Silver Wave: Putting NB film first for 19 years

When We Were Young (pictured above) is one of 70 films that will be showcased at the 19th annual Silver Wave film Festival. (Submitted by Cat LeBlanc)

Seasoned filmmaker and University of New Brunswick graduate Annick Blizzard will present her newest film called When We Were Young at the Silver Wave Film Festival on Nov. 9 at the Fredericton Playhouse.

Her film tells the story of a woman who goes home to a small town she hasn’t visited for a long time and tries to reconnect with a childhood friend.

Blizzard graduated from UNB with a degree in English and a minor in theatre in 2010.

Blizzard, who’s also a member of the Fredericton based New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative, said the Silver Wave Film Festival gives all who are involved a boost of motivation going forward into their projects in the year that follows.

“We come out so inspired, reinvigorated and ready for the next year of doing more of [filmmaking].”

She said that getting support from local spectators is crucial and that those who attend should not underestimate their local filmmakers.

“The caliber of filmmaking that we have in New Brunswick is very high and we do quality films.  So I don’t think that anyone going would be very disappointed in what they’re going to see.”

The Silver Wave Film Festival, run by the NB Film Co-op, is an annual film festival to celebrate “homegrown films and films from away” according to their Facebook page.

This is the 19th year for the Silver Wave Festival.

Blizzard said she loosely drew inspiration from an article she originally thought was about a woman who had shot and killed her brother when she was younger by accident, but when the case was reopened years later, it revealed that was not the case.

“I was very curious about [the experience] of a woman that had violence like that her past and just never had confronted it, like what kind of person would she be?”

Networking and workshops

Cat LeBlanc, the NB Film Co-op’s membership services director, has been a member for 20 years.

She said it’s a chance for filmmakers to mingle within their community.

“It’s like Christmas for filmmakers.”

She said the festival provides networking opportunities for local filmmakers to access more funding to bring their work to life.

This year, there will be 70 films, 17 by Fredericton filmmakers.

LeBlanc said an estimated 60 of the 70 filmmakers will attend the festival.

“It’s just a really great opportunity to talk to these people, to possibly broker a deal for future funding, to find out more information about how to apply to different programs and to meet other filmmakers that come from away.”

There is also a conference and workshop element incorporated into the festival for the artists. LeBlanc said in last few years, Silver Wave has been striving towards making these sessions more interactive and hands-on as opposed to panel and lecture formats.

One of their newest additions to this part is a showcase on filming in virtual reality by one of the co-op’s members Ashley Phinney.

“She shot a dramatic film in 360 [degrees] with our new virtual reality equipment … People will be able to go in and put the goggles on … and it’s local actors from the co-op who are actually in it … so that’s going to be really cool,” said LeBlanc.

The festival’s 70 different films include Willie, a documentary on Fredericton’s Willie O’Ree who broke the colour barrier in the NHL, their opening gala feature ENTROPIC and Popsy, an adaptation of a Stephen King short story.

LeBlanc said a key part of the festival is the three-night showcase of New Brunswick short films.

The festival will run from Nov. 7 to 10, with the opening gala taking place at Tilley Hall on UNB campus.

Full festival passes for students are $20.