GIFTS Screening and Film Festival Update

There has been A LOT of stuff going on with “GIFTS” lately, and I’ll start off with the friends and family screening we had a couple of weeks ago at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum theatre.

GIFTS Screening - Cast members of the film and trailer

GIFTS Screening – Cast members of the film and trailer

It was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who came and supported! It was really a blast seeing everyone and being able to answer any questions that people had.

Charlene Burnside (a professional photographer, family friend, and the Mom of two cast members in GIFTS) brought her camera to take “a couple of photos”, which turned out to be a bunch of beautiful photos! I’m so happy to have them, because they’re so much better than the ones that my Dad and I took. Thank you Charlene!

Another exciting event was the acceptance of GIFTS into NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth), the largest youth film festival in the world, based in Seattle. Some of you may remember me entering my previous film “Mirror” into NFFTY last year. It wasn’t accepted, and although I was a little disappointed I still made the best of things by taking everything that NFFTY said was a problem, and applying that to GIFTS. I made it shorter, a little more tightly edited, and added some things that I wanted to improve in as well by using a different camera, lenses, etc. After much hard work, blood, sweat and tears (maybe not the second one), GIFTS was accepted, and I’m very proud to say that I’ll be going to Seattle in April.

I’d also like to address anyone that didn’t get in this year. Please keep trying. If you love to make films, don’t let a rejection letter discourage you. If you do, you’re depriving yourself of the success that has yet to come. Read the email/letter from NFFTY, and look for reasons why they may not have accepted not just yours, but other films as well. Take all those reasons, and apply them to your next film. Keep doing that until something great happens. Even if you never get accepted into the festival after ages of trying, now you’re a pro at everything that you’ve been refining and applying. It was a major learning experience for me. Just don’t give up.

And to all the friends, family, teachers, and complete strangers who have supported me, I can’t thank you enough!

The following pics are just a few photos from the screening. To see all of the photos, visit the GIFTS Photos page.

2 thoughts on “GIFTS Screening and Film Festival Update”

  1. I can appreciate that you are excited, but you might want to avoid broadcasting the fact that you screened the film publicly if you are submitting to (and being accepted by) major festivals… just an fyi. (Festival politics generally frown upon jumping the gun and premiering the film yourself.)

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, you’re absolutely right that requirements about prior public screenings and premiere-status varies greatly among festivals. However, all festivals that I’ve encountered allow for effectively private screenings for the crew, cast, and family/friends. Please note that Morgana’s post did accurately describe (in the first sentence) that this was a “friends and family screening”. So, no worries about the screening, or the blog post, interfering with submissions.