Eleven short films featuring everything from Count Floyd to puppets and mounting garbage will shown at the Prairie Tales Film Festival next week in Red Deer.
Red Deer College wants to give Central Albertans a rare chance to view a diverse array of Alberta-made shorts over two days, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15, at the Welikoklad Event Centre (former City Centre Stage).
RDC alumni and award-winning filmmaker Trevor Anderson made one of the films — which is actually a music video for his Edmonton band, called The Wet Secrets Night Life. (In 2010, CBC Radio 3 put The Wet Secrets’ song Secret March in the Top 20 Best Songs of the 2000s.)
Anderson managed to track down former SCTV actor Joe Flaherty and convince him to reprise his Count Floyd character. In the video, Flaherty, who was also in the cult TV series Freaks and Geeks, plays an immortal vampire who struggles to engage with youth culture.
Anderson is a self-taught, independent filmmaker who studied theatre at RDC before the college launched its Motion Picture Arts program. His film The Man That Got Away (2012) won a short film prize at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).
His previous short, The High Level Bridge (2010), was included in the Sundance Institute Art House Project, where it was favourably reviewed by the late Roger Ebert, and also won a special mention as Live Action Short Film at the American Film Institute’s Festival in Los Angeles.
Anderson’s The Island (2009) won Best Short Film at the Pink Apple Festival in Zürich, Switzerland; and Rock Pockets (2007) won the inaugural Lindalee Tracey Award at Hot Docs in Toronto. It was presented to “an emerging Canadian filmmaker working with passion, humour, a strong sense of social justice, and a personal point of view.”
While Anderson’s films have been shown to select film festival audiences across the world, most Central Albertans have never seen them.
James Wilson, an instructor in the RDC Motion Picture Arts program, believes Red Deer-area residents would appreciate the chance to view the works of Anderson and other talented Albertans. The filmmakers, in turn, would also gain from developing a local fan following.
The Prairie Tales Film Festival has been put together by the Alberta Media Arts Alliance and Edmonton’s Metro Cinema. It’s an annually curated, touring collection of short films and videos made by Albertan artists, but has only sporadically been screened in Red Deer. Wilson hopes to make it an annual event.
Some of the other films that will be shown are: A Dead Man’s Holiday animation compilation by Pincher Creek’s Don Best; Stepping Lightly, a documentary about the mounting garbage problem, produced by the Edmonton Waste Management Centre; Falling, a short with puppets by Black Diamond filmmaker Zoe Slusar; and Bresial, a film about a young man’s search for identity by Italian-born filmmaker Carlo Ghioni.
The festival goes from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on both nights. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for student projects in the RDC Motion Picture Arts program.