More than 350 people showed up for the Gala screening event and awards ceremony of the 10th annual 48H film competition in Fredericton on Oct. 18th, 2017, held at the Centre Communautaire Ste. Anne.
Attendees got to see all 18 of the films made by the 19 teams that registered for the event and worked all weekend (Oct. 13-15) to make their 7 minute films. Teams were asked to make use of a special “Inspiration Package” handed out on the day the competition started, to ensure that they were making an original film. Teams were made up of a maximum of ten people and a total of 133 filmmakers were registered for the event.
Best Picture and Best Use of the Inspiration Package awards went to “Team Team” for their film 2017 Al Gator’s Odyssey, a lovely parody about a toy gator’s trip into outer space. Team Team was made up of Nate Hartley (a Fredericton tattoo artist) and Amelia Thorpe who worked all weekend on constructing their tiny paper sets and toy alligator costumes. Thorpe and Hartley expressed surprise that the judges had enjoyed their film so much.
Travis Grant, a long-time participant in the competition, made the film The Invitation, an action film featuring five spies who meet at the wedding of one of their friends to retrieve an important jump drive. This film received three acting awards, including Best Actor (local radio personality Ryan Barton), Best Actress (Summer Grant) and Best Supporting Actor for Travis Grant himself, who played a number of characters in the film.
The thoughtful film constructed as a triptych around origami objects, Paper: An Anthology, also garnered three awards for Best Editing (Lance K. Blakney and Gordon Mihan) and Best Cinematography (L.K. Blakney) as well as a Best Music (Dan MacDonald). The award for Best Music is given for an original work created for a film made during the competition.
Team East Coast Caviar, spearheaded by local filmmaker Brittany Sparrow, won two awards for its film Suckerfish, about a magical journey which featured a talking cat, drone views of the Wolastoq River and a character riding a koi fish. Suckerfish received the Best Special Effects or Makeup and the Audience Choice award (voted on at the Gala and revealed the next day).
Second year UNB Media Arts and Cultures student Mathew Gracie earned a Best Director award for Evil Forlorn, his directorial debut. Evil Forlorn was a horror-suspense film built around a serial killer who ends up being the main character. Gracie, in his acceptance speech, conceded that he could not have won the award without his teammates.
Other notable wins were achieved by Norah Jagoe as Best Supporting Actress for Off the Beaten Path, a horror film about the disappearance of small children, and Best Screenplay for “Team Or-Project” (a collaborative script in which UNB English graduate student Robert Norsworthy participated) for their thoughtful short film on virtual reality, First Night.
Organizer Robert Gray, an English and Film professor at UNB, writer and filmmaker, said that this was “another successful year” for seasoned and debut filmmakers in the area and noted that “even the first-time teams managed to finish their work despite a gruelling weekend.” Gray went on to note that he was already “looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Sophie M. Lavoie writes for arts and culture for the NB Media Co-op.