Volume 91, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1998

Leave it to Weaver


Westerm film supremacy on the line

By Clare Elias
Gazette Staff

It's finally here. The event that all Western filmmakers and film lovers have been waiting for: The Annual Western Film Festival.

Last year's event drew a packed house at the McKellar Room and this year's attendance could mimic last year's success.

"We are concerned about audience attendance because of a lot of other events going on," Janina Falkowska divulges. As a Western film professor and event organizer, she has a good idea of what it takes to get a film into the coveted event.

"There are 40 entries, we expected more but some students didn't finish on time," Falkowska claims. "This festival is very beneficial (for students) because it is a hands-on experience and you get to see the technical side of film production," she explains, alluding to the notion that only practical experience teaches students what it takes to make a film.

This year's festival, the fourth of its kind, will exhibit the work of 15 budding filmmakers in the categories of narrative, experimental and documentary, with five in each section.

Running just over two hours with winners announced upon conclusion, the festival is Western's most definitive exhibition of motion picture artistry.

"The quality of the films this year is better than ever before," states Falkowska, adding, that apart from film students, there are entries from visual arts and some other departments. Such a festival shines the spotlight onto the department of film, while recognizing the talents of artistic individuals.

As an arts student, it is often difficult to find a practical outlet for emerging talent. This festival is an opportunity to focus and channel energies into productive fruition. It represents the first step towards the establishment of an effective portfolio that will enhance credibility in the hunt for post-university success.

"The winners of the film festival will each be rewarded with $200," explains Falkowska, as an incentive to attract a wider range of talent for future expositions.

Those dedicated enough to attend this gala will be rewarded with many lucrative door prizes from the wealth of sponsorship garnered by this year's presentation. "'InPrint cooperated extensively in promoting the festival, creating decorative posters and the supply of tickets," says Falkowska.

The door prizes will be given to lucky contestants and range from T-shirts to other quality gifts, says Falkowska. At a modest $2 admission cost, the festival, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., will be a fun and entertaining event not to be missed.

Falkowska says one of the key benefits of this festival is it "will help [those involved] to understand the work of filmmakers." Hard work that remains unrecognized by the viewing public.

The judging panel, chaired by professor Allan Gedalof, will look for stylistic quality and substance in the films. They are faced with the daunting task of selecting a winner from the tightly-paired admissions.

Graphic by Colin Dunne

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998