Hundreds came to the Regina Public Library for a look at something new to Saskatchewan: puppet films. It was all part of Regina’s first ever International Puppet Underground Film Festival, where artists from all over Saskatchewan were invited to tell the stories of our province through puppetry. If you haven’t heard of puppet films before, that’s because they’re just becoming known here.
“I’m hoping that now that we have these films to send out to different festivals across Canada and get them seen… So it’s kind of putting Saskatchewan on the map as becoming a puppet movement,” said filmmaker Kelly-Ann Riess.
As it turns out, puppet films are an up and coming art that’s already popular in other places in Canada and around the world.
This festival is small, but despite being the first event of its kind, hundreds came to take part and learn something new.
“I think I was thinking maybe some very simple shadow puppets would emerge but then we start seeing plasticized people and projections, and it’s really inspiring,” said festival goer Claire Hornung.
Organizers say that puppets aren’t just for kids, and to prove it, they have some ambitious plans for their next film festival.
“The other thing that we’d like to add in 2015 would be a puppet slam, which is a late night adult x-rated puppet cabaret for adults,” said Chrystene Ells, the festival’s artistic director.
But whatever the age, filmmakers say there’s something about puppets that appeals to all of us.
“It makes you feel like a kid again,” Ells said. “it draws you into these little worlds. It makes you feel like you’re being pulled into it.”