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Concordia Film Festival debuts on the small screen

MAtv showcases work by Concordia film students and features reporting from Journalism and Communication Studies students
January 25, 2019
By Michael Bramadat-Willcock

Photo by Eveline Auger Photo by Eveline Auger

For the first time in its 46 year history, official selections from the Concordia Film Festival (CFF) will air together as a television series. The annual student-run festival event at the Mel Hoppenheim school of Cinema has partnered with Videotron’s community cable network MAtv to produce four half-hour episodes that will run from February 11th to May 26th.

The TV series showcases work by Concordia film students and features reporting from MAtv interns Pamela Pagano (Journalism) and Kaykeria Bernard (Communication Studies). Each episode will be available to Videotron cable subscribers through the channel, Club Illico and the general public can access them on the MAtv website.

Festival Co-Director and second year Film Studies student Max Holzberg credits former festival director Alex G. Vermeil for setting up the deal with MAtv. Viewers can expect a mix of animation and live action shorts along with interviews from students and professors discussing the film school, the films themselves.

'There's not a better feeling in this world'

Photo by Eveline Auger Photo by Eveline Auger

Bruce Fagen is a recent graduate of Concordia’s Film Animation program and an emerging filmmaker. Fagen’s animated short Hooked will be airing on television for the first time through MAtv and he’s excited for his small screen debut. 

“There’s not a better feeling in this world than when you realize that you’ve achieved the goal you’re going for,” he says.  

As an emerging filmmaker Fagen just scored his first paying job in the field and is looking forward to connecting with a wider audience though MAtv. A comedian at heart, Fagen says, “It’s very easy to make people cry, it’s very easy to make people think, it’s really hard to make people laugh.”

He describes his the two-minute comedic animation as the story of, “two young boys who go fishing and catch more than they expect.”

'Create a sense of community with people in Montreal'

Photo by Eveline Auger Photo by Eveline Auger

2019 marks the 46th anniversary of the Concordia Film Festival, making it the oldest student-run film festival in North America. Siam Obregón is a fourth year Film Production student at Concordia. She says that this year's festival is all about connecting with a broader audience and showcasing student achievement.

“We would like to create more of a sense of community with people living in Montreal and for them to be informed of what’s happening at Concordia.” Obregón says it’s just a taste of things to come at this year’s Festival. “They’re really good films. Mel Hoppenheim is really focused on story and it shows,” she says.

“The traditional ways of cinema are changing and these are the people that are making that change right now as we speak,” says Holzberg.

He says that for Montrealers outside the university engaging with the Concordia Film Festival is a good way to keep up with emerging trends in cinema production.

“The stories that people are telling in university now are very different from what they were even a few years ago.” Holzberg says that this year’s festival will look at the future of cinema and bring in more diverse perspectives with a focus on Indigenous and LGBTQ+ perspectives.

The 2019 edition of the Concordia Film Festival runs from May 2nd to 5th at the Downtown Campus.

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