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End of an era for Sault film festival

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It’s the end of an era for film lovers in Sault Ste. Marie.

The final showing for the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival was Friday night.

“It’s bittersweet for sure,” said festival director Bill MacPherson.

Twenty-four years and 350 films later – with the majority relating to mental health and addictions -- MacPherson said now is the right time to call it a day.

“One of the secrets of doing a volunteer organization is knowing when to quit,” he said.

We have an aging volunteer base, there’s streaming, the expenses have skyrocketed. So we're just looking at while we're ahead, we will just give it back to the community.”

Giving back is the theme of the festival’s final showing.

Through the years, the group has raised $70,000 and they’re giving it all away to 10 local groups at the event.

“We’re passing the torch to them to carry on our mission about reducing stigma around mental health and addictions,” said MacPherson.

The festival has been giving back in many ways since realizing last year that it may be at the end of the line.

In December, it gave away equipment they used for the Summer Shadows in the Park.

“That's a giant inflatable screen, the trailer, all the projector to the Sault Film Festival (that) just started up, I believe, in 2020,” said MacPherson.

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“And they're going to be taking over. It's going to be Sault Film Festival at the Park, and their first movie is Aug. 7.”

The farewell movie being played is Rose, a 2022 Danish drama focusing on two sisters, one of whom has schizophrenia.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with the film starting at 7:30. 

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