by Craig Stein
Theatre 5 at the AMC Forum was packed to capacity on April 3 in support
of the first annual Montreal Student Video and Film Festival.
Blossom Stephens, Shanna Parisien and Jasmine Goyer were the festival
producers. Stephens said, The festival grew out of our desire to
get credit for an internship program, but instead of working for
a company, they felt they could learn more by filling a niche in the film
Stephens secured the AMC Forum as a venue because she used to be a supervisor.
The organizers added corporate sponsorships, savvy advertising, TV and
radio spots, a knack for shrewd budgeting and a grand prize: an all-expense
paid trip to the Toronto Film Festival.
Sarah Arruda won awards for best public service announcement and best
documentary. In the short doc Something Spectacular, Arruda and
Cate Cadbury profile a day in the life of impersonator Jimmy Faille.
Life presents challenges of a different nature for the main characters
in A Luge Son, by Bobby Shore and Darren Curtis, which picked up
the prize for best narrative. The film tells the story of a father who
imposes his own dreams on his son. The tone is comic and poignant, with
the filmmakers drawing inspiration from the absurdities of their own lives.
Shore and Curtis began collaborating artistically in Grade 5, when Darrens
mother gave them an old VHS camera.
The award for best overall film was presented to Mark Lomond for his
animated short Alright. The film is a whimsically surreal, visual
interpretation of the song Alright by the band Pilot, and the protagonist
is a ghost who documents city life from the back seat of a taxi. The film
has been selected for festivals in Ireland, France, England, and the Czech
At the post-festival party, Goyer encouraged fellow students to take advantage of these festivals, submit your work, and keep going, and Stephens advised them to go beyond what is required in the classroom.