Film festival sparks
UWO Film Festival Nominees
(Director: Mark Campbell)
Arthur Lipsett: Poet of Film
(Director: Amelia Does)
Beyond the Gage
(Directors: Brian Atkinson, Michael Thede)
(Director: Daniel Besharat)
(Director: Nicholas Mussin)
Cosmo Needs More
(Director: Janessa MacIntosh)
Don't Sit In The Apple Juice Seat
(Director: Mike Froussios)
(Directors: Nick Haffie, Emslie & Ryan Marr)
(Director: Brent O'Hagan)
(Director: Anne Sinclair)
(Director: Andres Villar)
...In The Dark
(Director: Allen Chen)
(Director: Tim Gordon)
(Director: Aimée Mitchell)
Towards the Solstice
(Director: Mary Fogarty)
(Director: Jennifer Kruzick)
By Mark Polishuk
If you thought the Oscars were controversial, they've got nothing on the
UWO Film Festival.
This past Monday, the UWO Film Festival, an annual showcase of short films
made by Western and Fanshawe College students, released the slate of films
selected to be shown during the two-day event to be held Mar. 14-15. The
list of nominees has raised some contention among members of the 20-person
selection committee, comprised mostly of Western film students.
90 Percent, directed by Michael Froussios, and Credit Where
Credit Is Due, directed by Matt Huether, were both ruled ineligible
due to a Festival rule which states that all films for this year's competition
had to have been completed after May 1, 2002.
Selection committee member Ben Filippini says they nominated the two films
without any knowledge of the deadline regulations. However, once informed
of the rule, the committee voted 19-1 in favour of nominating the two
films on the grounds that "the date was too arbitrary," according
"The spirit of the rule is fine, since you don't want people submitting
the same stuff every year, but a cut-off date of May 1 basically means
that people who made films in second-semester film classes last year can't
submit their work for the Festival."
Committee member Stephanie Chris said the committee "left the selection
meeting thinking the films were in," but Festival co-directors Tannisha
Lambert and Jordan Poppenk later decided to exclude 90 and Credit.
"Including those two films would open the door for any number of
complaints from students who made films before May 1," Lambert argued.
"[Froussios and Huether] signed their entry form, which stated that
they knew the rules of the Festival before they went in. The deadline
rule was right there, in black and white," Poppenk added.
There has also been some conflict over the inclusion of a "Director's
Pick" made by Lambert and Poppenk.
"There is one film in the Festival that the committee didn't nominate,"
Twelve films were originally nominated by the committee, with three backup
films also named in case the Festival directors happened to rule against
including the Froussios and Huether movies. As it happened, all three
backups plus the Director's Pick were added, bringing the total number
of movies in the Festival to 16.
Lambert says the additions were a matter of scheduling. "When we
added up the total time of the first 12 films, there was still over an
hour left in our allotted time at the theatre. Since there was never a
strict number of nominees that had to be included, we decided to use that
time to show as many films as possible."
Luckily for Froussios, another of his films, Don't Sit In The Apple
Juice Seat, was one of the backup films that made the Festival set
list. According to Filippini, Apple Juice "would've made
the original cut anyway," had it not been for a Festival rule that
prohibits one director from having more than one movie nominated.
Huether, however, has no solo project to his name, though he was heavily
involved in the production of another Festival entry, ...In The Dark,
directed by Allen Chen.
In retrospect, Poppenk admits that the May 1 deadline date was a "mistake"
that is unfortunately too late to correct.
"Future events should definitely use another cut-off date, maybe
as early as the day after the last year's Festival," Poppenk said.
The 2003 UWO Film Festival takes place on Mar. 14-15 at Rainbow Cinemas.