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How to Experience YKIFF [Your Guide]

Yellowknife International Film Fest

Yellowknife knows films. This wonderful city has many talented filmmakers, producers, directors, actors and on goes the list. It is a place where many seem to find inspiration or use it as a kicking off point for other creative works. While at the same time, with 8 months of dark cold nights, the everyday Yellowknifer also has much experience with films in the form of hours viewed.

The Yellowknife International Film Festival has now been kicking around for a decade and has taken its place at the end of September/early October as an annual event that must be attended by all.

Our goal with Yellowknife Online is to ensure that residents and visitors alike make the most of their Yellowknife experience regardless of how long that might be here. So in true form, we were approached by YKIFF to help put together a guide on how to best experience YKIFF. Below are our findings. It might not be a complete guide, it never is, so if you have any advice of your own, please add it in the comments. Now… on with the show!

Figure Out What to Watch

Study the Schedule

This should be the first thing you do. Go to the YKIFF website, Facebook Page and look at the schedule. Read the descriptions, plan with friends and know the locations of each film. Most of the film trailers can be found right on the festival website.

Yellowknife International Film Festival

How to Decide Where to Go

Throughout the festival, there will often be multiple films being shown at the same time, one at each venue, so making a decision about where to go is even more important. Here are some considerations:

Popcorn or Wine

Do you want popcorn or wine? Capitol Theatre will cover that craving for the salty snack while NACC will indulge those looking for a classier beverage.

Do As The Friends Do

If you are indecisive, take a poll with your friends. Find out what film most people want to see and go there.

Yellowknife International Film Festival

Where to get Tickets

Each year the YKIFF simplifies how to get tickets. Starting in 2018 the festival is selling all their tickets through Event Bright. If you navigate their schedule on their website you will have the opportunity to buy tickets for those specific films.

Festival Pass?

Every year the Yellowknife International Film Festival offers those die-hard film buffs the chance to save some money by purchasing the Festival Pass. Generally, the pass allows you to access a certain number of films at a slightly reduced rate.

To get a Festival Pass, go to the festival website homepage, click “Buy Tickets” and then select the festival pass. There are more details that you will need to know, such as where to pick up the pass, so be sure to read the fine print.

Yellowknife Film Festival

What to Bring

This isn’t rocket science; you’ve seen movies before. This is essentially the same thing, but here are some good to knows about viewing films at each venue.

Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre is simple. Bring cash. The concession only accepts cash. There is an ATM on site but avoid those fees and plan ahead. This theatre has also been known to be cool. Bring a sweater if desired.


NACC, like Capitol Theatre, also only accepts cash, so if you want that glass of wine, bring the paper stuff.

Where to Spot YKIFF Celebrities

We have it on pretty good authority that some of those YKIFF celebs will be frequenting the following local establishments. So if you want to mingle with the stars, start here:

The Black Knight Pub – 49th Street – Across from Shoppers Drugmart.

Twit – 4915 50 Street

Birchwood Coffee – 49th Street

NWT Brewing/The Woodyard – Old Town, Franklin Ave and Hamilton

YKIFF Must Do’s & Etiquette

Other than just watching films there are some other events and information you should really know about this little thing called YKIFF.

  • PITCH THIS! – This is your chance to become a movie star. If you have an idea, you can pitch it to YKIFF and NorthwesTel for the chance to make it a reality. Learn more on the YKIFF website. DO IT!
  • Check out the workshops – Each year there is a handful of special events and workshops that should not be overlooked. If you are wanting to take your YKIFF experience to the next level, this is how. This is your chance to get up close and personal with some of your idol filmmakers. Find out more at ykfilmfest.com/workshops
  • Show up earlier, especially to NACC – Do yourself a favour and show up to events at least 30 minutes prior. Have a glass of wine. Relax. You’ll get a seat.

Do you have something to add to our YKIFF guide? We want to hear it. Leave us a comment or two.


About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, writer, baker, and Yellowknife Advocate who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed YkOnline.ca. A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.

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