By Alwynne Gwilt
Take a film grad who hasn’t been motivated for a while, add in a few friends who are in the same boat, and what do you get?
In Meredith Dault’s case, you get the concept for the One Minute Film and Video Festival happening Nov. 18 at the Bloor Cinema.
“It was kind of an accident,” said Dault about its creation. “I was looking to motivate myself and my friends. I said Why don’t we make one minute films?’ It was a dare at a party.”
Dault organized the festival in a way that makes it accessible for all Toronto filmmakers. She said it’s an opportunity for filmmakers of all levels to “go out and do something to get out there on the big screen.”
Included in that group are Ryerson New Media students, who were challenged and motivated by the festival’s strict theme and time guidelines.
The festival was also a way for these students to show their work outside of school. “It’s motivating; it’s an opportunity to show work and not have to do too much work,” said Alon Isoncianu, a second-year New Media student who created his entry, Breakfast, with his film partner and classmate Michael Iantorno.
The pair worked up until the August deadline to perfect their submission. “This is the first thing we’ve done that others will see and it’s just a huge learning experience,” said Iantorno.
The only hint Iantorno offered about his submission was: “It will bombard your senses with images.”
For their classmate Alice Phieu, the project came together at the last minute, one minute at a time, with idea meetings done over lunch breaks with her colleague Adrian Rogers.
“I wanted to do this because it sounded really interesting,” said Phieu.
The result is The Turning Point in Human Existence; her cheeky interpretation of the first time sliced bread was discovered. Festival participant and second-year New Media student Damir Badjari created the action flick With One Stone.
He said the tight guidelines help focus the movie, while the restrictions force filmmakers to be creative. “We kept on thinking, Will this be too broad for the theme?’ (But) we did our own thing, and it got in on its own merit.”
Dault saw enough quality in Badjari’s film to include it in the festival. She said people “all totally interpret the theme differently (so) it’s a great way to be exposed to all kinds of genres of films.” It’s no surprise then, that Dault would be open-minded towards all films, even those that push the theme’s barriers.
“I want people to be exposed to new things,” Dault said. And Ryerson’s New Media students certainly know new.