Powell River Digital Film School holds year-end gala

Screening work publicly provides valuable learning, says film school instructor

Powell River Digital Film School is once again gearing up for its annual gala screening event, which takes place on Wednesday, June 20, at the Patricia Theatre.

The occasion gives film students a chance to share their work with the community and celebrate their achievement. The evening will begin with a reception at 6 pm with drinks, food, and music, followed at 7 pm by a screening of selected short films created during the students’ five-month tenure at the school.

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“This is a culmination of what they’ve learned throughout the year,” said Powell River Digital Film School founder and lead instructor Tony Papa. The opportunity to screen work for a larger audience is integral to the learning process, he added.

“The significance of showing their films is they get to see their work through the eyes of an audience,” said Papa. “They hear if the laughs are in the right places and see how their work is perceived.”

Each year, students work on projects including documentaries, animation and dramas. The film school, now in its 11th year, offers students from Powell River and other parts of the province a place to learn about and practice the art of filmmaking in a hands-on, film community setting, said Papa.

Films made at the school routinely win national and international awards at festivals, industry events and Skills Canada competitions. This year, students won gold, silver and bronze at the Skills Canada regional competition. They were not able to compete in the nationals due to other program commitments.

After completing the program, students can continue on to post-secondary institutions using dual-credit affiliations at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Toronto Film School, Capilano University and Langara College.

Several alumni of the local program currently work in the film industry on productions with Netflix, Amazon, CBC and independent productions, said Papa.

Admission to the screening is by donation.

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