Guelph: Film festival flats

Fashion Royalty by Heather Loney

When planning an outfit for a film festival, visions of walking the red carpet in five-inch stilettos come to mind.  But in the case of the Guelph Festival of Moving Media (November 7 to 9,, walking in flats is perhaps more fitting.

The grassroots festival was revived by a non-profit organization in 2003, and features documentaries not typically covered in mainstream cinema.  The doc that tops my list of must-sees is Surfwise, a film about a successful MD-turned-nomadic surfer. The volunteer-powered festival is concerned with films that promote community discussion rather than premieres and paparazzi, the weekend is not about glamour.  But perhaps this is a just occasion for a trip to IF and new pair of sensible shoes.

Guelph’s IF Footwear Boutique (42 Wyndham St. N., 519-822-3880, is a 14-year-old family-run business.  The store is at times too tempting, carrying brands such as Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden, Aquatalia, and Franco Sarto.  But today I had a pair of shoes in mind, and the self-restraint to back me up.  I shielded my eyes from the wall of knee-high boots, repeating quietly “you’re here for flats…keep walking,” and found my “film festival shoes”:  A pair of blue suede ballet flats by Chinese Laundry with just a little bit of glitz (because who knows, there may be one or two cameras there).

The festival’s closing event will be a panel discussion on the documentary The Waterfront—a film about a small community’s fight against water privatization—and in a moment of satisfying, but dubious logic, I convince myself that the blue in the shoe will be appreciated by my fellow festival-goers.   If only I could rationalize all of my purchases this easily.

Fashion Royalty appears every other Friday. Read Heather’s bio here.

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