College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Digital Filmmaking program is celebrating five years of intersession films with a special viewing on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre.
Instructor Peter Buckle says the program makes every effort to centre the ?lm projects on Newfoundland culture through local stories, ones that may have otherwise been forgotten. It’s something they plan to continue with the 2017 film.
“In the past five years, the students of the Digital Filmmaking program have told stories from our area, from our history and culture as part of their intersession semester film project. All of the students as well as the instructors work together in creating a film,” Buckle said.
“We have always shown our films individually at the Arts and Culture Centre, but this year they contacted us because they thought it would be interesting for a showing of all five films.”
Buckle says the night will have an added feature, as it is also when the topic for the 2017 intersession film will be selected.
“It’s a celebration of the five films we’ve done in the past, but we will also have the audience vote to select our next topic. We get a lot of community support from Stephenville and Corner Brook so we thought this year instead of choosing a topic ourselves, we would have a ballot with five topics and the audience can vote on what they want to see. By the end of the night we will announce what this year’s film project will be.”
First-year student Marcus Smith of Pasadena thinks giving the audience the control to pick the next project is a great way to get them invested in the upcoming film.
“I think the idea of giving them that control, when the product is meant for that audience to begin with, is a fantastic idea,” Smith said. “As a class we can get in the middle of discussing what we think would be a good idea and the class can be divided on what to do, so this alleviates that stress as well. If it was me, I would be more invested in it as an audience member and I’m really interested to see what they pick for us. I think it’s going to be great!”
In addition to the vote for the upcoming film project, the night will also include a door prize giveaway and a question and answer period with representatives from the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, something CNA’s Dean of Academics, Applied Arts & Tourism, Brenda Tobin says is a boost for the programs place in the provincial film industry.
“I am very proud of the five years of meaningful film projects that have been part of our program, and the informed hard work and teamwork of our students and instructors,” said Tobin. “With the exciting recent revisions to our program through extensive consultations with stakeholders, particularly our industry partners, the excitement continues to build around these invaluable filmmaking experiences. I am really looking forward to Friday night's celebration and what will come next in 2017.”
Previous intersession films to be shown after the ballot has been cast include 2012’s A Faery Tale
, a film about the mythical Newfoundland Faeries; 2013’s A Mattie Mitchell Story
, the story of legendary guide and trapper Mattie Mitchell; 2014’s A Familiar Stranger
about local legend Mosey Murrin; 2015’s Emile’s Legacy
, the story of world-renowned fiddler Emile Benoit and his encounter with the band Figgy Duff; and 2016’s High Alert
, a story about the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
With such high calibre films already produced, Smith says the pressure is on for the class to repeat their successes.
“We want to shoot for better, and these classes have done great work in the past so the bar is set pretty high,” Smith said. “Things have been going good for our class and crew this year so we are all pretty excited.”
The films will be shown at the Arts and Culture Centre in Stephenville on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For tickets visit www.artsandculturecentre.com/stephenville
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic