It’s A Big Week For NB Film

Category: community, movies 197

The 17th annual Silver Wave Film Festival runs November 2-5 in Fredericton.

Matt Carter

The 17th annual Silver Wave Film Festival is happening this weekend in Fredericton. With more than 15 separate events planned to showcase independent filmmaking from New Brunswick, the Atlantic region and beyond, Silver Wave is the largest event of its kind to take place in the province each year.

Breaking with tradition, this year’s festival opens with Awesome, I Shot That!, a large scale concert performance featuring many of the region’s top musical talent. The event will feature teasers from the upcoming documentary The Capital Project, now in production by Raynemaker Productions, and members of the audience are encouraged to shoot their own experience at the event for possible inclusion in the final cut of the film.

Tony Merzetti, executive director of the New Brunswick Filmmaker’s Co-operative is excited to kick off this year’s festival by celebrating the project and the enormous impact it is having on the local music community.

“As we started to see the scope of the project develop early on, we started to think what we could do to incorporate the film project into Silver Wave,” he said. “Eventually we decided this would be a great opener and help get the festival off to a great start.

The Capital Project was the first one that we recommended to Telefilm to get funding through the Micro Budget Production Program,” said Merzetti. “It was a big deal for us because it ended up being something like $120,000 to support this project which is, for our filmmakers, a decent budget.

“We were really excited for Tim and Arthur and were excited to see what they would do. We knew they would do a good job because they’ve both produced really great films up to this point. Seeing them have the opportunity to do something bigger and more ambitious, and with Tim’s interest in local music, we just knew it would be exciting,” said Merzetti.

Following the opening concert event which takes place at the Boyce Farmer’s Market on Thursday November 2, Silver Wave’s programming will continue with three solid days of film screenings including many made right here in the province, with everything from documentaries, music videos and horrors flicks, to an always impressive array of must-see short films.

SWFF 2016 award winners. Photo: Stephen MacGillivray Photography

With more than 50 short included as part of this year’s festival programming, the format has become an obvious favourite among festival patrons and filmmakers alike.

“Short films are really important for many reasons,” said Merzetti. “From a budget perspective, it’s a lot easier to make a short film than a feature film. And from a crew perspective, a lot of the filmmakers depend on the generosity of volunteer crews and cast to help them. It’s a lot easier to get people out to help you on a weekend than it is for three weeks straight. So from an economic standpoint, it really makes sense for most of our filmmakers to make short films. Short films also tend to fit comfortably within our pragmatic busy lifestyles,” he said.

This year’s programming also includes an industry series with panel discussions and interviews with emerging and established filmmakers. This year’s series in free of charge and runs all day Friday November 3 at Charlotte Street Arts Centre with a discussion on documentary filmmaking, a panel discussion exploring Telefilm’s Micro Budget Program, Her Story, a look into the film careers of three women following unique paths within the medium, filmmaker one-on-one sessions and more.

“With opportunities to meet and network with colleagues, the Industry Series is a chance to find out how films playing here were made and how filmmakers continue to express their creativity in their own unique ways,” said organizer Chris Campbell in a statement announcing this year’s events. “You can find out about feature films, documentaries, explore the possibilities of virtual reality, and how to work with the key unions in the region. It’s always wonderful to have the chance to talk with our friends and fellow filmmakers about what they are working on and how they make the films that are at the heart of Silver Wave.”

Merzetti likens the Industry Series to the bonus features on a DVD, offering movie fans opportunites to explore films beyond the on screen story.

“I think the behind the scenes side of filmmaking is always really interesting. Filmmakers can contextualize the story and explain how they did it, why they did certain things certain ways,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to engage in the process and I think events like these deepen the experience for filmmakers and audiences.”

Complete schedules, ticket and pass information as well as trailers for many of this year’s films can be found by swfilmfest.com

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