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As cannabis continues its path forward and the industry continues growing, more and more unique products, businesses, events, and festivals are popping up to serve, educate, and entertain both those who are new to the plant and those already familiar with it.
Two of those such festivals revolve around film—both the New York Cannabis Film Festival and the newly created CannaBus Culture Film Fest. We recently had the chance to sit down with Tim Mattson, founder and director of both, to talk about the festivals and how they’re changing the conversation around cannabis.
So what is the CannaBus Culture Film Fest?
The CannaBus Culture Film Fest (CCFF) is a traveling cannabis-themed film festival that shares in the positive aspects of cannabis culture through a community film screening experience. CCFF presents cannabis-themed movies from a variety of independent filmmakers to cities all across the United States.
And how does it differ from the larger New York City Cannabis Film Festival you put on?
Well unlike CCFF, the New York City Cannabis Film Festival (NYCCFF) is not a traveling film fest—it’s home is and will always be New York City. The CannaBus Culture Film Fest, on the other hand, is meant to share all the great cannabis-themed movies we come across with audiences in cities outside New York. Hence the “bus” title.
Each festival really has its own advantages. NYCCFF is advantageous for its New York City audience, which includes multiple distributors and production companies as well as the chance to watch movies with cannabis celebrities. CCFF is advantageous for having a larger, broader audience reach while offering filmmakers an opportunity to use grassroots marketing across the country at each city the CannaBus tour screens at.
What are some of the types of films you plan on showing at CCFF?
We plan on showing Short Films of just about every genre along with two Feature Films that each represent the fiction and nonfiction categories. Welcome to Willits is a Horror Feature Film by Timothy Ryan that takes place in the deep woods of the Emerald Triangle in Northern California and also features Dolph Lundgren. The residents struggle to fight off repeated attacks and abductions by mysterious creatures that have been plaguing them for years. When a lost group of campers finds themselves caught in the carnage, survival becomes their only goal.
The second feature, Summer of the Cans, is a documentary about one summer in 1987 when thousands of cans containing 1.5 kg of high-quality Thai marijuana surfaced along one of the hippest beaches of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. Taking place in the late 80’s, it shines a unique light on the unraveled and wild criminal, economic, and behavioral events of that time period.
Some of our Short Films, like the Comedy Recalculating, feature surprisingly clever appearances by celebrities such as Cloris Leachman, while the Sci-Fi Comedy Bossman from the U.K. offers brilliant storytelling twists. All of our short films are truly amazing and should not be missed. The Short films are programmed so that they play first before each Feature Film presentation.
Any noteworthy people and/or celebrities involved?
We don’t have any celebrity hosts for CCFF as of yet, but do have a few possibilities in the works. We’ll definitely have someone interesting that will make the night’s entertainment truly feel like the celebration that it is. Other than that it’s the celebrity appearances by the likes of Dolph Lundgren in the Feature Film Welcome to Willits and Cloris Leachman in the Short Film Recalculating.
Does one need to be a cannabis lover or film buff to appreciate the festival?
Definitely not. Whether you’re a cannabis rookie or connoisseur, a casual movie watcher or a seasoned film critic, we’ve programmed films that will take you on an emotional roller coaster and leave you with both your insides and outsides hurting from laughter. Our goal is to make sure the films entertain and educate on the subject of cannabis.
Gotcha. Well truthfully, you had us at cannabis film festival, but yeah, we’re definitely in now. So when and where is it?
The 2nd annual CannaBus Culture Film Fest tour kicks off on June 22nd, 2017 at the Wythe Hotel Cinema in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY. The first screening is from 5pm – 8pm and the second is from 8:30PM – 11PM. Details and film lineup can be found on our ticket page via Film Freeway at filmfreeway.com/festival/cannabusculturefilmfestival/tickets
We also still have On-Screen Thank You Credits available to get your name or business’s name on the big screen in NYC before the movies play. They’re currently available for $30 via our ticket page.
Awesome. And where’s the next stop on the tour? What other cities are planned?
The next stop on our tour is Fort Collins, Colorado in September 2017. We’ll be screening films from the NYC collection along with several others. The festival makes its final stop in Portland, Oregon for film screenings in December 2017. Exact dates, times, and film lineups will be posted on our Film Freeway page at filmfreeway.com/festival/cannabusculturefilmfestival and our website at www.cannabusculturefilmfest.com.
We’re also planning a whole new tour for next year that we plan on kicking off during the 420 holiday in a legal state. Be sure to keep checking the site for details and when the tour will be hitting your city next.