Youths from around the Kootenays had a chance to show off their films Saturday afternoon at the U19 film festival.
The festival, held at the Royal Theatre in Trail for its first year, was the culmination of months of work honing skills for the young filmmakers.
Among the winners for their respective submissions were Vincent Hoang, Andrew Woodward, Mackenzie Flood, Liam Barnes and Chase Hansen.
Erin Handy, from Kootenay Association for Science and Technology, said that the festival turned out really good.
“It exceeded our expectations in terms of the submissions and the quality of the submissions,” Handy said. “So we are more than thrilled and looking forward to doing it again next year.”
This was the first year of the U19 Film Festival.
Handy said it started as an add-on component to the Rossland Mountain Film Festival.
“We took that and stretched it out,” she said.
They start with film workshops in the fall to give the young filmmakers the tools, then they do the REEL youth Film Festival in November as a means to inspire them.
“We realized that November date does not give the kids enough time to actually develop anything of substance or quality,” she said. “We really need to give them that extra time to work on projects and really see their vision through.”
The result of putting the films on the big screen at the Royal Theatre in Trail, is that one, it gives the whole festival a regional component, and two, gives the festival a theatre feel.
“I think there’s something very validating about being able to see your work in a setting,” she said, especially when they dream of making films their future career.
She said that since it was the first year there was some trial.
“I think the first year of anything, you feel your way through,” she said. “I think next year it will be more polished and I’m hoping that there is a little bit of hype about it.”
Handy said it’s not that difficult, and is about equipment, vision and some hard work.
“I’m hoping we inspire some more kids,” she said.
With the youth so comfortable with new technology and it being so accessible, Handy said that kids can relate to it better than past generations.
“There are all of these success stories that we can all see on Youtube or online,” she said. “Technology is an inherent, intrinsic part of our lives now and these kids are better at it then we are.
“They grew up with it, they feel it, they know it. It’s sort of taking that technical role that they’re already confident about and making it their own and doing something creative with it.”