Backup singers next subject of Rotary film series

20 Feet From Stardom will be shown Nov. 7 at the Columbia Theatre.

The next film in the Rockies Film Series, put on by Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, documents background vocalists of famous singers. That film is 20 Feet From Stardom and it will be shown Nov. 7 at the Columbia Theatre.

Darryl Bishop, film committee chairperson for the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, was excited about the new show.

“It is a movie about backup singers from the last number of years,” Bishop explained. “They stand 20 feet from centre stage and they belt out the hits with Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger or whomever else. We know their voices on the records that we hear, but we don’t know who they are.”

The movie profiles these people, some of which choose to be there and like, Bishop said, but some would like to be 20 feet forward in the starring role.

“We bring in films in association of partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival. We bring in films that wouldn’t ordinarily screen in Cranbrook,” he said.

The film series has been running for almost a decade and reception is usually good with 120 people coming out on average. The films are screened at the Columbia Theatre. The series consists of four film screenings – one each in October, November, January and February. The series complements the Rockies Film Festival going into its 16th year this spring.

Funds raised go into Sunrise Rotary’s programs for youth.

“We fund five scholarships with the funds,” Bishop said. “We also support youth exchange with Rotary youth scholarships which is a leadership program for young people.”

The series came as an addition to the film festival. It was started by Sunrise Rotary member Bill Gibbon almost 16 years ago. His daughter, Sharon Gibbon was involved in filmmaking and cinema. When she passed away, they decided that if they made any profits they would make a scholarship in her honour.

“That was the first scholarship for student of the arts,” Bishop said. “The series then started years later as a result and the scholarships have been expanded to five.”

Tickets for 20 Feet From Stardom are being sold at Lotus Books for $10, but can also be picked up for $12 at the door. The screenings do occasionally sell out so it’s best to be safe and get your ticket beforehand.

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