Student filmmakers supported by local festival
By Meredith Dault, Senior Communications Officer
Even as a first-year student Hamza Bangash (Artsci’ 14) had his sights set on having one of his own films included in the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. A student in the Stage and Screen program, Mr. Bangash landed his first work-study position with the local festival. While primarily an administrative role, the placement also offered the burgeoning filmmaker the chance to help with festival programming.
“I knew I wanted to be on the filmmaking side,” he recalls, “but it was a great way to get to know the local filmmaking community, and to learn about how festivals work.”
So when he found out that his 11-minute film, Badal, had been accepted to the festival’s 2014 incarnation, Mr. Bangash was thrilled.
“It’s really cool to have a movie playing there in my fourth year,” he says. “I always knew I wanted to be part of the KCFF when I made my own movie. They really are so good to students.”
While involved in the production of a number of other shorts, Mr. Bangash served as writer, director, cinematographer, and editor for Badal. Shot in Pakistan, the film follows three young women as they grapple with coming of age pressures in a culture with very unique cultural expectations.
“This was my first real narrative film,” says Mr. Bangash, who was born in Pakistan but came to Canada at age 9. He made the film while visiting his parents, who moved back to their native country in the summer of 2013. “I always knew I wanted to be part of the KCFF when I made my own movie. They really are so good to students.”
Even Yawen Wu (Artsci’ 15), who has two films in the festival, says she was surprised but pleased to hear her work had been accepted. The Film and Video major teamed up with Yiyang Liu (Artsci’ 15) to complete two projects as part of a course in experimental filmmaking taught by Gary Kibbins. Both will be screened as part of the local shorts program. The Gaze explores non-human perception by exploring how machines see humans, while Cinqcents tells an oblique love story.
“I didn’t know much about experimental filmmaking before taking Gary’s class,” says Ms. Wu, “but now I am really interested in it.” Originally from China, Ms. Wu and her family moved to Toronto less than a decade ago. While she had always wanted to make films, Ms. Wu says she didn’t have the opportunity to try filmmaking until she arrived at Queen’s. Now she intends to apply to study film in graduate school.
For Jonny Klynkramer (Artsci’ 15), finding out his film The Path had been accepted to the KCFF was a pleasant surprise. Created as part of the university’s Focus Film Festival where it won Best Picture and Best Editing, The Path takes a semi-experimental approach to exploring the theme ‘temperance.’ After their initial success, Mr. Klynkramer and his team figured they would submit to the KCFF and see what happened. “It was really good to hear that they wanted it,” he says with a laugh. We really got it in at the last minute.”
Mr. Klynkramer, who is majoring is global development studies, learned some film production skills through courses he has taken as part of his minor in film studies. While on an academic exchange in Mumbai, India last year, he began making his own videos and returned to Queen’s feeling ready to embark on new projects. As he contemplates a career in film, Mr. Klynkramer is enjoying being involved in the local filmmaking community.
“All sorts of interesting projects have been popping up,” he says, “and I’ve been working on my own projects as well. I’m getting really interested in experimental film, too, and might do some installation pieces. I’m enjoying experimenting with film as a medium.”
While his recent win at Focus may be in the back of his mind, Mr. Klynkramer says he plans to focus his attention at the KCFF on participating in workshops and attending networking events, not to mention the thrill of sharing his work with a new audience.
“It would be nice to win (a prize) at another festival, but just being in this one is sweet enough.”
The Kingston Canadian Film Festival runs from February 27 until March 2.