In a night full of thoughtful, well-composed short films, it was the painstakingly made stop-motion animation “Elements of Simplicity” that took home the grand prize of $200. UP senior Jason Smith told the audience he spent between 300-400 hours during the course of nearly a year to make the artful short film. The piece awed the audience with its characterization of a ballet dancer fashioned from wires, springs, washers, and various pieces of metal that moved gracefully in perfect time with the original soundtrack composed by Jason’s brother.
UP’s Brian Doyle opened the event with a short reflection on “The Power of Story“. The video pays homage to the place storytelling has in our lives and the power of transformation it holds. Emcee Joe Burke echoed Doyle’s remarks by acknowledging the passion that all festival participants have for storytelling and making films. He also talked about the passion and love of filmmaking that Kate Regan had which is the reason the festival is a celebration for the UP community each year.
Kyle Sovada’s up close camera work on “Cold and Windy Climbing” won the judges’ favor in the very crowded Narrative category. His piece captured stunning cinematography with intimate shots of two rock climbers making their way to the top of a steep formation.
Sanna Mustonen mixed gorgeous framing with a balanced choice of shots in “Run” to produce a montage of a run through a park in Ottawa to win the top spot in the “International” category. Devin Ajimine’s chronicle of his road trip to the “Golden State of California” won best in the Documentary category for its high quality images and solid camerawork.
The audience was treated to a humorous look at several UP professors reading their own reviews from the website “Rate My Professor.” John Fisher won the Best in Humor category for that piece.
New this year was a surprise category chosen by members of On the Bluff Studios, a student-driven media creation team that created much of the media and graphic design for the festival. Because of the many films that involved sports and action, the OTBS team gave an award for the “Best Action Shot”. Sanna Mustonen won for the opening shot of “Run” which features a wide shot of her running through the streets of an Ottawa neighborhood.
The Third Annual Kate Regan Film Festival featured 30 short 3-minute films in 5 categories. In addition to celebrating the category winners, the festival also showcased some of the other filmmaking activities going on at UP. Zach Grall participated in the 48-Hour Film a-Thon in November which challenges participants to make a film in 48 hours. Grall teamed up with freshman Ian Hannah to make the 5 minute film “Dude, Let’s Make a Movie.” Grall told the audience he wanted to make something with impact.
Film Club co-founder Bill Herling talked about the nascent club’s weekly meetings and welcomed audience members to join. Documentary winner Devin Ajimine is a member of the film club.
Best in Show winner Jason Smith expressed his hope that more filmmakers would become interested in the art of animation. Smith also won Best in Animation at last year’s Second Annual Kate Regan Short Film Festival for his 5-minute film “Scorned By Fate“.