During May 24 and 25 the British Columbia Student Film Festival took place at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, or VanArts for short. Students got to miss school for the day to immerse themselves in the world of filmmaking, if only for a few moments. The weekend was packed with four workshops hosted by professors from the institute and industry, ranging from how to direct actors, using social media to promote yourself, and using typography to take student films to the next level. A small group of Kodiaks attended the festival and took part in the activities, while an even smaller group joined for the high point of the event, the three-hour award gala, which screened the best student filmmaking our province has to offer.


Kodiak filmmakers Ricardo Gutierrez and Amanda Blake had 5 films contending for awards and did not disappoint by any means. Where the coveted Exploration of the Natural World Award was lost to a mini documentary about Nepal, they made up for in other categories. Amanda Blake’s films brought home three awards of the night. Her Stop-Motion Animation ‘Freedom,’ a cheeky short film playing homage to a certain United States presidential campaign promise, brought home the award for ‘Best Stop-Motion Animation’ while her Drama Changing Gears, an LGBTQIA+ inclusive short film depicting a couple working through a tough spot in their relationship on the hood of their car, brought home the coveted ‘Best Senior Narrative Drama’ award and ‘Best Female Director,’ for the work she did along with Maira Gimenes, a Heritage Woods Alumni.

Overall, the festival was an absolute success and a blast to attend. The entire film class would like to thank Mr. Strudwick and former Heritage Woods Secondary School film teacher Mr. Schoenhals for their tireless work and dedication to put the festival on for the students. Their hard work is much appreciated and will not be forgotten.

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