First Seneca 24 Hour Short Film Festival a Success

By: Semyon Dovzhik

Short film has won the first Seneca Cameo 24 Hour Film challenge.

Twelve teams and 37 students took part in the contest. The teams only had 24 hours to create their masterpiece. That time included writing, casting, costume, set design, filming, sound work, and editing. To make it even more challenging, the theme was only disclosed to participants just before their time began. This year the theme of the festival was racing against the machine.

According to the judges’s decision, had the most robust visuals, good storytelling, and it successfully incorporated the theme and the prop of the festival. The judging panel included Brit Ngaw, New York-based filmmaker, hailing from Toronto, Carly Castner from National Film Board of Canada and Maureen Judge, award-winning Toronto based filmmaker.

Winning team: Claudia Villafuerte, Lara Batista Guibes, Mohit Rathod, Vatsal Kavaiya and Huy Moeller. Photo credit: Mohit Rathod

The winning crew included Seneca students Claudia Villafuerte, Lara Batista Guibes, Mohit Rathod, Vatsal Kavaiya and Huy Moeller. First place prize was sponsored by Canon and Seneca Alumni.

Huy Moeller, the director  said, “We had a round table discussion which script we will go with. We ended up with one script, but we embellished the scripting in a way that everybody has his or her input. We managed to work without anyone stepping on anyone’s toes. Everybody had his own role.

Huy Moeller

“We succeeded in planning all day and night shoots in a very logical way. We didn’t waste time. But the challenge was that the actors could only act for 6 hours before their concentration starts drifting away. And we were lucky we had two editors. So when one editor got tired and went to sleep, the second editor took the wheel.”

The festival was organized and produced by Devin Andrade and Afshaan Purvez from the Seneca Media team.

“The motivation of the festival was to help students to collaborate across different programs and to showcase their work. Students got the opportunity to  work together outside the classroom, creating their own  community.” according to Andrade.

The initial idea of the short film festival came from a Chloë Crawford, a PR programme student. But we had to workshop it a lot, as have we never done such an event here before. We had to figure out how to get students involved, how to pitch them the festival. We had to find a way to bring sponsors, to organize the screening and to put together the rules.

The response was enormous. Most of the participants came from TV and journalism programs, but we even had one student from the computer systems program!

“The storytelling is the key thing across all our programs.” according to Purves.  “So it was a great learning experience for all the students. The 24 hours festival takes the entire process of filmmaking and tunnels it into one day. Takes typically between 6 to 7 weeks to plan all these things, but when you have only one day, you understand better the importance of each step, and what can go wrong. Its almost like a trial by fire.

At the end of the day, all the teams that submitted a film, have their portfolio piece. The judges came from the industry, so students had a chance to build up connections. We also partnered with the National Film Board that is going to promote the films.”



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