Ivey Film Festival entries surpass expectations

High-profile industry judges to adjudicate next week's event

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Ivey Film Festival

Gazette File Photo

INSIDE: THE NEXT STEVEN SPIELBERG? On March 4 the Ivey Film Festival will take place to promote student filmmaking and address contemporary issues. The screenings will begin at 6:45 p.m. in Rm. 1R40 of the Ivey building.

Whether you are a fan of comedies, documentaries or simply just looking for a throwback to your childhood days of Art Attack, the Ivey Film Festival has gathered an eclectic mix of titles for its upcoming event on March 4.

“We have three main goals,” says Gabe Diamond, IFF chairperson. “First, we want to promote well roundedness through student expression and development of multi-media skills. The second goal is to provide a platform for aspiring filmmakers to show their films and interact with industry experts and lastly to provide an extra medium to address contemporary social, economic and political issues.”

The IFF is an attempt to do something a little less traditional at the school and Diamond is no freshman to running these kinds of events. As a senior in high school, he organized the Crescent School Film Festival, an event that has now evolved into the Toronto Student Film Festival.

With a larger budget and more resources, the IFF promises to be a little more extravagant than Diamond’s first festival.

“The best thing about this festival was the chance to bring in industry judges,” he says.

Ivey Building

Greg Mason, vice-president of marketing at Walt Disney Studios in Canada, Carrie Wolfe, vice-president of publicity and promotions for Alliance Films, and Cam Haygarth, executive at CBC, will be judging the films and designating the winners of the competition.

“The judges were our major incentive for young filmmakers. We know that the film and other art industries are really tough to crack into, and the recruiting opportunities are very limited at Western,” Diamond says.

In an effort to make sure all the contestants get an opportunity to talk to the judges one on one, after the festival there will be a wine and cheese event.

Other incentives for filmmakers include the grand prize for Overall Film Excellence, a Canon HD camcorder, among a plethora of other great prizes including a Sony Playstation 3 and a Nintendo Wii.

“The response from students has really exceeded our expectations,” Diamond says. “We were only expecting to get about 20 to 25 films, but the response has been amazing, and somewhat of a double-edged sword.”

Due to the large number of submissions, the IFF will not be able to accommodate all of the films on the day of the festival. As a result, nominations will be sent out a week after the deadline for each of the five categories: Overall Film Excellence, Social Impact Award, CTV People’s Choice Award, Best Comedy and Best Documentary.

While not all of the films will be viewed at the two-hour event, they will be available for viewing on the festival’s website at www.iveyfilmfestival.com.

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