This February, the CAT campus played host to StoreyHive ‘Reel Youth Community Project’ winners’ workshop, which included a group of our own talented Digital Filmmaking students!
On the weekend of February 22-23, CAT’s campus was swarmed by eager StoreyHive ‘Reel Youth Community Project’ winners, here for a development workshop. Over 30 participants from schools and colleges in the Okanagan (including CAT’s own Fifth Productions) came together to develop their projects, team build and network.
The workshop was led by Mark Vonesch, Director of Reel Youth, who was joined by Mariam Barry, Reel Youth Program Facilitator and Film Editor, and Dan Pierce, Reel Youth Program Facilitator and Mentor.
“This project is a partnership between Reel Youth and Telus Storeyhive where we are building capacity in young filmmakers living in the Okanagan,” explains Mark. “We are giving away $100,000 in ten $10,000 chunks for youth filmmaking teams to make a film addressing issues such as cyber-bullying, online connection vs disconnection, and online safety. They get the $10,000 to make their film, and they also get connected with a mentor who supports them through this process.”
“Our film project is about tec addiction,” says George Spalding, from CAT’s winning team. “As tec has evolved we have gotten more and more dependent on it, so we are trying to portray that in the most real way possible. It’s a silent addiction that not many people know they have until something happens to their phone, or they start craving Facebook.”
“This is an Okanagan-based pilot project, which is going to grow. We had 50 applications which we narrowed down to 10 winners. We were looking for youth who want to use film to create positive change, telling stories that are important and have audiences be impacted by them,” explains Vonesch .
“We also wanted uplifting diverse voices, making sure we have a range of experiences reflected in our filmmaking teams,” says Mariam. “And giving those young people opportunities to tell stories from their communities, or stories that are maybe not that often told.”
“Making sure we have indigenous voices here, queer voices here,” adds Vonesch. “Making sure we have some people of color, as well as a wide variety of ages.”
“The Reel Youth people were really knowledgeable and really nice… It’s a really great opportunity for us to get our names out as filmmakers – especially so close to graduation.George Spalding, CAT Digital Filmmaking Student
“Some of these teams – like the one from CAT – have got a lot of skills coming to us, some of them are very early filmmakers. It’s really about them producing films about these issues, going through a creative process together where they are going to have to learn budgeting, how to work through conflict, tell a story and build their technical skills A lot of these kids want to end up being filmmakers, and this is an opportunity for them to get a big boost.”
“It was really cool to be more experienced because we got to help out a lot of people that didn’t know how to do a script, or what to do with a camera lens. It was really nice to take on the big brother role and just help out people who were feeling overwhelmed with the project,” explains Georgia.
“The Reel Youth people were really knowledgeable and really nice. They definitely helped when we were pitching our ideas – they had a lot of good ideas to bounce off of. It’s a really great opportunity for us to get our names out as filmmakers – especially so close to graduation. And being able to make change was also another real driving force for us.”
Words: Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie