Nelson filmmaker James Tucker graduated high school last year, and already he’s been picking up gigs around town filming for SEEDS, various artistic initiatives and productions like Detour and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
And now that he’s involved in organizing the Kootenays’ first youth film festival, he’s hoping others can have the same opportunity.
“I got my start through similar initiatives to what we’re doing here,” said Tucker, who is soliciting submissions until April 1.
“Amy Bohigian was my first mentor. I did some projects and some workshops with her. She’s been a really great resource and she’ll be here as a workshop facilitator, so hopefully she can be to other kids in the community what she is to me.”
The festival consists of two days of programming, and was made possible by a Columbia Basin Trust grant. The selected films will be screened at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15.
“We’ve gotten eight or nine submissions. Some are still pending. We got three from Haida Gwaii, which is exciting,” said co-organizer Anandi Brownstein, noting one film is in a foreign language.
“We also have this Chinese Canadian filmmaker in Vancouver who filmed her brother coming out to her straight Christian parents, so that’s powerful. And a submission from a local Tribute-sponsored snowboard collective.”
The films will range in length from two to 30 minutes.
“We have filmmakers coming from Golden, New Denver, Nakusp. It’s pretty exciting,” said Brownstein.
Prizes will be awarded to the entrants, including tuition for film at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School.
“Animation, action, direction, cinematography — anything to do with film, they offer that and they want to bring youth from the Kootenays to their school,” said Brownstein.
The next day there will be workshops and classes offered with local professionals, which will be followed by a screening of the Toronto Film Festival’s Top 10 Canadian shorts.
“This is only the beginning,” said Tucker. “We’d really like to see the festival grow bigger, and ultimately our objective is to not only enhance the Kootenays artistically but also create a forum for local youth — youth being 13 to 30, so there’s a broad range — and give them an opportunity to share their piece with the community.”
Tucker said having the opportunity to share his work with the Nelson community has been “invaluable” and being awarded a $400 Osprey Foundation grant to support his learning was a huge moment for him.
“I thought ‘wow, as a student it’s so amazing to receive that support’, so I’d like local youth to be able to experience that. I wonder what extra work and freedom they could have, and it’s amazing we’re giving them a chance to screen their work publicly.”
For more information visit https://youthfilmfestival.wordpress.com.