Take one, and action!

The Advanced Filmmaking program at Fanshawe College is about to put on its annual First Take Film Festival on April 26, where students hope to share their hard work with you — their peers.

“First Take Film Festival is kind of us gathering to watch all of the films that we've made throughout the eight months that we've been in school,” said Brittany Horlings, Advanced Filmmaking student and head of public relations for First Take. “It's for us [to reminisce] on the past projects we've worked on through the semester, but also it's for us to share with people from the community and our families and teachers.”

“All these stories that happened on set when they weren't present, to try to make the films feel more personal to them and for us to show how personal they were to us.”

The students have been responsible for putting First Take, almost like a practicum. Each student is given a role to fulfill and is graded on his/her performance.

“We are marked on our positions in the film festival,” said Horlings. “It's not part of your grade if your film gets chosen for the film festival but how we interact with people and how we make the film festival happen.”

The program, being a post-graduate one, is very hands-on. And working on something like First Take is as close to real-life work experience as it gets.

“Putting on our own festival is like introducing us to the way those festivals work; the inner workings of them,” Horlings said. “It gives us an understanding of how it will actually work when we try to distribute our own films.”

In fact, Horlings said instructors encourage students to attend film festivals and even submit their work.

“We're encouraged to go to TIFF ... we're encouraged to go to festivals like Hot Docs, which is a documentary film festival. And we're also encouraged to submit our projects from our time here to those festivals.”

Horlings said that faculty members have been helpful in putting the festival together.

“For the first few weeks they were very involved with telling us what to do,” she said. “Now that it's closer to the actual evening they've backed off. Not completely, we can still ask them questions because they've done this before.”

“They let us pick the judges, they let us pick the awards, so it's very much our film festival but with their guidelines. They've been extremely helpful and it probably would have fallen apart without the teachers' guidelines.”

Attendees can expect to see a whole whack of genres on screen.

“The films that have been made so far this year have been incredible, and our teachers have praised all of us for the good work that we've done,” said Horlings. “We have some horrors, we have a lot of comedies, we have a drama. But all of them are really styled and artistic and experimental, because we're trying out what we can and can't do.”

“They're all hilarious and well done, and everyone will love them as much as we do.”

First Take will take place on April 26 at Wolf Performance Hall at Central Library on 251 Dundas St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Email filmfestivalfirsttake@gmail.com to reserve yours now.
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