River Valley Film Circuit draws sellout crowd for inaugural screening

The movie ‘Peace By Chocolate’ proved extra sweet for the River Valley Film Circuit Sunday, Jan. 15, as it delivered a sold-out crowd to the group’s inaugural screening.

“We were hopeful for a good crowd, but we didn’t expect a sellout,” said Doug Dickinson, the circuit’s programmer.

Speaking briefly before the film, he thanked those attending, Atlantic Cinemas’ owners and staff, film circuit sponsors, and the group’s predecessor, Films in the Valley.

Dickinson said they ran into difficulties surrounding the delivery of the film, which the courier mistakenly delivered to Woodstock, Ontario. Thanks to some last-minute scrambling, they could screen a version delivered electronically.

“A big shout out to Rachel and Chris Bain of Atlantic Cinemas for hosting us and dealing with the technical aspects of this screening,” said Dickinson.

Crowds lined up in the cinema lobby before the movie as film circuit members sold tickets for ‘Peace By Chocolate’ or flex passes for future movies this season.

In February, the film circuit will screen the documentary ‘Buffy Saint-Marie, Carry It On,’ about the renowned Indigenous singer, songwriter and activist.

March through May, the film group will offer a trio of acclaimed feature films destined to make names for themselves during award season. It will present ‘Triangle of Sadness’ in March, ‘Living’ in April, and 'Decision to Leave' in May.

‘Peace By Chocolate’ — an emotional Canadian feature film based on a true story about Syrian refugees who started a successful chocolate factory in Antigonish, Nova Scotia — proved an ideal starting point for the new film group.

Following the film, which drew applause from the large audience, representatives of the film circuit drew door prize tickets for Peace By Chocolate bars.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun