The STUSU Film Festival opened the competition to non-STU students because of a low submission rate.
Second-year STU student Justin LeClair took away top prize for his film The Hit, and was joined in the winner’s circle by Emily St. Pierre from the Centre of Arts and Technology. St. Pierre claimed second and third prizes for two short films.
“Tonight was about celebrating the art of film,” said organizer, host and STU alumni Alex Vietinghoff.
The red carpet event was Saturday night, held in the Kinsella auditorium on STU campus. The festival featured four films, and three projects not in competition.
After each screening, judges Ilkay Silk and Cat LeBlanc gave feedback to the filmmakers.
Silk is the director of the drama program at STU.
“I really liked it a lot,” said Silk of LeClair’s first-place offering.
The film follows a hired hit man as he executes a grisly task.
“It was suspenseful, intriguing…I have nothing negative to say about it,” said Silk.
Cat LeBlanc is the member services director at the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-Operative. She echoed Silk’s sentiments.
“It’s not an original story, but he made it very original, very stylized.”
The black-and-white film impressed the judges with its use of music, technology and storytelling.
“It was inspired by the movie Drive,” said LeClair. The soundtrack was also pulled from the popular film, starring Ryan Gosling.
The Hit is LeClair’s 29th offering with his film company, Atomic Studios.
“Making movies is something I’ve had fun doing,” said LeClair.
“I’m going to try to get into law school, because it’s harder to get into film. I’d like to probably get into directing if I can.”
Vietinghoff showed his own film, A City in Love, a nod to Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies, with a twist.
“I was joking with my friends about film noir, and I decided to give it a try,” Vietinghoff said.
The host and his film were not in the running for prizes, but it was well-received.
That Cowboy Kid by local filmmaker, Ryan O’Toole, closed the show. Shown previously at the Silver Wave Film Festival in Fredericton, That Cowboy Kid exemplified storytelling taken to the next level – a bigger festival. The Silver Wave was the brainchild of the staff and board at the NB Film Co-Op.
“It’s always great to have screenings, and I encourage these filmmakers to submit their films to Silver Wave,” said LeBlanc.
“Even the Silver Wave started small. It was hard to get films submitted,” she said. The festival is now in its 13th year.
Vietinghoff and partner, STU’s students’ union activities coordinator Natasha Glover, hope to continue STU’s foray into film next year.
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