Hone Your Craft

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Available Light Film Festival. Each year, the festival seems to grow and attract greater talent from a variety of places. This year also has a substantial amount of filmmaking workshops, some free and others requiring tickets.

The festival’s keynote address will be from Dylan Marchetti, chief creative officer of Amplify Releasing, an independent film distribution company based in New York and Los Angeles. A long time advocate of independent film, Marchetti will discuss media distribution in the 21st century. He will also be joined by industry veterans Anita Adams and Suzanne Crocker to demystify digital distribution.

Looking through the workshops, a strong theme involves digital distribution of content. As Netflix expands and Amazon continues to produce its own award-winning shows, digital distribution will continue to be a topic of discussion among filmmakers. It’s no secret that filmmakers are ignoring traditional methods of release in favour of online distribution, and these workshops will doubtless provide substantial evidence of the continued dominance of digital distribution.

On Feb. 7 aspiring composers can head to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre from noon to 1 p.m. for a workshop with Jesse Zubot, who will share his knowledge of composing and working with a composer, having worked on such films as Koneline and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Feb. 9 will be an opportunity to see local Whitehorse filmmakers pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts and guest panelists. The successful pitch will receive $5,000 in production support. As music distribution shifts and streaming technology takes off, local musicians will want to sit in on the workshop with Gavin Gardiner, of the band The Wooden Sky, on marketing music in a digital marketplace.

Browsing the workshops that require a ticket or ALFF pass, the highlights include the One-on-One and Buzz Groups Networking Event held on Sunday, Feb. 7 and Skeleton Crewing & Cinematography on Feb. 10.

The One-on-One and Buzz Groups Networking Event will see over a dozen industry professionals come together at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre Multipurpose room to host 20 minute meetings with filmmakers pitching project ideas. Pre-registration is required for this event, as it is sure to fill up quickly.  

Skeleton Crewing and Cinematography features directors Fiona Rayner and Damien Gillis, who will share their experience of working on the film Fractured Land. Fractured Land follows Caleb Behn as he progresses through law school and builds awareness around the numerous potential issues involving fracking on First Nations land. For Yukon producers, this could be an extremely beneficial workshop, particularly given the remote locations that are often used for film shoots around the territory. Fractured Land is also showing on Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

The Available Light Film Festival runs from Feb. 7 to 14. Tickets and more information can be found online at YukonFilmSociety.com/ALFF.

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