongst the others,” Lattery said. 

“So that’s pretty cool. We get a local film shot right in our back door.” 

The film is called Privilege. It's a father/son story. 

“A buddy of mine, we took him and his son fishing for the day and we just kind of learned the story of their bond over fly fishing and yeah, I’m partial to it but I think it’s a really fun, cool, emotional story.” 

It’s just great to be able to gather with people again after two years of COVID - a previous IF4 was held virtually, due to the pandemic, he said. 

“We’re excited to show off the town, we’re excited to show off the old theatre, because there’s not many left, and just have a day of hanging out, watching films and talking fishing and all the other fun stuff,” he said. 

“It’s cool because it’s an old theatre, right? So that kind of brings the nostalgia of a film fest, having the marquee sign out front. It’s been too commercialized, I feel lately, when it goes to the bigger theatres.” 

Dean Craig, who operates the Mayfair Cinema, is pleased to be able to provide a venue for the festival. 

“It’s nice that they reached out, wanting to bring it to small-town Olds; give it a chance to see if people would come and enjoy that fly fishing part of it,” Craig said. 

“It’s always an opportunity to try something new. We think outside the box for small-town theatres.” 

Craig said to his knowledge, the Mayfair Theatre is the only small-town theatre left between Red Deer, Drumheller and Airdrie. 

“They’re bringing people out and it helps us recover after COVID, brings people in to spend money – you know, just create atmosphere,” Craig added.