The Kamloops Film Society
The Kamloops Film Society (KFS) is the umbrella organization that operates the Paramount Theatre and runs two main events: The Thursday Film Series and the annual March Kamloops Film Festival (KFF), which includes the Kamloops Independent Short Shorts (KISS) Festival. The KFS has been operating for over 45 years and was officially incorporated under the British Columbia Societies Act on August 17, 1994. In the spring of 2019, The Kelson Group purchased the Paramount Theatre from Landmark Cinemas and leased the venue to the KFS to continue operations. The support of The Kelson Group and Ron Fawcett has made the venture possible as The KFS continues to try to make the theatre a viable cultural venue.
Thursday Film Series
The Thursday Film Series are weekly curated screenings of Canadian, Independent and International films. The Society currently runs three Film Series; FALL (September to December), WINTER (January to February) and SPRING (March to April).
Kamloops Film Festival
The Kamloops Film Festival, launched in 1996, is a 10-day celebration of excellence in filmmaking. 20+ screenings take place in March, and include opening and closing galas, workshops, special guests and other events.
The Kamloops Independent Short Shorts (KISS) Festival is a showcase of local filmmakers in the short film category. Held in March during the Kamloops Film Festival, we screen 5 min. or shorter films in any genre from independent filmmakers in the TNRD region. Cash prizes are awarded to winners.
The Paramount Theatre in Downtown Kamloops began operations in 1955 with Theatre 1. In 1977 Theatre 2 was added. Theatre 1 seats approximately 500 patrons and Theatre 2 seats 270.
The forerunners of the Kamloops Film Society—the Thompson Valley Film Society, the Cariboo College Film Society and the Cariboo Film Society—screened 16mm. films, first, at the Cariboo College campus cafeteria, then at the South-Central Health Unit auditorium in 1973. In the late 1980s, films were screened at the newly constructed University College of the Cariboo Clock Tower building’s Alumni Theatre. By that time, 35mm films were the new standard and the Society needed to rent a theatre with the appropriate projection equipment; it began screening 35mm films Sunday afternoons at the 404-seat North Hills Theatre.
After several years at the North Hills, Society members expressed a preference for a downtown location. The Society moved its showings to the old Odeon Cineplex Theatre on Victoria at 6th Ave from 1999 to 2001 and initiated Thursday night screenings at 7:30 pm. When that theatre closed, the Paramount theatre offered the Society Thursday night screening times at 7 pm, and fully accommodated the annual March Kamloops Film Festival, and that theatre has been the home of the Society ever since.
Society Mission Statement
Kamloops Film Society provides publicly screened, hand-picked, diverse, high-quality films and supports film-related activities in the community of Kamloops and Area.
The mission of the KFS is to bring the best in independent, Canadian and foreign cinema to Kamloops. The Society’s series and festival bring film lovers together to experience the best in cinema.
As well, the Society endeavours to promote and support filmmaking and related visual media in the Kamloops area by offering grants periodically throughout each year.
Society Vision Statement
Community and individual transformation through film.
The Society is governed by a Constitution and By-laws, most recently updated in 2017. The 6-member Board of Directors meets monthly and the Society holds its Annual General Meeting in November each year. The KFS board of directors are as follows:
- Tom Friedman – Chair
- Adam Trudel – Treasurer
- Terri Anne Wilson – Secretary
- Esther Miller
- Laura Michel
- Kevin Martin
- Nathalie Wandler
- Brian Mitchell – Special Advisor to the Board