Drive-in movie theatres across the country have been experiencing a renaissance this summer, and one group is taking the opportunity to highlight Canadian content.
Made/Nous, a national campaign that celebrates the works of Canadian film, television, video game and digital entertainment creators, recently launched its Summer Blockbuster Drive-In Series. All the films featured will highlight Canada's contributions to some of the biggest hits of the last few years.
Saskatoon-born actor and media personality Tanner Zipchen is an ambassador for Made/Nous. He says the drive-in series is an opportunity for Canadians to take pride in how much this country has contributed to the international media landscape.
"This [series] is born out of what Made does best, and that is just celebrate Canadian content — whether it's film, television, video games or digital entertainment," he said.
"They do a great job of celebrating what we do here in Canada. And I think people will be surprised to learn, maybe, how much we actually contribute to these industries."
The first film in the summer drive-in series is 2016's sci-fi hit Arrival, which was directed by Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve and shot in that province. There will be a free showing at the Twilite Drive In in Wolseley, Sask., at 9:20 p.m. CST on Tuesday night.
Zipchen is looking forward to people coming out and celebrating Canada at the drive-in.
"It's a great source of pride to know that we were part of something that is celebrated by the world," he said.
"So whether it's Deadpool in Vancouver or Star Trek being shot in Toronto, Canada's got a foot in so many amazing, amazing things.… And we've got some of the best writers, some of the best visual effects artists, some of the best directors and actors right here in our own country. It's cool to celebrate that. "
Along with featuring Canadian talent and locations, Zipchen also thinks Arrival is a particularly topical movie to watch during this pandemic.
"With Arrival, we're seeing this alien invasion, but it's really more about communication and countries putting their differences aside to tackle something together in the most effective way," he said.
"And I feel like, oddly enough, Arrival seems to fit back in with what's happening in the world right now."
The Summer Blockbuster Drive-In Series is currently scheduled to continue into early September, though upcoming titles have not yet been announced.
"There's a handful of films made in Canada, I think, people will be surprised to know we had a hand in," Zipchen teased. "I'm excited for one in particular that was actually shot in Toronto."
And while many in the entertainment industry continue to struggle with the impacts of the pandemic, Zipchen hopes putting the spotlight on Canadian content can help bolster the industry throughout the country — and in the Prairies in particular.
"It's a massive industry here in Canada," he said. "Province to province, no matter where you go, we're making amazing things and we're contributing so much."