by Kelly Whiteside
Zachary Tannar’s passion for filmmaking stemmed from writing stories as a child and beginning to explore cameras at 15 years old. Most of his friends outgrew the movie-making stage, so he needed to seek out a group of people that he could talk with about his passions. What started as a small group meeting for coffee every once in a while to chat became an official non-profit organization in May 2013: the Hub City Cinema Society (HCCS).
Over the past two years, the organization has seen significant growth and changes. The HCCS now boasts over 500 Stage 1 members who have access to the Facebook group and receive invites to the events; and approximately 50 Stage 2 members who are offered a studio hourly member rate, full voting privileges, and more. In December 2014, the Hub City Cinema Studio was conceived. The studio is where most events take place. Events include filmmakers’ socials for those wishing to speak with fellow filmmakers, script sessions for those who would like feedback on their writing, improv nights for those looking to fool around and have fun, film jams for those interested in being part of making a movie, editing sessions to work together and edit films, cinematography sessions for the discussion of cinematography, cinema showcases to showcase the work created by members, and workshops with professionals in the film industry.
Now that the organization has been an official non-profit for two years, they are able to apply for grants. Keeping fingers crossed that they receive grants, the HCCS has big plans in store. With the grants, they plan on purchasing office and production equipment for the studio. This equipment will be available to Stage 3 members. They also have minor renovations planned, such as the creation of proper outdoor signage, a curtain for the stage inside the studio, and a mural. If they receive grants, the HCCS would also like to put on more workshops with professional filmmakers, directors, actors, technicians, etc. For events, they would like to host a Professionals’ Expo with professional filmmakers and companies to talk to members and promote a higher level of filmmaking. An Oscars Party is another event they plan on hosting, with a red carpet, silent auction, and more.
In the next few years, Tannar would like to see the local film business focus on professionalism. “We have a lot of talent on the island,” he says, but we need to “get the resources, help our filmmakers improve their skills, and open up the possibilities of what they can do.” It was when he attended the Victoria Film Festival in 2014 to watch his own short film, Framed, that he realized how important it is for the local filmmakers in Nanaimo to submit their work. Now he wants to see filmmakers submitting their creations to festivals. Tannar hopes that the cinema showcases the HCCS currently hosts will not only be a premiere for local films, but will also feature celebratory showings of films that have been accepted into film festivals.
The Hub City Cinema Society is a local non-profit community organization run by filmmakers for the purpose of connecting, sharing, supporting, and collaborating with others who are interested in any aspect of filmmaking—acting, scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, lighting, sound, score composing, etc. If you are interested in becoming a member, join their Facebook forum or check out their website for more details.