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2021 Festival.

September 24, 25, 26, 2021

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Our Mission

To connect the public to the magic of early filmmaking,
and to support novice filmmakers of the future.

Our Vision

To be the destination for celebrating vintage films,
and to become a premiere resource for information and artifacts related to vintage film.

The Marie Dressler Foundation was established in 1989 to restore and preserve the house where Marie Dressler is believed to have been born. The Foundation, led by Bob Amsbury and Bill Patchett, raised about $400,000 to buy and repair the building, which now houses the Marie Dressler Museum.

Having restored the building, the Foundation convened a committee to organize a festival of Marie Dressler films to show the community why Dressler occupies a unique place in film history. The festival has continued in the following years and now shows films featuring Dressler's contemporaries. More on Marie Dressler.

The Vintage Film Festival, which has been presented since 1992, is organized by a committee of the Marie Dressler Foundation as a fundraising event.

The Festival is held every year on the last weekend in September and presents twelve or thirteen classic films spanning the period from the beginnings of the cinema to “just” half a century ago. The movies chosen span all genres (comedy, drama, musical, adventure, film noir…) and sample the work of the biggest stars and the greatest directors. Typically, each programme also introduces patrons to a great foreign film, and includes two silent classics with live musical accompaniment. The movies start late Friday afternoon and run through to dinnertime on Sunday. For a list of all films shown to date, click here.

VFF Festival 2006Capitol Theatre - VFF Festival 2006The Festival experience also offers the opportunity to hear an interesting speaker at the Brown Bag Lunch on Sunday, buy Festival-themed merchandise, and bid on gift packages in the Silent Auction.

The Festival takes place at Port Hope's historic Capitol Theatre, an “atmospheric” Art Deco movie theatre built in 1930. (Venue location map here).

For more on previous festivals, see our news page. See the program page for information on the movies to be shown this year. Tickets for the coming season go on sale each year in early summer.

Apart from keeping the memory of Marie Dressler alive, the Foundation provides scholarships to students in Northumberland who are planning further education in the arts. Go to the separate site for Marie Dressler and the Foundation for more details.

Festival costs are not covered by ticket revenue - continued funding depends on the generous support of our Sponsors.

See our tickets page.

Mailing List

If you'd like to join our mailing list, we'll keep you informed of news and updates about our program. This mailing list is used strictly for updating you on the Vintage Film Festival and will not be made available to anyone else. Either send us an e-mail (above) or sign yourself up on the positive confirmation mailing list system available here.

Contact Us

For Contact Information, go to our "Contact Us" page.

2021 Committee

Name Portfolio
George Atto Programming
Sital Bailey Fundraising (chair), Promotion & Publicity
Leslie Benson Member at Large
Tom Cruickshank Programme Book Editor, Programming
John Draper Webmaster, Recording Secretary
Terry Foord Programming (chair)
Stewart Granger Member at Large
Lynn Hardy Catering
Rick Hill Chair, Programming, Promotion and Publicity
Cathie Houston Fundraising, Programming, Promotion & Publicity (chair)
Rick Miller Tickets
Larry Williamson Promotion & Publicity


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