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Shining a light on student cinema

Inaugural Delta Interschool Film Festival a hit.
A screen grab from the award-winning Public Service Announcement made by four Port Guichon Elementary students.

Three students are walking down separate hallways of their school. One is talking on her cellphone and two others look like they’re texting.

As they come to a point where the hallways intersect, the seemingly oblivious kids all bump into one another and fall to the ground.

The scene is one from a Public Service Announcement called Don’t Use Cell Phones While Driving, created by Port Guichon Elementary’s Jessica Tarumoto, Natalie Baltzer, Riley Duimel and Riley Hayles.

The next scene shows a trio of cyclists, talking and texting while riding down the street before crashing into one another, followed by text that flashes on screen: “What happens when you put them in a car?”

The 57-second PSA took first place in the Elementary Short Film category at the first ever Delta Interschool Film Festival (DIFF) last month.

The movie was one of 39 entries submitted by 130 students from 12 Delta schools.

The juried festival awarded student films in four categories.

Taking top spot for Secondary Short Film was Depression Hurts, by Alicia Johnston with Shaylen Watts-Whitehead from Burnsview Secondary.

The 47-second piece opens with a girl’s face flashing from different angles on the screen in black and white, repeatedly saying “it hurts” and how sometimes she feels so alone.

Then, two people approach the girl from behind, placing a hand on each of her shoulders. And suddenly, the scene turns to colour.

“But you’re never alone,” the girl says.

The award for Elementary Long Film went to Believe It or Not? by Devin Bains, Duncan Bartz, Mackenzie Boates, Jacob Cowley, Conor Edgson, Liam Edgson, Luke Gaba and Kyle Rich from Holly Elementary. The dramatic four-minute narrative took a story idea about a magic box from the book The City of Ember.

Armin Farahbakhsh and Brendan Duff from Burnsview Secondary took the top prize in the Secondary Long Film category for their video, Spray, for which Farahbakhsh wrote and recorded all the music.

An awards gala honouring the student filmmakers was held at Burnsview Secondary on May 19.