It’s not everyday your home movie gets shown to a theatre full of people on ‘the big screen’ but it happened for a small group of local Norfolk kids Saturday.
As part of the Routes to Roots Film Festival which shows national and international films that have a rural life or root theme, local Grade 7 to Grade 12 students were invited to submit work.
“It’s pretty cool to be here,” admitted Lucius Czerlau, 11, a St. Cecilia School student who shot a nature film of lovely scenes in the area called The Most Beautiful Things in Norfolk County.
Lucius said he spends a lot of time outdoors and wanted to share some of the things he sees.
Using an Apple iPad, he captured scenes that ranged from the Port Dover beach and lighthouse to a field of waving rye, Ivey’s Dam and Grant Anderson Park, editing the shots together using Filmmaker Pro.
“I want to keep doing this kind of thing.”
A piece called Roadside Caterpillars featured three home-schooled brothers who were documented by their mom as they prowled the Backus Trails looking for caterpillars to research.
“Caterpillars and butterflies are something me and my brothers are interested in and we wanted to make a film about caterpillars and what they do,” said Rusty Georgiev, 12, the youngest of the three performers.
He was joined in the short film by his brothers Finn, 13, who also played the banjo, and Owen, 15.
“It’s awesome to think it will be on the big screen,” said Owen.
Lisa Anderson is mom to the trio of boys and the one behind the camera. She said the mini-movie is an honest telling of something the kids do a lot.
“Almost daily we’re out in the summer, doing a lot of original research, looking for things they don’t know about and finding the answers,” said Anderson.
“These kinds of things are like what kids used to do naturally.”
Anderson said the siblings had very definitive ideas about the editing process.
“Who was the director? I’m not really sure,” she said.
“We had hopes of a longer film but we’ll start shooting now for next year’s entry.”
A third short was also shown Saturday – three girls from St. Cecilia School did a clay-mation, stop-action movie based on a Biblical parable.
“We only got three entries but you’ve got to start somewhere,” said Jim Carroll, the chair of the festival and the one in charge of the student film competition.
“I think it really validates their work to see their movies on the big screen with an audience. This is the YouTube generation and they are used to telling their stories using video. We wanted to encourage that.”
The student shorts were shown before an audience of about 60, just before the viewing of By the Woods, which was shot in Norfolk County, and Ontario farm-based The Drawer Boy, which were two of two dozen films that were part of the weekend, all at the downtown Strand theatre in Simcoe.