Kelly Veltri

When speedy push comes to hasty shove filmmaking takes a turn under the Okanagan spotlight

Filmmaking gets a bit boost in Kelowna where the Okanagan Society of Independent Film is rolling out an annual five-day contest

  • May. 9, 2013 11:00 a.m.

There are a few memorable moments in the Okanagan Society film history.

David Suzuki made his acting debut on a gold motorbike on these dusty roads. We all collectively got quite high on the success of Adam Scorgie’s The Union: The Business Behind Getting High. Zombies invaded the downtown core when Valley of Zombies arrived to put us on the big screen and Jack Nicholson even graced us with his presence in The Pledge.

Now The Okanagan Society of Independent Film (OSIF) is asking for a few more moments of our time to make a collection of memorable scenes among the vines and orchards so oft referenced as picturesque.

And they have a timeframe: Five days.

“I find the more filmmakers I have around me, the more I try harder,” said Kelly Veltri, OSIF president and owner of 1980Four Productions.

The 5-Day Film Challenge is all about promoting film to the community and building a community for filmmakers in the Okanagan.

Within film circles, competitions like this one are generally limited to 48 hours. Those willing to come out and make a movie on a tight timeline generally commit to forgoing sleep, skimping on meals, throwing their heart and soul into a weekend of creativity in the name of their art.

Inspired by 24-hour plays, the projects run all over the world, from Cannes to Prague to Rome, and have been running since 2001 under the careful guidance of producers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston. The pair founded the project and have made it their life’s work.

But here in the Okanagan, the pace is a little slower.

Rather than force fellow creative brethren to skimp on the pleasantries in life—food, water, sanity…not to mention paid employment—OSIF is giving everyone who participates in their next filmmaking contest five days to complete their film.

Participants simply show up to the Rotary Centre for the Arts with a complete entry form, $30 and the creative juices flowing.

“It’s an open-genre contest,” said Veltri. “We’ll give you a prop and a line of dialogue and then you’re off.”

Just where it goes from there is really up to the creators.

Like the 3-Day Novel Contest, which has run every Labour Day weekend since 1977 and just saw its first two-time winner crowned this year, there is a small cash prize. First place will take home $500.

And while it might not spawn A Mother’s Nightmare, the made-in-the-Okanagan television drama filmed in the Okangan and debuting in Kelowna today (Thursday, April 9), there’s a good chance the seeds of another film project may stem from the week’s effort.

The Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking has been around in some format since the 1990s, but officially marks its 10-year anniversary as a society this year.

The first time the five-day film challenge was done in this area was in 2010, but with this year’s effort, OSIF is hoping to make it an annual event.

There will be a showing of all the films at the end of the event with prizes handed out—location to be announced. The winner’s name will be engraved on the OSIF cup with “bragging rights for the next year.”

The event runs Friday, May 24 to Wednesday, May 29. Complete details can be found on the OSIF website.

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