Movie Preview: If I had a $100

By Logan Niehaus

A hundred dollars used to buy you a lot. A rubber monster or a lighting crew. But this is a time of big budget, high profile and over-promoted films dominating the cinemas, created and produced with budgets exceeding millions of dollars. But there was a time, when filmmakers only had so much money to create, edit and produce a film. The entries in the 13th annual Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers’ $100 Film Festival harken to those times, bringing a love of film to a small budget festival with only creativity and imagination to rely upon.

This year’s festival showcases 45 submissions, including 13 local contributions. “[The festival] offers things you would never see anywhere else,” says festival chairperson and CSIF board of director’s member Amy Darling, noting this year’s filmmakers come from as far as the U.S., U.K., and Italy.

Started in 1992, the first year of the festival had only a total of seven entries. With 45 entries this year, much has changed for the little film festival that could. Although the first two years involved a $100 limit on production costs, it was dropped and allowed independent entries of all budgets. However, many entrants still try to stick to the $100 cap. Jessica Frederick and Duncan Kenworthy’s joint production Awkward was created on a $100 budget.

“Basically, we did it for fun and wanted to experiment a little with a crazy concept,” exclaims Jessica, a first year film student at SAIT.

Another film promising to turn a few heads this week is Laura and Terence de Jonge’s film, What Goes Around Comes Around. “It follows the lives of pregnant teenager and a young boy through their individual journeys of losing family and finding love,” says Laura. On her first film, she and Terence (eleven years old) put together a story based in large part on a struggle both faced during their lives.

“It’s basically of two lives coming together the film concept came about simply by me talking about my life and typing it out. It turned into a script,” explains Laura.

One filmmaker, Aaron Munson, created his entry on an astounding budget of $10, an entry many are curious to see.

A creative venue for examining and exploring film is just one way to describe the $100 Film Festival. Anybody interested in original, and meaningful creations should definitely make an effort to be a part of the festival or, at the very least, check out what you can do with 100 bucks.

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