By David Payumo
When the classroom lights flickered back on after David Derewlany’s movie ended, the applause he received was the most enthusiastic of this year’s first-year film production class. It was clear the movie would someday appear in a film festival.
Three months later, that day has come.
Derewlany’s untitled over-the-top melodrama is one of the 30 films made by first-year Ryerson image arts students that will be showing Feb. 18 at The No Budget Film Festival (not Sundance, not Cannes, and not Toronto).. The festival is named No Budget because jobs, parents and OSAP provided the funding to make the films. Unlike movies shown at mainstream festivals, the entries at No Budget are black-and-white silent films ranging from 30 seconds to five minutes in length.
Derewlany’s film is a tale of a stalker who dreams of killing a young woman’s boyfriend. The movie is successful, he says, because of his almost religious devotion to his idea.
“It came to me in a flash while I was walking around one day,” Derewlany says. “And I knew I was born to do it [make the movie]. I knew I was put on the earth by some higher power to complete the masterpiece.”
While some of the films have a narrative structure, conceptual work will also be shown (conceptual films express ideas using the characteristics of the medium — like motion, editing and visual elements — rather than a traditional narrative).
Lori Spring, who taught many of the filmmakers showing their work, says the students really tried to find subjects they care about. Teaching at Ryerson for the first time, Spring was surprised to find “how engaged with the world a lot of the students are.”
“They are quite lovely actually, very diverse and very enthusiastic,” she says.