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Shadows of the Mind Film Festival regretfully announces the cancellation of our February 2021 festival due to COVID-19. 


The Shadows team extends a special message of hope to the many people living in isolation during this time.  We have compiled a list of our recommended best 10 films over the past decade and invite everyone to check out these titles.

You can also find all of our other previous films by going into our Film Archives.

If you are interested in accessing other great movies and documentaries check out these two sites.

TIFF Bell Lightbox

National Film Board of Canada

Summer Shadows stays dark for second year

This article was posted originally in the Sault Star on Aug 24, 2021 10:10 AM EST by Brian Kelly reposted with permission.


Bill MacPherson prepares for a screening at Summer Shadows at Bellevue Park in August 2018. BRIAN KELLY SunMedia

COVID-19 is keeping Summer Shadows in the dark for a second consecutive year.

Free outdoor screenings of family films started in 2005 and moved to Bellevue Park in 2008.

The pandemic spiked Summer Shadows in 2020. Board member of parent group Shadows of the Mind Film Festival met online in late July and decided not to show movies at the downtown park again this year.

“We’ve never had less than 100 people at our outdoor screenings,” said co-director Bill MacPherson. Step 3 of Roadmap to Reopen Ontario allows up to 100 people at outdoor events. Screening organizers didn’t anticipate the province easing restrictions beyond Step 3 during the summer months.

“We felt (cancelling) was the prudent thing,” said MacPherson.

Most attendees are under 12, a group that can’t be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“How do you enforce social distancing?” said MacPherson. “There’s so many access points to the park. We didn’t want to have to put it upon ourselves to enforce any kind of social distancing. How you do turn people away when they’re coming over the nolls and through the park?”

Shadows organizers considered screening films at a downtown site after deciding not to proceed at Bellevue Park.

“It just didn’t work out this year,” said MacPherson.

Films shown at Summer Shadows have included Despicable Me, Up and WALL-E.

“We’re itching to get back to showing movies,” said MacPherson.

Plans are being made for a scaled-down Shadows of the Mind Film Festival in early 2022.

Bell Let’s Talk Day 2021

Bell Let’s Talk Day takes place on January 28th this year. Bell Let’s Talk has been an important and dedicated sponsor and partner to Shadows for many years.

Although Shadows is cancelled this season, we remain committed to bringing conversations on mental health and addictions to the forefront.

Provided below is a link to a free Mental Health film series that will be available online for free until January 28th.

For more information on Bell Let’s Talk, head to:

From all of us here at Shadows Film Festival, stay safe and stay informed! We hope to see you soon.


Shadows 2020 lineup includes two local films

The Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is excited to announce the 2020 lineup: 29 select films from around the world, set to screen Feb. 22 to March 1 in Sault Ste. Marie. The 21st season kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 22 with the gala film Arab Blues at the Grand Theatre and catered after party at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum featuring a ‘Through the Lens’ exhibit.

Starting Feb. 24, each weekday will be filled with meaningful theme-focused documentaries and dramas, many with panel discussions, and by donation/pay what you can admission.

Evening and weekend lineups will feature internationally acclaimed cinema. Dark Waters, La Belle Epoque and Tel Aviv on Fire are just a few of the highlights. A strong Canadian selection includes And the Birds Rained Down, White Lie and the hilarious comedy Menteur (Compulsive Liar).

Filmgoers will be able to see scenes of northern Ontario in screenings of Castle in the Ground, shot in Sudbury; The Bet, shot in Sault Ste. Marie with producer David Gordian in attendance; and Brotherhood, shot in Michipicoten First Nation with a question and answer with guest filmmaker Richard Bell.

The shorts program, Reel Northern Flicks will be on hiatus this year and in its place, organizers have programmed an Oscar-nominated surprise movie.

Tickets go on sale on the website and at the Shadows Box Office on Feb. 10, 2020 in the Station Mall, Dennis Street entrance. It will be open from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. through the festival. Cost-saving five movie vouchers are also available for purchase online.

For a complete listing of titles, times, locations, ticket and Gala information, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook

About Shadows of the Mind
Shadows is a not for profit, volunteer run film festival in Sault Ste. Marie that focuses on providing insights into mental health, addictions and current social issues through the lens of exciting, unique and entertaining movies and documentaries.


Brotherhood gets screening at Shadows

This article was posted originally in the Sault Star on December 28, 2019 10:10 AM EST by Brian Kelly reposted with permission.


Neve Campbell stars in Castle on the Ground, a Canadian film about opioid addiction. KENA BETANCURKENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
Neve Campbell stars in Castle on the Ground, a Canadian film about opioid addiction. KENA BETANCURKENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

A historic drama based on a true story, and shot in Michipicoten First Nation, is part of the 21st annual Shadows of the Mind Film Festival.

Brendan Fletcher (Cardinal, Air Bud) and Brendan Fehr (CSI: Miami, Roswell) star in Brotherood, directed by Richard Bell (Eighteen, Two Brothers and Two Others).

Bell’s film, shot in September 2017, is based on a 1926 incident involving a group of teen boys attending an Anglican summer camp who get caught in a storm during a canoeing expedition.

Brotherhood joins more than two dozen titles expected to be screened between Feb. 24 and March 1. The festival’s mandate is to show movies that deal with mental health, addiction and other social topics.

The Grand Theatre hosts a gala screening of Arab Blues on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. An after party follows at nearby Sault Ste. Marie Museum where a film-related exhibition will be featured.

Manele Labidi’s feature directing debut was nominated for best film at Stockholm Film Festival and Vaddadolid Film Festival.

“It’s a light comedy with a little bit of a bite to it,” co-director Bill MacPherson told The Sault Star.

Tickets to the film and social cost $45. A gold pass, selling for $220, includes Arab Blues and after party.

The festival box office opens Feb. 10 near Station Mall’s Dennis Street entrance. Single admission is $14. Vouchers for five films for $60 can be purchased at The vouchers must be exchanged for tickets on the festival’s website or the box office.

The 2020 lineup also includes The Bet, also shot in the Sault, Castle in the Ground, a Canadian film about opioid addiction starring Neve Campbell (Party of Five) and Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey), and the sexual abuse documentary Rewind. With about a third of titles confirmed, MacPherson is still trying to firm up the screening of five to six shorts nominated for Academy Awards in 2020. Seven films with be shown at Galaxy Cinemas, with most screened at The Grand Theatre.

Additional movies to be shown will be announced starting the third week of January.

“You don’t want to be too dark, but you want to be real,” said MacPherson of the lineup, as festival brass plan to “entertain, but educate at the same time.”

The festival, for the first time, sold more than 4,000 tickets in 2019. The program included Giant Little Ones and The Guilty. MacPherson called the amount of box office traffic “a milestone.