Friday November 21, 2014

Film Festival presents awards

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Mitchell Kezin with the Best of Festival Golden Sheaf Award.

 - The crew from Her Father’s Land with the Best of Saskatchewan Golden Sheaf. -

The crew from Her Father’s Land with the Best of Saskatchewan Golden Sheaf.

The sheaves were harvested again Saturday in the city as the Yorkton Film Festival held its annual Golden Sheaf Awards Gala.

The Best of Festival Award went to Jingle Bell Rocks!

Jingle Bell Rocks! Also won the Emerging Filmmaker Award for director Mitchell Kezin, and was also nominated for Research and Director Non-Fiction.

The film explores the emerging world of alternative based Christmas music and the people who produce and enjoy it.

Kezin said the Best of Festival Award was completely unexpected.

“First of all, I didn’t even know it was eligible for this,” he said, adding to have earned the Festival’s biggest prize had left him “… kind of overwhelmed.”

Kezin said the YFF “is one of the most important festivals in North America and especially Canada,” so the award was an obvious honour.

Jingle Bell Rocks! had a release in Canada last Christmas, and will release in the United States this December. Kezin said having a Golden Sheaf Award might also re-spark interest in this country for a second run.

The film is one deeply personal for Kezin who himself collects non-traditional Christmas music.

“I’ve been collecting over 25-years myself,” he said, adding he probably has 5,000 albums and CDs, which is a modest collection in terms of some collectors highlighted in the movie.

“There’s some really, really, cool stuff out there,” he said.

The Ruth Shaw Best of Saskatchewan Award was awarded to Her Father’s Land, a production from the University of Regina detailing the Idle No More movement.

Tiffany Cassidy was one of four people associated with the film to attend the gala. She said the film profiles Sylvia McAdam, one of the people instrumental in launching the Idle No More movement.

The film was made as part of a journalism course, which Cassidy said is not as big a stretch as it might seem.

“It’s finding a way to tell a story,” she said.

Christopher Yip said the university project was filmed in four days, but added “overall it took three months,” with all the associated work of creating a film.

The Best of Saskatchewan Award was not expected by the film team.

“We were completely surprised,” said Yip, who said as a university project they were not expecting such an honour.

But, they were also eager to enter the piece.

“We made a film, why wouldn’t we enter a Festival?” stated David Fraser.

While excited by the win, Cassidy said it might also be just the inspiration needed to stay in the film and journalism industries.

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