Indie Filmmaker's Lab at the Cinematheque

Noelle Chan

On September 7, I attended the Indie Filmmakers Lab premiere screening at the Cinematheque. The theatre was already filled up when I arrived and I could feel good energy amongst the audience, all eager to see some films. There were nine films, each ranging from 3 to 8 minutes in length, created by youth between the ages of 14 and 19.

The first one, What Happens Next Is Out Of This World, was a great opening for the evening. It made the audience laugh and is a light hearted film about a boy who spends his days writing tabloid articles but dreams of becoming a published sci-fi novelist. I especially liked the cinematography which included close up shots and nice sound effects such as the squeaky sound of a chair as it pushes towards a desk. The main character uses two different laptops placed on opposite sides of his room to distinguish between the different papers that he works on – one for the articles and one for his novel. They also told the story clearly while barely using any dialogue.

The next couple films were Reverberation, You and Me at the Edge of Space, We’re Still Friends, Bound By Blood, and Prelude. I didn’t really know what was going on in Reverberation and Prelude but they were both artistic and well-filmed, with dark settings and characters that dealt with heavy emotional situations. You and Me at the Edge of Space was a comedy about an astronaut who is stranded in a defective spaceship and is forced to fix it without the help of technology. It had a simple plot but was still entertaining. 

We’re Still Friends was about a group of friends playing a fantasy game and overcoming obstacles together. This film had potential to be much more entertaining. It consisted of scenes cutting back and forth between the group sitting around a table playing the game and the group dressed as their characters in the game. However, the story ended abruptly with one of the friends having to go and everyone else just leaving the room with her. It did not have much of a plot and left the audience confused.

I felt I was watching a music video when seeing Bound By Blood. It is a portrayal of a relationship between two people exploring their connection and had music playing in the background for the entire 4 minutes and 20 seconds of it. The scenes included a man and woman standing in the ocean with the water covering half their body. Both of their faces remained expressionless. I wonder if the creators had intended for a deeper meaning for the style of this video, as it became quite repetitive.

The last three films had excellent acting. Sacrifice had a small plot twist which kept the audience on the edge of their seat. What Killed The Fish? was about a man going through depression after the absence of his family. Facial expressions and body language were an important part of this film for telling the story, and the actor did a great job in conveying that.

Gary, Mary, Barry & Craig was the funniest out of all nine films. It was about a filmmaker who tracks down a werewolf-human couple who live with a ghost. The werewolf-human couple is a gay couple, and they discussed being partners from different backgrounds (werewolf and human). This context reminded me of the issue of racism and interracial couples. In this film, they added humour to their supposedly scary character, Bloody Mary. I have always been terrified of her story and did not know what to expect when she appeared on the screen. However, she turned out to be a kind woman who genuinely cares about the couple who she shares the house with. Overall this film was funny, has a diverse cast, and a great plot.

It’s clear that the students working on these projects put in a lot of time and effort into them. I was definitely entertained and I’m really glad I attended this film screening!

  • Posted on: 2 October 2017
  • By: arts and entert...