Student filmmaker and professor proud to see Windsor's film scene showcased on the small screen
When CBC approached University of Windsor professor Michael Stasko with the idea of highlighting local artists in a one-hour television special, he knew he wanted to showcase the city's film scene.
"I acted as a good, natural curator because of my work as a [film] professor at the university ... I actually had quite a difficult time narrowing it down to the final four," said Stasko, who said there is wide variety of genres he selected.
The result is Absolutely Windsor — a new, occasional series which will highlight independent films in the region. The first episode, titled Windsor Shorts, will air Saturday at 7 p.m. on CBC Television and will showcase four separate productions.
From the classroom to the TV screen
Fourth-year student Braunte Petric came up with the idea for Rose City Artists, one of the four films featured in the episode, after beginning a relationship with someone in a band. She said it's allowed to her to become more immersed in the band scene.
"I was getting introduced to how some bands would show up to a gig and nobody would be there and the struggles and how hard it was to be in a band," Petric said. "So I took that and said, 'let's try to see what comes from this.' I went out and we interviewed some people and it turned into Rose City Artists."
The documentary focuses on three bands — one who has "made it" in the Windsor scene, another who is "trying to make it" and a third band who "tried but sadly didn't quite make it."
The bands featured in her documentary are Ricky Nix, Munch Music and The Stroll. She said learning about their dedication to the craft inspired her not to give up and keep moving forward as a filmmaker.
"We might make a film and nobody sees it. It's just for your eyes. It doesn't get any publicity ... [But] if you keep trying and you love what you're doing, one day your hard work will pay off," she said.
The other films
Along with Rose City Artists, Stasko has chosen three other short films to play on the small screen — 8mm Installation, Tommy and Snow.
In 8mm Installation, — produced by student Mitchell Bouchard — a grandson plays rare film footage to his grandmother of her long-since-passed-away husband. Emotions come flooding back as she watches the beautiful projections of old home movies.
In Tommy, — produced by professor Ted Bezaire — a father and son head back to nature to bury their beloved pet turtle. They gather their memories and Tommy in a shoe box and head out to the spot they found him. They're ready to say goodbye, but it's not so easy for Tommy the Turtle.
And in Snow, student producer Elliott Hale walks viewers through a dystopian world in which snow has become a virus. It forces a brother and sister to survive the elements alone in their family home. But as supplies start to run low, they turn to the outside world for help.
An opportunity for young filmmakers
For Petric, the episode will represent hope for young filmmakers who worry their work will not succeed until later on in their careers.
"Giving a chance to young filmmakers gives us a little bit of something to go on when we ... make our next films to know that it's possible," she said, adding the road to success in film is a long one.
As well as its premiere on August 11, Windsor Shorts will replay September 1 — also at 7 p.m. — on CBC Television.