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Reel them in

Local filmmakers get opportunity to take the next step



Short Script Analysis is one of 10 workshops hosted as part of the 2005 Whistler Film Festival (WFF) and festival founder Shauna Hardy Mishaw encourages local filmmakers to take advantage of the superstar lineup of workshop leaders.

All workshop leaders are critically-acclaimed professionals in the film industry. And aspiring filmmakers could never dream of getting an audience with most of them, let alone the insider expertise they will being providing at the workshops.

"It’s the opportunity for them to really learn from the best in the industry," Hardy Mishaw said. "It’s not the Telus filmmaker showdown. It’s the real thing; the real world of filmmaking. It’s for people that are looking to take the next step. I really would like to see the local community come out and experience what film is like in the real world sense."

Ken Hegan, mediator for the Short Script Analysis workshop, is well acquainted with the real world as a journalist for publications such as Rolling Stone, GQ, Toro and Globe and Mail, as well as being a Vancouver filmmaker and instructor at the Vancouver Film School. His two previous short films, Farley Mowat Ate My Brother and William Shatner Lent Me His Hairpiece , screened at 90 plus festivals, were nominated for Gemini Awards and were broadcast on CBC TV, The Comedy Network, Knowledge Network and Space. His newest short film, Good Times Volume One , will screen at this year’s festival.

He said while most of his students come in with dreams of producing the next $1 million screenplay or television series, the short film is the best calling card for filmmakers just starting out. He listed countless screenwriters who all had humble beginnings in short films, including Wes Anderson who wrote, produced and directed Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou , and the South Park boys whose television show was launched from an animated Christmas-card-like short film shown over the net.

"Short films are a great launching pad for so many talented filmmakers and it starts with a strong script," he said.

More than 30 script submissions were entered in the Short Script Analysis and Competition, presented by Citytv’s CineCity: Vancouver Stories. B.C. screenwriters, who were of a minority, were asked to submit an eight-minute short film script based on the theme of transformation. Four winners were chosen, including Rajbir Grewal, Claudia Molina, Belle Mott and Andrew Genaille.

One project will be awarded a $5,000 development prize. The winners will also have the opportunity to work with the broadcaster to potentially pre-license the film and receive a $2,500 film grant from Kodak.

Professional actors will read from the four scripts at the workshop, giving audiences the first glimpse at a soon-to-be produced film.

"Your script becomes this living thing in front of an audience," Hegan said of the reading process. "It is so much fun as an audience member to see these really cool ideas and great dialogue unfold before any money or production comes together. You get to see the future of Canadian film."

The other nine WFF workshops include International Sessions with The Global Marketplace: Co-Ventures, Co-Financing and International Sales, Trends in North American and International Distribution, as well as The Rebirth of Canadian Dramatic Television, New Directions in Documentary, Digital Demo: HD for Indies, Inside the Actor’s World, Feature Script Reading, and Challenges and Opportunities for Short Film.

For more information or for tickets, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com or call 604-628-0298.