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ESA film majors impress at Big Screen Student Film Festival

ESA film majors impress at Big Screen Student Film Festival

Monday, May 11, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Queensway Cineplex Odeon Theatre is accustomed to providing interesting cinematic experiences for viewers and recently upped the ante to host the Big Screen Student Film Festival.  The third annual event was made up of short films produced by more than 60 different filmmakers from Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA).  

“The films spanned every imaginable genre, ranging from documentary to narrative to experimental to animation,” said ESA's Assistant Curriculum Leader for Film, Kevin Johnson, “each of them in keeping with the departmental philosophy that all art of value begins from personal exploration.” 

After the screening, a jury consisting of film industry professionals selected their favourite films in a variety of categories.  Scotiabank SCENE, in addition to providing a substantial financial donation to the ESA Film program, furnished gift bags as prizes for the winners.

The winning entry for Best Story in a Narrative Film was Overdue, by Dylan Vogel. Other winners included Keon Abbott's Cheating Death for Cinematography; Callum Linden’s Soren for  Sound Design; Carol Nguyen’s This Home is not Empty for Story in an Experimental Film;  James Perry’s Overcome for Direction of Actors; and Will Graham, Calvin Coey and Joey Phillipson’s The Fourth Wall for Editing. Also notable was Niloby Leah Giles, which received honorable mention in many categories. 

The Film program at ESA is unique in the TDSB.  Introduced in 2008 and modeled after a post-secondary approach to Film studies (but tailored to the unique challenges facing adolescents), ESA Film translates personal exploration and self-awareness into compelling and visually exciting films reflective of the student's own creative voice.  
“The program's objective is to help young people think critically about their world and their place within it, while developing the confidence and skills to effectively communicate those thoughts in an emotionally and intelligently resonant manner,” said Johnson.  “The belief is that an education in film will give students the strength and skills to pursue whatever awaits them in their future.”  

Currently, ESA film grads are pursuing their post-secondary education in a variety of disciplines all across North America. To see more of the department’s work, check out ESAFilm on YouTube or read about the program at  


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