Two motion picture projects that started as competition entries reeled in Leo Awards this month for two Port Moody filmmakers.
PoMo secondary graduate Joel Ashton McCarthy took the Best Direction Short Drama accolade for his flick I Love You So Much It’s Killing Them, a dark comedy designed during last year’s Crazy8s eight-day filmmaking contest.
And Andrew Millard — one-third of the creative team that made Hand Crafted — took Best Picture Editing in an Information, Lifestyle or Reality Program or Series, for the episode The Sculptor; the series was honed under Telus’ StoryHive program.
Hand Crafted also won Andrew Muir a Best Direction Leo for The Potter episode, and Greg Bartels a Best Cinematography Leo for the same show (Keith White earned a Leo for Best Sound for The Sculptor, too).
Millard said Hand Crafted was named a semi-finalist in the StoryHive competition but after it lost two years ago, the Telus Optik Local team picked up the series.
Shot as mini documentaries, Hand Crafted takes a dive into the work of artists and entrepreneurs who make a living with their hands — for example, potters, sculptors, carpenters and ski makers.
The Hand Crafted shorts in the first and second season average five minutes in length each; however, the new character pieces in Season 3 — which will be released this summer — are slightly longer, Millard said.
“It’s people doing old-school art,” he said, “and finding out their process behind it.”
Last year, Hand Crafted clinched four Leos for their inaugural season.
Meanwhile, Ashton’s I Love You So Much is a 15-minute romp exploring a lonely serial killer who falls in love.
At the Leos, the Burnaby resident was up against world-renowned playwright Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) in the same category. “I’m thrilled to have won the best directing award,” he said. “I’ve been making films since I was 10 years old in the suburbs of Coquitlam so it’s an honour to win a best of BC award.”
The 19th annual Leos, which recognize the best of B.C.’s film and TV industry, were held June 3 and 4 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
Meanwhile, Ashton’s feature film, a mockumentary titled Shooting the Musical, plays Thursday at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver.