Lovers of the silver screen are in for a special treat during this year's winter film series, which the Kamloops Film Society has left up to the people.
This year marks the event's 40th anniversary, and the organizing group is celebrating with an award-winning line-up, which was determined through an in-theatre and online poll conducted last fall.
The poll's most popular film, which launches the series on Thursday, is Marc Forster's adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's acclaimed novel The Kite Runner.
"The society first screened the film in 2008 to two packed houses, and we expect a similar attendance this time around," said society board chair Tom Friedman.
The film portrays the childhood relationship between two Afghani best friends, Amir and Hassan, which is shattered by an act of betrayal and a resulting catastrophe.
Twenty years later, Amir returns to his homeland from the U.S. and finds Afghanistan under the brutal regime of the Taliban.
He seeks redemption for what has happened in the past he has struggled so hard to bury, and is given one last chance to make peace.
The other most popular movie to arise from the poll was Amélie, which closes the film series on Feb. 21.
The story of a shy waitress who breaks free from her social isolation and interacts with a diverse group of eccentric personalities has captivated audiences since its release in 2001.
Nominated for five Academy Awards and the recipient of numerous European awards, Amélie showcases Audrey Tautou in the title role for a spellbinding performance.
"There are many good reasons that KFS audiences voted for this film as its favourite of the past 40 years," said Friedman.
In addition to the people's choice picks, the society is also supporting the Kamloops premieres of two films in partnership with Literary Outreach and the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival.
On Jan. 24, the society hosts a screening of Play Again, presented by Literacy in Kamloops (LinK) as part of Family Literacy Week.
At a time when children spend more time in the virtual world than the natural world, Play Again unplugs a group of media savvy teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure, documenting the wonder that comes from time spent in nature and inspiring action for a sustainable future.
Admission is by donation to Loonies for Literacy.
On Feb. 7, the society hosts Western, which brings together key works by artists who have addressed the idea of the "west" and the "western" in diverse and complex ways.
The event is in conjunction with the Kamloops Art Gallery and Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, a non-profit media arts organization founded in 2011 to support Indigenous film and media artists and productions in the Coast Salish Territory of Vancouver.
All films are shown at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre at 5th Avenue and Victoria Street. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Moviemart, 444 St. Paul Street, or at the door.
An annual $2 membership in the Kamloops Film Society, which is also available at Moviemart or at the door, is required for admission.