48H film competition produces 20 films

Written by Sophie M. Lavoie on October 23, 2018

The team that made the Best Picture film ‘Growing Younger’ for the 48H film festival. Photo by Stephen MacGillivray.

Fredericton’s Centre Communautaire Sainte Anne’s auditorium was packed almost to capacity on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 for the screening of the films produced for the 11th annual 48H Film Competition.

Twenty-one teams received inspiration packages on Friday, Oct. 12 and were tasked with producing an under-seven-minute film from start to finish over the weekend. One third of the teams were competing for the first time.

Usually a photo, an object and a location, this year’s inspiration package included, for the first time, the obligation to include the phrase “Is that all you’ve got?” in each film.

All but one team was able to make it to the finish line, some with as few as two participants when they could have up to ten.

This year’s crop of films again produced some memorable moments shared with the audience at the gala event.

Returning to the competition were the 2017 team of Amelia Thorpe and Nate Hartley who returned to their character of “Al Gator” in their 2018 film “Episode II: Attack of the Space Jelly.”

Team Team, as they are now known, transformed the orange wig they received in their inspiration package into a Space Jelly character who attacked the earth, necessitating the return of “Al Gator” to earth.

For their meticulous efforts, Thorpe and Hartley received the awards for Best Use of the Inspiration Package, Best Director and Best Special Effects or Make-up. Team Team, when receiving their awards, promised another possible episode at next year’s competition.

Fresh from making the yet to be released film with which she won the Silver Wave Film Festival’s Jane LeBlanc Filmmaker Award for in 2017, local director Kaitlyn Adair won Best Actress for her role in “Growing Younger,” directed by the dynamic duo of Britany Sparrow and Joel Thompson. Sparrow, a local filmmaker, and Thompson, the owner of a media production company, are well-known in the Fredericton film community.

The film told the story of a brother and sister who discover their filiation upon the death of their father. Sparrow and Thompson’s film also won awards for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Jon Wilkinson, who played the hilarious owner of a bowling alley.

“Life’s a Bitch,” directed by Josh Vandenborre, also garnered three awards. This film centered around a character who gets hit by a car but receives a second chance from the devil to finish off his evening, after being warned that his expectations wouldn’t match reality.

Matthew Gracie and Robbie Lynn won for Best Screenplay and composer Lucas Minchin won Best Music (Lyrics and Score). The film also won the coveted Audience Choice Award from the crowd at the gala event. Gracie, who also played Satan, had been presented with the Best Director prize in 2017’s competition.

Five other films picked up one award each.

In the acting categories, Ashley Sheard won for Best Supporting Actress in “Daddy Binky,” which she was also directing, and Luke Lee-Knight received an award for Best Actor in “Picture Everyone Naked,” in which he played an actor.

In the technical categories, “The Night Before,” made by using just two long tracking shots, wowed the judges and received the prize for Best Cinematography. The team, with only four members, had three members operating the cameras. In the Best Editing category, Jeremy Brubacher won for the film “Memoirs of a Dweebnut,” a hilarious film about otherness, made with two of his brothers and a friend.

Finally, the competition’s only documentary, titled “Queer House,” received a Special Jury Prize. Directed by Elijah Matheson, the film interviewed occupants of the “Queer House” community about the need for an inclusive space in Fredericton and the positive side of this community for young people who are marginalized.

Many films from previous years have gone on to be screened at local and national film festivals across Canada. This year’s Queer House will be screened at the upcoming Pink Lobster Film Festival in February.

Cat LeBlanc, of the NB Film Co-op, remarked that “the event is a perfect blend of fun and creativity that never fails to inspire and entertain.” As for the opportunities this event generates, LeBlanc added that it “allows the NB Film Co-op to meet up-and-coming NB creators that we can encourage to join our membership to add more diverse voices to our creative mix.”

In its 11th iteration, the 48H Film Competition is produced by local filmmaker, films studies and creative writing professor, Robert Gray, and his team at Frictive Pictures with support from local businesses and the University of New Brunswick.

Sophie M. Lavoie covers arts and culture for the NB Media Co-op and is an editorial board member of the NB Media Co-op.

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