Student film festival to roll out the red carpet in March

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Three UVic students have set the ball rolling in creating their own film festival. The website for the Shoreline Film Festival launched on Oct. 14, and since then, visionaries Moiz Karim, Tahir Chatur, and Matt Power have been eagerly awaiting submissions.

The three friends, who are in their third and fourth years at UVic, want to provide student filmmakers with an accessible platform to share their works.

Moiz Karim, Tahir Chatur, and Matt Power are hoping to encourage student filmmaking with Shoreline Film Festival. Photo by Sarah Lazin

(L to R) Moiz Karim, Matt Power, and Tahir Chatur hope to encourage student filmmaking with Shoreline Film Festival. Photo by Sarah Lazin

“We’re just helping up and coming filmmakers gain an audience, accolades, [and] local recognition,” said Chatur. “[We want to] uncover the hidden talent within our communities.”

Whereas large film festivals, such as the Victoria Film Festival or Toronto International Film Festival, target professional filmmakers, Shoreline gives students the opportunity to show off their work in front of a live community audience and a panel of judges.

“The guidelines [for participants] are either between the ages of 17 and 25, or a student at whatever age he or she is,” said Chatur.

“These aren’t full-on 90-minute films,” added Power. Submissions are expected to be between five to 10 minutes in length, making the filming and editing processes less daunting to amateur filmmakers.

While no films have been submitted at time of writing since the festival launched its website in mid-October, the friends have begun receiving inquiries and are anxiously awaiting their first submission.

“Hopefully we get a total of 10–12 submissions,” said Karim. “From those 12 films or so, we’ll get seven or eight that we’ll play live, which we think to be the cream of the crop.”

Shoreline will host a gala at the end of March, where the top films will be screened live and judged. From these, three titles will be awarded: best overall short film, best screenplay and best cinematography.

The festival is still deciding who will compose their panel of judges. If all goes according to plan, a Pixar animator may be among them.

Shoreline is accepting submissions until Mar. 1, 2016. The date of the gala will be released two weeks prior to this deadline, though it has been tentatively planned for the end of March.

The gala will also feature live local bands and a UVic dance group to entertain attendees as they browse a silent auction. The auction will allow the festival to give back to the Victoria community and secure itself non-profit status. Fifty per cent of the gala proceeds will go back to the young artists. The other 50 per cent will be donated to a local charity that has yet to be finalized.

While the gala is months away, the trio has plenty to do in the coming weeks: reviewing submissions, renting a red carpet, and reminiscing about how the whole thing started.

“We were at the pub, at Fel’s [Felicita’s], and our slogan is ‘it all started with a plate of wings’ because we were just hanging out there,” said Chatur. “Moiz has always been wanting to do this festival — it’s his dream — and I was just lucky enough to be there and follow along.”

More information about the festival can be found at shorefilm.com.

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