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Students in Liard watch their work
Reel Youth Film Fest back in Fort Liard for screening of filming workshop held in summer

Nicole Garbutt
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

A group of students in Fort Liard got the opportunity to show off their filmmaking talents on Thursday evening to friends and family. The Reel Youth Film Festival, an organization based out of Vancouver, B.C., came to Liard this past August to host a workshop. The results of this workshop were shown on Thursday night.

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Alinda Edda, 14, looks through the lens as she lays out clay during the workshop held in August. - photo courtesy of Reel Youth

Roslyn Firth, the manager of Wellness and Recreation with the hamlet is always looking for interesting projects she can bring to the community. She heard about the festival through mutual friends involved.

Reel Youth is a not-for-profit organization that aims to support youth and adults within their communities or businesses to create and distribute films that engage issues important to them. Reel Youth Film Festival is a touring festival created from a collaboration of films made by youth, 19 years of age and under across Canada and the United States.

Mark Vonesh, program co-ordinator with Reel Youth, travelled to Fort Liard to run the workshop in August. During the workshop, a group of students received lessons in story writing, claymation and the principles of filming.

One student in particular really took an interest in the art of filmmaking. Alinda Edda, 14, excelled in the workshop and was even able to do a fair amount of the editing work for the films.

"It was fun, there were a lot of us there, but I was the only girl." said Edda.

"After we were done the acting, I got to do some editing and sound."

Edda says she might pursue filmmaking after school.

"I would like to help make another movie," she said.

Prior to the screening Thursday night, Edda said she thought a lot of people would show up, and she was excited for her family to see it.

The students in Fort Liard were able to make two different films during their workshop. One was mock horror titled The Boogieman and the other is described by Reel Youth as "a playful exploration of stop motion using plasticine" and titled Elders.

Some of the other youth films screened showcased other Northern talent. Three teens from Fort Simpson created three short films when Reel Youth came to the community back in March. Quinlan Kidd, 16, says one was a chalk sketch about drinking and driving, along the lines of a public advisory. The Blair Twitch Project, which Kidd starred in solo, is about a man who takes drugs and goes out into the woods alone.

The last film, titled Fatebook, discusses the issues teens face when they make choices about partying as well as photos and comments online and how they can be permanent.

Tyler Sibbeston, 17, did most of the camera work. Sibbeston is interested in making more films and potentially pursuing action- and comedy-geared entertainment, specifically in the roles of directing and editing.

Aaron Nadia, 16, said the group attempts to bring new people onboard so there are fresh faces in the films.

"We have a core crew of three or four people, but we like to try and involve everyone at school ... It gets boring to see the same people in films."

Some of the other films that screened were from British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia and even as far as films made by youth in San Francisco, Calif., and Texas.

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