Why I Chose Dini Petty as our Guest host at the 2015 Muskoka Independent Film Festival?

On Thursday, August 27th we open our 2nd Annual Muskoka Independent Film Festival and  “Dinner with Dini” followed by an eclectic selection of films. Dini is back as our guest host for two reasons. She is a personal friend I met nearly twenty years ago at a party. She was still hosting her national television talk show on CTV and I was on Cottage Life Television. Over the years I have had the opportunity to appear on her show, travel and work together and spend a lot of personal time at each other’s home, cottage, country retreat, apartment etc. Yes, besides myself, I have never met someone who changes residence as often I do.

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This is Dini, myself and a friend of Dini’s named Holly Wood from the Banff Springs Hotel who hired us to create a video for their new spa…circa 1998

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Explaining to Dini on her show that the reason we called our cottage Chateau For Now is that our repair jobs were always good enough for now. Circa 1996

I don’t think it’s any secret that I asked Dini to join us…well, because she has a name that people recognize and it raised the profile of our festival a notch.

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Forget the fact that she had a national TV Show….This is the most popular reason people tell me why they remember Dini Petty….”when she flew a pink helicopter for CKEY radio in Toronto.”

However, it’s what happened during MIFF 2014 is why I asked Dini back for MIFF 2015. Staging a film festival is a lot of organizing, keeping cool and dealing with an assortment of artistic egos. Part of the growing process is figuring our the festival’s “brand”.  Personally I am trying not to zero in on a genre or type of film we present. I want MIFF to be a festival that attracts all sorts of projects from a variety of filmmakers, established and emerging.

This year in particular, I’m finding emerging filmmakers are requiring more attention than those who have been telling stories for years. However, a newby or established, their work is precious to them and requires equal attention. This is where Dini comes in. Even though I have seen her interview major celebrities to world leaders, no better does her ability shine then when she can take an “unknown” and bring out their story as if it’s front page worthy. And this is the magic she brings to MIFF. She can make anyone feel like a star. Since none of the projects boast major starpower (Eric Roberts and Tim Conway the most recognizable),  Dini makes all the filmmakers feel special at the moment. And this is the real reason why she is back for a second year…(plus, she’s willing to stay at my house rather than having to put her up as a fancy hotel! 🙂  It’s always a good time and we still know how to make each other laugh.

On Thursday, Aug 27 starting at 5:30 PM in the Memorial Hall, for only $35 you can join Dini for dinner then sit back and share an artist’s dream and  join in the discussion. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets visit www.MuskokaFilmFestival.com

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