The 17th annual festival creates a network for up-and-coming filmmakers

By Deklan Michie

Post-secondary filmmakers throughout Canada shared their diverse work at the UWPG Film Festival.

The free event took place at the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film from October 23 to October 25. Events included panels with industry professionals, screenings, an awards evening, and an after-party.

The UWPG Film Festival has run annually since 2002 and gives students an opportunity to share their films and network within the industry.

Jensen Budd is the director of the horror film Ravenous. She said she didn’t expect her film to be chosen, but still would’ve come out to the event regardless. 

“It’s kind of a gateway for new filmmakers,” said Budd.

Budd’s film Ravenous was featured in the festival on Oct.23, 2019. She said the festival is a good way for new filmmakers to “get into the application process.”/MICHIE

The event is run by volunteers and supported by a number of sponsors both local and across the country.

Jacques Leger, who was a volunteer last year, acted in The Timekeeper. He said he also believes it’s important for filmmakers to show off their work. 

“I think there’s some good prestige to have people see your film,” Leger said.

This year, the selection jury chose between over 75 films that were submitted to the festival – 25 films from a total of eight schools across Canada were screened. Film genres included horror, comedy, and experimental.

In addition to the screenings in the evening, the panels were held during the day and live-streamed across the country.

“We wanted to be able to broadcast so [people who weren’t able to attend] could still attend the panels,” said Miranda Moroz, Executive Director of the UWPG Film Festival.

Moroz is the Executive Director of the festival and a former student of the Theatre and Film Department at UofW. Her film The Lake was screened at the festival in 2017./MICHIE

Moroz, who once had her own films screened in the festival when she was a student, said she believes the festival reinforces the community of student filmmakers not only in Winnipeg but all across Canada.

“On a small scale, these festivals really introduce a student into a festival environment,” said Moroz.

Many of the films were also nominated for up to 11 awards and the winners were chosen by the UWPG Film Festival awards jury.  

For anyone interested in getting involved in film festivals, Winnipeg Film Group is accepting documentary submissions for Gimme Some Truth 2019.

If you’re more interested in watching the films, the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival starts Nov. 12. Also, keep an eye out for the Canadian International Comedy Film Festival in February.