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Film Student Attends Banff World Media Festival

News, Student Feature

An opportunity to connect with the most influential people in the film industry.

Recently, one of our Professional Filmmaking students, Sandy Hoekstra, had the opportunity to attend the Banff World Media Festival, a worldwide film industry networking event. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to catch up with Sandy after her return to campus to find out a bit more about this show-stopping event. Read on to discover Sandy’s highlights from the event, how she plans to make her mark in the film industry, and how lightsabers played a role in her in-class learning!

Q: You recently attended the Banff World Media Festival, can you tell us a bit about this event?

A: Banff World Media Festival is an international conference where film industry professionals meet to conduct business and celebrate the annual Rockie Awards. It’s essentially a marketplace for top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press, and media companies. To summarize, it’s a fantastic place for writers, producers, directors, and/or filmmakers in general to network and gain a better understanding of how the industry works.

Q: What was the highlight of this event for you?

A: I had so many highlights while attending this event. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this festival with a fellow producer/actor and friend. Attending events such as these with like-minded and goal-oriented individuals is always a bonus. Another couple of highlights would include attending round tables and panels with big-name industry leaders and having the access to ask them questions directly. Of course the awards gala and partying…or I mean…networking with Craig Robinson and new friends was a considerable highlight as well. 

Q: What was your goal going into this event? 

A: My goals going into this event included project promotion, networking on behalf of the production company that I am a member of, Irisphere Entertainment, and gaining a better sense of the current industry pulse. Attending Banff World Media has provided me with more clarity on road mapping my career.

Q: What are your goals after graduation and how will events like this play a role? 

A: Events like these play a role in reminding me that I’m a small fish in a big sea of filmmakers. The film industry is a place for constant growth, tuns of people to connect with, so many stories to tell, and an incredible amount of creativity to do it. Banff World Media was just the beginning for me, and I plan to be a part of it all. As I write this blog, I’m sitting in the airport headed to the world premiere of a documentary I shot with classmates during my time at school. I feel honoured to have one of my films play at a Canadian International Film Festival and I look forward to many more opportunities to be humbled by the highly talented team of individuals that I continue to collaborate with. Without these collaborations and teamwork, this wouldn’t be possible.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue a career in film? 

A: I chose a career in film because I’ve been filmmaking for most of my life, just not professionally. It was time to upgrade my skillset and leave the word amateur behind. CAT has been a massive stepping stone in achieving that goal. A large shout-out to the instructors.

Q: What has been the highlight of your time in the Professional Filmmaking program so far?

A: The people I’ve met in the Professional Filmmaking program, both fellow classmates and instructors have been my highlight while attending CAT. They’ve taught me so much and constantly continue to inspire and encourage me, even post-graduation. Also, learning how to use Black Magic cameras and edit lightsabers into our hands was prettttttty much awesome too.

Thanks for sharing with us Sandy and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!

Interested in working in the film industry? Make sure to check out the complete program details on our 18-month Professional Filmmaking diploma and get your application in to join the next cohort!