Young Greater Trail filmmakers are making their mark this weekend at an under-19 film festival ready to roll at the Royal Theatre.
The U19 Film Festival will showcase 26 original short films from an array of categories –sports, drama, documentary, animation and environmental – which will be judged at the gala event held at the Trail theatre from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday.
The youth will be vying for $1,300 in cash prizes and the judges’ choice grand prize – a Canon Vixia HV40 camcorder.
Rossland’s 13-year-old Mackenzie Flood is among her peers putting work on display. She picked up a camera this fall and has found a passion for visual story telling ever since.
“Most movies have a lesson but some movies are harder to see the lesson, kind of like mine, so you really have to dig deep,” she said.
Flood has submitted a documentary called “Creatora” that follows the story of a bird that lives in the Kootenay tundra.
The bird’s story comes to life with her reenacting the species with help from her friend Madeline Grace-Wood, 13, filming some of the content.
She also has created “Madeline’s Musical,” an entry for the drama category that explores how life would be with a constant melody of musical stalkers trailing behind.
“It may get annoying at times because there is a posse behind her wherever she goes and at the end she gets really fed up with it and something really great happens or bad, depending how you look at it,” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Caelum Scott from Rossland likes the creative freedom filmmaking offers, especially during the editing process.
He has two submissions for the documentary category – “Dunny 2” shows a quick glance into a Grade 6/7 art project while “I’m Reading A Book” captures what happens in the book aisles when the librarian isn’t looking.
This is the first year the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) has partnered with the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology to bring the youth content to the big screen. Teaming up with the non-profit society that fosters a culture that values science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship was a great fit for the grassroots society that operates on a shoestring budget. But the festival would not have been possible without support from several sponsors.
“The U19 film festival is an important celebration as it provides an opportunity for youth who are involved in the arts to have their work taken seriously,” said Rachael Roussin, RCAC administrator. “This is important because we live in an area where sports tend to take centre stage.”
A youth team made up of 16 young volunteers from Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley have been involved in all facets of planning from making the final program, deciding on the judging criteria, helping with judging, running the event, screening films and more.
“I think it’s good because kids can try and have fun with it and then they might get more inspired to do filmmaking when they’re older,” said Jordan Allen, 11, who sits on this committee with 12-year-olds Keegan Fry and Aidan Smith.
After taking in a pre-screening at the Miners’ Hall last week, the teens are pumped for their big debut and hope to attract a large crowd for the real thing.
The $5 event includes a presentation by “Life Cycles” filmmaker and photographer Ryan Gibb, food and beverages.
For more information, visit www.kast.com