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Shadows of the Mind Film Festival returns

This article was posted original on CTV Nornern Ontario News. Published


After two years of COVID-related cancelations, the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is back in Sault Ste. Marie.

The five-day event features a lineup of 19 films from Canadian and international filmmakers, which have been carefully selected by the organizers to provoke thought and conversations about social issues.

“The aim is to reduce stigma on mental health and addictions, to enlighten, to educate and to entertain,” said festival director Bill MacPherson.

“That’s really our goal, and I think that hasn’t changed over 22 years.”

One of the films being featured is a documentary dealing with the opioid crisis, which is to be followed by a panel discussion.

“We’re going to be presenting Love in the Time of Fentanyl,” with many community partners coming out and presenting about this important social issue,” said MacPherson, adding that screening, along with a few others, will be admission by donation.

In keeping with the ‘Filmed in the Sault – Screened in the Sault’ tradition, this year’s film fest includes the local big screen premier of The Middle Man, which was shot in Sault Ste. Marie in 2020.

Tickets for the film festival are on sale now at the box office inside the Station Mall and online.

All screenings will take place at the Grand Theatre downtown starting Feb. 22.

Bell Let’s Talk Day 2023

January 25th is Bell Let’s Talk Day.
Bell Let’s Talk funds Canadian mental health initiatives and organizations all year long that are creating positive change in their communities each and every day.
Bell Let’s Talk has been a long time supporter of Shadows of the Mind Film Festival, and since its inception in 2010, they have raised almost 140 million dollars for Canadian mental health initiatives.
For more information about their program, history and additional literature – visit
If you are in crisis, please go to your local hospital, call 9-1-1 immediately, or visit a local crisis centre.

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.