About Us

Photo of the OPEN CINEMA team Kirk Schwartz, Catlin Lewis, Mandy Leith, Peter Sandmark

The OPEN CINEMA team celebrate! Kirk Schwartz (tech), Catlin Lewis (event coordinator), Mandy Leith (founder & program director) and Peter Sandmark (MediaNet Executive Director).

Launched in September 2003, OPEN CINEMA screens thought-provoking films in cafe style venues, followed by open forum discussion with invited guests on the issues addressed by the films.

The OPEN CINEMA season runs from October through May each year. We currently screen most of our films at the Victoria Event Centre (www.1415broad.ca) which is now fully accessible, and includes a cash bar.

Inspired by documentary filmmaker Mandy Leith’s vision, this innovative and popular community screening event has been an outstanding success, consistently drawing capacity crowds of all ages and significant interest from the filmmaking community, sponsors, local press and grassroots organizations.

The OPEN CINEMA vision includes exploring the use of film, video and the Internet as a catalyst for community building, forming a collaborative global network for locally-owned community screening initiatives and developing alternative funding and distribution models for documentary film.