Eating & Drinking

THE INSIDER: 20 Questions with Nina Bains, executive director, Ottawa International Film Festival (Oct. 2 to 6)

This interview is part of our October issue, which is on newsstands and can be ordered online here.

Photography by Jonathan Hobin.
Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

What are you most excited about for the Ottawa International Film Festival?
I’m excited about something every single day!  Hard to pinpoint exactly one thing that excites me.

What are you most proud of?
My two beautiful children.

Five words to describe Ottawa International Film Festival:
Film, Style, Inspiration, Celebration, Festival

How do you describe OIFF to your grandmother?
Bibiji, it’s a really fun night. Everyone gets together to watch movies on the really big screen.  People usually clap after to show their support and acknowledge the hard work of the filmmakers, cast and crew. It’s only a couple of hours long and I’ll make sure to reserve you a ticket for our early show so that you are home in time for bed.

Best kept secret to making OIFF run smoothly:
An incredible group of selfless volunteers and a smooth bottle of 12-year-old single malt Macallan.

What should I bring?
Your enthusiasm for independent film, an open mind and appreciation for film as a medium.

Who should I bring?
Your favourite film buddy. Kind of like a concert buddy, you can’t just take anyone to the show.

What should I leave at home?
Your judgment and everything you expect OIFF to be.

Who should I leave at home?
Your dog. Everyone else is welcome.

What should I wear?
Something bold and beautiful!

What if it rains?
Pair up your best rain boots with that awesome dress or suit!

What if I’m late?
We are very forgiving.

Who do you expect to see at OIFF?
A wide range of independant films from Ottawa, Canada and around the World!

Who are you surprised to see at OIFF?
Facebook friends that I’ve never met.

Where do you see OIFF in five years?
Pretty much in the same place, but a little more streamlined, less casual which will be a bit of shame. I like the guerrilla style, but I know it won’t last.  Eventually everything becomes a corporate conglomerate because everyone conforms. I hate conformity, I hate rules.  Eventually I may have to follow them but I’ll fight the traditional corporate festival route as long as I can.  Keeping OIFF fun and fresh as long as I can!

If money was no object, how would you change OIFF?
I’d fly in Richard Kelly and ask him what inspired him to write DONNIE DARKO and host a panel with Terry Gilliam asking him to share his thoughts on darkness and humanity and how he portrays these ideals through through storylines and film.

I’d safety all of Ottawa’s abandoned buildings, tunnels and warehouses and in one of these venues on different nights to create a unique experience.  Something different than a traditional theatre. Somewhere  we could bring the audience a true unique underground experience.  It would be like the rave location in American Werewolf in Paris, without the American Werewolf, or Paris…or the wolves…or the rave….

How did OIFF change your life?
OIFF made my life even more exciting then it already was – and busier – sometimes I wonder what I was thinking, then I remember that it’s all about having fun.  Film really consumes our lives, we work in film, we make our own films and it’s truly what I live and breathe day in and day out.

How will you gauge success?
I already feel successful.  I have created something that will live on long after I’m not around anymore.

Why do you do this?
For the love of film.

The Ottawa International Film Festival takes place Oct. 2 to 6 at Ottawa Little Theatre, Saint Paul’s University, and Rainbow Cinema.