The Atlantic International Film Festival has named eight short films the winners of this year’s FIN Kids Youth Film Competition.
Chosen by Halifax-based filmmakers Seán Maheux Galway and Sandi Rankaduwa from among the three dozen entries, the winners in Atlantic Canada’s largest youth film competition receive a piece of film equipment they can use to continue making movies.
“We were thrilled to have had 36 short films from bright, young filmmaking teams from across the Atlantic region compete in the FIN Kids Youth Competition this year,” says Lisa Haller, director of programming for the Atlantic International Film Festival. “The 15 finalist films ranged from comedy and drama to sci and documentary and showcased the budding talent and creativity of the next generation of filmmakers.”
The award for best fiction film went to Nova Scotia director Josiah Olivier Urban for their film Mission Spaghetti Sauce. Another Nova Scotia director, Finn Jeremy Paster, received an honourable mention in the category for their film This Way Up.
In presenting the award to Urban, the jury noted: “For its impressive cinematography and intricate rhythm, which deftly emulates the look and feel of blockbuster spy thrillers and for its unexpected, clever, and heartfelt conclusion, which reminds us that everything we do, at the end of the day, is all for mom.”
This year’s best documentary film award went to Julia Black for their film, Our Story: The Indigenous Life. Honourable mention went to Sawyer Bodurtha and Gabe El Rabahi for their film Nova Scotia’s First.
In presenting the award to Black, the jury noted: “For its wonderfully informative portrayal of an impressive local figure, Supreme Court Justice John Bodurtha, and its deft handling of the intricacies and obstacles of systemic racism.”
Grace Qu took home the award for achievement in acting for the film Familiar, while director John Torres Calderon took home the prize for achievement in animation. The award for best filmmaker twelve years and under went to Travis Karr, Wesley Karr, Sam Crabtree and Charlie Crabtree for their film Yelsew’s Magic Safe Snatch.
Since 2002, FIN Kids has grown into an Atlantic Canada-wide youth initiative that brings the FIN experience to school groups and communities across the region, presenting films for youth and tackling issues from multiculturalism and community to sustainability and creativity.
The program’s activities introduce students to filmmaking through hands-on media workshops, with the FIN Kids Film Competition providing a platform for young filmmakers and having become a proven launching pad for the next generation of talent.
You can view all the 2023 film entries on the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival YouTube channel.