Digital film festival brings cult classics back to the big screen


Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival is back for its seventh year, offering a variety of sci-fi and fantasy films to the public.

Canada’s only coast-to-coast film festival is bringing cult classics as well as newer releases to the big screen. The films have been completely restored in digital format, often for the first time.

“After 70mm and film went away we wanted to recreate that kind of fan experience, where fans can go back and see their favourite films on the big screen on an annual basis,” said Brad LaDouceur, Cineplex’s vice-president of event cinema. “The festival started in just Toronto and now today it’s in 25 cities.”

The festival stretches from Victoria to St. Johns and has 13 participating locations alone in Ontario.

Films as diverse as Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Labyrinth and True Romance are included in this year’s lineup.


poster collage2“These films are pristine, without scratches, the way the director intended them,” said LaDouceur. “It’s going to be a great experience for our audience.”

A common trait in the festival is pairing old classics with their modern sequels. Mad Max: The Road Warrior is paired up with this year’s Max Max: Fury Road, as is Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan and with the series’ most recent entry, Star Trek: Into Darkness.

The criteria to pair films together does not necessarily mean they belong to same series. Themes, actors and directors are also the inspiration for certain films being screened together.

“It’s strange that we scheduled Labyrinth before David Bowie passed away,” said LaDouceur, which is paired with The Dark Crystal. “The focus was actually supposed to be the director, Jim Henson. Right now it is our number one advanced selling ticket.”

With Kurt Russell back on the big screen in The Hateful Eight, LaDouceur wanted to bring some of his older cult films, Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing to the festival.

The film that LaDouceur is looking forward to seeing the most is the newly remastered version of Runaway Train. “This is an edge of your seat, prison break-out movie with non-stop action,” said LaDouceur.

The Great Digital Film Festival runs from Feb. 5 to 11.

Tickets for the films are $6.99, with an additional 10% discount when purchasing tickets for two, three or four films and a 15% discount for purchasing tickets to more than five films.