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Recent high school grads declared winners of new Port Moody film festival

Frantic Breeze was a success, but organizers believe the event can only get better with a growing local interest in filmmaking.

"This was part of the reason why I was so focused on encouraging youth to participate in the contest. I want to see where they can take it!"

Tracey Schaeffer is reeling in the success of the Frantic Breeze Fast Film Festival as she was happy to see local aspiring filmmakers participate — and win.

Neighbourhood Productions, a group of young people that recently graduated from high school in the Tri-Cities, took home the top prize from the new Port Moody event for their short movie, Unpacking.

The film also won the award for best youth production, and was among six total plaques handed out during a special ceremony at the Inlet Theatre on Sept. 10.

Schaeffer believes the team will be able to use the Frantic Breeze experience as a significant stepping stone toward a future career. 

"Participants will be able to use their films in a demo-reel... send potential mentors and employers to an official contest site to view their work, or cite any awards they may have received," she told the Tri-City News.

"Many young filmmakers also use these contests to network with other young directors, actors, cinematographers and producers to find new artists to work with and use these connections to inspire new and innovative projects."

You can view Unpacking at the bottom of the story.

In living up to the "fast film" mantra, Frantic Breeze participants were tasked to create a movie up to seven minutes in length and utilize Port Moody as its backdrop.

Shoots had to be conducted over a three-day period, Aug. 26 to 29, while the days leading up to the festival consisted of producing and editing.

As well, contestants had to include "mystery elements" to add a uniqueness factor for each team's final project.

Nearly a dozen production crews signed up for the inaugural fast film event, much to the delight of Schaeffer, while also hoping to gain more interest with a possible return in 2023 on the table.

"I would love to see at least 20 teams spending a weekend in the city frantically creating a film that brings our beautiful city to the screen," she said.

"My secret dream is to have Port Moody host a larger arts festival with the film contest where we can showcase more Port Moody artists from different disciplines."

In leading up to the festival, Frantic Breeze organizers also hosted a three-day youth workshop that gave participants to either be introduced to filmmaking or build on their storytelling skills.

Schaeffer explained all of this was made possible through the City of Port Moody's support as it granted $7,000 to make the festival a reality, and added staff officials were thrilled with the final result.

"We had some great feedback from city residents, city staff and local businesses.... We wanted people to see what was possible. Before this contest Port Moody residents would have never seen a small, indie film crew at work. We wanted the people of Port Moody to have a front row seat to see the creative process at work."

Presenters during the Frantic Breeze awards ceremony included local actor Hiro Kanagawa, Port Moody–Coquitlam MLA Rick Glumac, Port Moody Coun. Zoe Royer and Tri-Cities Film Studio founder Lisa Durupt.

Among the judges also included Corner Gas and Port Moody Secondary alum, Fred Euwanuik.

The full list of winners, and their prize money, are as follows:

  • Best film and youth prize ($600 in total)
    • Unpacking by Neighbourhood Productions
  • Second place ($300)
    • A Bear's Life by AF2 Films
  • Audience Choice Award ($150)
    • Repeat by 3 Kapo Studios
  • Best Actor by Tricities Film Studio ($150)
    • Harrison Maynard for Cross That Bridge
  • Best Use of Port Moody Award ($100)
    • Who Is Bert Flinn? by In A Flicker Productions