Kidd and Peskleway’s film is in the animatics or ‘rough cut’ stage. Soon, they will begin animating. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

Youth filmmakers tackle technology addiction, relationships, cyber-bullying

The Kelowna couple won a grant from Telus STORYHIVE

Two young Kelowna filmmakers are hard at work to finish their film by this summer, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Telus STORYHIVE.

Cheyanna Kidd and Kurtis Peskleway are the directors and lead animators on a short animated film titled ‘Like and Follow’.

The film follows two teenagers as they meet through technology and rediscover the beauty of nature away from their phones.

“This is an incredible opportunity given to us by Telus STORYHIVE and Reel Youth. The essence of this grant is to raise awareness about several topics relating to tech addiction, cyber-bullying, and connectivity versus disconnectivity,” she said.

“(The grant) includes LGBTQ youth and youth in general, giving voices to people who are otherwise not heard.”

At first, the duo had different plans for their film but due to the pandemic, they had to adapt and change those plans so they can work from home and not worry about bringing home any illnesses to their 15-month old daughter.

The film is a real piece of teamwork: Kidd is in charge of the animation and all the visual aspects of the film while Peskleway directs the music and the sound effects. But it doesn’t stop there.

“I’m in a team with Kurtis, but we’re looking for all different kinds of animators, Aboriginal artists, so many different types of people with so many different kinds of skills and bringing this as a community project that encompasses so much more than just two parents at home trying to make their own animation,” Kidd said.

She added they are grateful to have the chance to express themselves in a film that will be shown throughout the country.

“The opportunity is empowering. It’s not just a little project that you do in school or on your own. This is something that means something … this is an opportunity for young people like myself to get ourselves out there in a way that allows us to connect with the industry.”

To see behind the scenes and follow the film’s progress, visit Kidd and Peskleway’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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