Entertainment

Capturing action in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Cinema Politica is asking Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows youth to take action and make change for upcoming film festival. - Ashley Wadhwani/The TIMES
Cinema Politica is asking Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows youth to take action and make change for upcoming film festival.
— image credit: Ashley Wadhwani/The TIMES

Cinema Politica is asking Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows youth to explore – in 10 minutes or less – a positive change they want to see in their community, for this year’s Youth Vision Film Festival.

This year’s film festival theme is “Taking action: A local story of change,” and will be the third of its kind in Maple Ridge, hosted by the Cinema Politica Ridge Meadows chapter, its volunteer member Verity Howarth told The TIMES.

“This year’s theme is about documenting change, or showing change in your community through film,” Howarth explained.

Film submission can be single-person entries or by groups, but all film makers must be residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and be 25 years old or younger.

The submission deadline for the festival is April 25.

Every documentary will be showcased on May 5, during the film festival at the Maple Ridge City Hall Council Chambers.

After the screenings, a panel discussion will take place, as well as a Q and A period with the film maker, Howarth said.

The top film will win $500, decided by a panel of judges made up of community leaders and local activists, Howarth said.

Prizes will also be awarded for the second and third place, and an audience choice film.

Last year, Eva Cowley won both the $500 first place prize and the audience choice award for her film called “Know Them,” exploring solutions to homelessness.

Giving youth a voice

The concept of Cinema Politica, Howarth explained, is to “bring discussion, new ideas, and something to do in the evenings to Maple Ridge – in particular about current events.”

The group hosts free screenings of independent films and documentaries once a month , exploring topics such political advocacy, environmental sustainability, and health.

“It’s really exciting when young people come to our screenings; and the comments that they have, Howarth said.

“I think with any discussion about current events and politics, its really important to include youth because it is them who is most effected.”

The upcoming film festival gives youth a voice to speak out in a way that isn’t intimidating and is youth friendly, Howarth said.

“It gives them a voice and highlights their ideas,” she continued.

“This format allows them to share their ideas when people are watching and listening.”

Although the submission deadline is in April, a workshop for possible filmmakers will be taking place on Sunday, March 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Alouette Room at the Maple Ridge Library.

The workshop will include a past winner speaking about their film, Howarth explained, and give those in attendance tips on technical factors.

The workshop will be hands on, and also include the opportunity for youth to brainstorm possible ideas for their films.

“Its meant to be a support for people who have never made a documentary before or who have and want to improve their knowledge,” Howarth said.

To RSVP for the workshop, email ridgemeadows@cinemapolitica.org.

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