Sunday, February 15, 2009
BC SHORT FILMS DOMINATE CLERMONT-FERRAND – Kelowna Animator Wins the Prix du Public (Audience Award)
(British Columbia) February 16, 2009 - Short films produced and directed in British Columbia were the only non-Quebec Canadian films to be selected for this year’s prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. The CFSFF, held in Clermont-Ferrand, France for the past 31 years, is the world’s largest short film market and festival - boasting attendances over 137,000, hosting thousands of industry delegates, and representing international films from over 50 countries. Amongst the 4,783 submitted international films, only 74 were selected for the International Competition and 36 were chosen for the Lab Competition. Out of 367 Canadian films submitted, only 6 films from Canada were chosen to screen in the festival’s esteemed competition. The only 3 Canadian films not from Quebec were all from BC.
Vancouver films, Awkward by Kellie Bentz and Engine 371 by Kevin Langdale were included in the International Competition while Kelowna filmmaker, Jeff Chiba Stearns screened his animated short, Yellow Sticky Notes as part of the Lab Competition. The Lab Competition celebrates films using innovative techniques that push the boundaries of filmmaking. Yellow Sticky Notes was the only Canadian winner at the festival, taking home the Prix du Public (Audience Award) in the Lab Competition. The film was also the only North American film to win an award at the internationally renowned 2009 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.
“This is the biggest win of my life!” said Jeff Chiba Stearns after receiving the audience juried award. “I’ve traveled to festivals around the world and the caliber of films at Clermont-Ferrand are the best I have ever seen. These are the greatest short films in the world and it was humbling to even screen next to them let alone win a major award category. It was a huge honor just to be accepted to Clermont-Ferrand!”
Yellow Sticky Notes was animated using over 2300 yellow sticky notes with nothing but a black pen. The film, that has been described as the world’s most labor intensive blog entry, is an animation meditation of Jeff Chiba Stearns’ filmmaking journey as his internal reflection on his role as an artist manifests into a discussion about major political and environmental crises. The film qualified for a Genie in the Best Animated Short category but was not nominated.
Even with BC shorts dominating internationally at the film festivals, there was no representation from Western Canada in the short filmmaking categories when the Genies were announced last week - it makes one wonder who’s choosing the nominations at the national level.