Hub City Cinema Society president Zachary Tannar discussed his vision for the group at its recent annual general meeting. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Hub City Cinema Society marks five years nurturing local filmmakers

Society president Zachary Tannar discussed his vision at annual general meeting

Zachary Tannar says Nanaimo’s Hub City Cinema Society has come a long way, but there are still places to go.

HCCS, a non-profit organization that promotes and provides support and resources to local filmmakers, held its fifth annual general meeting in a VIU lecture hall on May 31. As the person who filled out the documents to incorporate the organization in 2013, Tannar said the anniversary means a lot.

“Obviously it’s a pretty big achievement. It felt like a big achievement just creating the organization. It felt like a big achievement getting past one year,” he said, adding that the group has established a strong foundation on which to build.

“We’re going be aiming much bigger than we were before, I think, and we’ve always had a set plan for what we want to achieve. We’ve gotten halfway there and now it’s just putting noses to the grindstone and getting a lot more people involved.”

Over the summer the HCCS will hold a series of meetings to create a five-year strategic plan. Tannar said his vision is for the society to have the people and funding in place to operate as a self-sustaining organization.

Due to the work load, Tannar resigned his position as executive director and president Maxwell Dowie stepped down as well, only for them to swap positions after director elections. As president, Tannar will now focus on grant writing and other matters of funding, while Dowie handles the day-to-day running the society.

Tannar said a priority for HCCS is to move to a larger studio space than it currently has at the China Steps and to acquire more professional equipment for filmmakers to borrow, like lights and cameras.

“We’ve built sets in our studio but of course [it’s up] one week and then we have to tear it all down because we have workshops happening the next week,” he said.

At the meeting, Tannar highlighted the group’s largest event of the past year, its inaugural two-day Cinefest film festival, held at Malaspina Theatre in November. The festival attracted around 150 spectators. In the spirit of aiming higher, Tannar announced that this year’s Cinefest will be held at the Avalon cinema at Woodgrove Centre.

“That’s the movie experience you want is to walk into a movie theatre and you’ll have the best image quality, best sound quality and it’s just that feeling,” he said.

“I think that was my goal as a filmmaker. I just want to see my movie, buy a ticket, go watch it in a movie theatre.”

As the organization looks to grow, Tannar said volunteers are needed to fill roles within the society in areas like business, events, marketing and membership. Those interested in learning more about Hub City Cinema Society can visit www.hubcitycinema.ca. Tannar said he thinks of the society as a potluck.

“Everyone brings stuff and you get a lot of variety, a lot of diversity … and the more people who come and contribute, bring food, the more awesome the feasts we all get to have,” he told the assembled members.

“Hopefully five years from now we’re going to have a lot to celebrate. We’ll be feasting on all our successes.”


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