A dramatic feature film written and directed by Thorneloe University professor Benjamin Paquette will make its premiere at Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival on Sept. 21.
Perspective, which plays at 3:30 p.m., is part of the First Cut program at Cinéfest, and is serving as a teaching tool for film production students at Thorneloe University where a bachelor degree of fine arts is offered in co-operation with Laurentian University.
“Sudbury continues to grow as a location of choice for film production, which presents an excellent opportunity for Thorneloe to expand its course offerings in this field,” said Thorneloe University President, the Rev. Dr. Robert Derrenbacker in a news release. “The film production course is one of several courses that comprise the film production curriculum within the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Students have an exceptional opportunity to work on a real production to see how it all comes together.”
What makes Perspective unique is that it is a film in progress, and will continue to evolve over the next four to eight years. Every year a new chapter of the film will be presented at Cinéfest until the project is complete. Each chapter will run approximately 10 to 20 minutes, with the final film expected to be approximately 90 minutes in length.
The time lapse between chapters will be integrated into the drama. The first chapter, titled Salt & Soda, will be presented this year. A moderated discussion with members of the cast and crew will follow the presentation.
“This is a very innovative approach to filmmaking,” said Paquette. “At most film schools, students rarely get such direct and complete access to the production of a professional feature, from start to finish. Some of the students landed jobs on movie sets in Northern Ontario as a result of their experience working on the first chapter of this film.”
Paquette, an accomplished filmmaker and educator, saw the annual Sudbury film festival as a “wonderful venue for learning,” and so proposed Perspective for the First Cut program, said Tammy Frick, Executive Director of Cinéfest.
“The films that are screened as part of the First Cut program are not yet finished, so they are meant to provide a unique learning experience for students and others interested in education and filmmaking.”
Subtitled Variations on a Love Triangle in 9 Chapters, Perspective is a romantic drama revolving around the lives of three people, and features exceptional performances from Sudbury-based actors Stéphane Paquette, Pandora Topp, and Thorneloe Theatre Arts professor Patricia Tedford.
Produced for Sudbury-based Nortario Films by Jason Ross Jallet and Benjamin Paquette, Perspective features the work of acclaimed cinematographer Ivan Gekoff, music and sound design by Sudbury-based Daniel Bédard, and production design by Joseph Kabbach.
Originally from Sudbury, Paquette started his professional filmmaking career in Montreal, where he also taught film production for 10 years. Perspective will mark his fourth consecutive year at Cinéfest, and his sixth overall.
He returned to Sudbury in the fall of 2009 to supervise the development of a film production curriculum within the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Thorneloe. Paquette presently teaches multiple film courses at Thorneloe, including production and screenwriting.