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REEL Youth festival: See the famous filmmakers of

This year’s Rossland Mountain Film Festival (RMFF) will again feature a youth program, but this year instead of the U19 Film Fest (to be held in early 2012 in Trail) the RMFF will be offering the REEL Youth Film Festival, an innovative program run by local youth and featuring both local and internationally-produced short films by young people.

On Saturday, November 26, between the hours of noon and 2pm a two part program will be offered with a presentation by keynote speaker and LifeCycles director Derek Frankowski. Given that Frankowski appears to be a sort of minor deity to the kids at the organizing meeting I attended last week (they were visibly thrilled to learn he’d be speaking to them), the Rossland-based director can be assured of a warm welcome Saturday afternoon.

In addition to narrative, documentary, and animated youth films from around Canada and the US, five locally-produced movies will be screened:


  • A Walk In The Forest by James Klemmensen (Rossland)
  • The Bush Hobo by Mackenzie Flood (Rossland)
  • More Than Just The Music by James Klemmensen (Rossland)
  • Zombie Apocalypse by Jordan Strobel (Trail)
  • Surge Freerun: Year One by Liam Barnes (Rossland)

The Telegraph had the opportunity to speak with James Klemmensen, who has two films in the festival this year. Like all the other filmmakers and volunteers, Klemmensen is doing more than simply sitting back and basking in the glory. “I am helping at the door and with the criteria for judging. These are things I’ve had experience with in the past.”

Klemmensen sees the festival as a really good thing. “It’s a good opportunity for youth to premier their films and get them seen by a sizable audience.”

The young filmmaker is very clear about his goals. “I want to be a freelance videographer/video editor in Vancouver. Then I’ll have my own spare time to work on making my own independent films.”

“I’ve got two films in this festival, a short narrative and a documentary about the Kaslo Jazz Festival. A friend of mine knows the person in charge. They gave me a free pass and I went and filmed volunteers. One of the bands there also gave me permission to use their performance.”

In the days leading up to this weekend’s screening the filmmakers and a group of dedicated youth volunteers are working hard on door prizes (there will be some!), decorations, promotion, costumes, a half time trivial contest, and much more. Should you find yourself getting peckish, RSS’s Interact club will be on hand selling fresh baked goods to help fund their good works.

It’s also worth noting that attendees will be able to vote for their favourite local film, so show up and cast a ballot. Admission to this wide-ranging event is a mere 3 bucks and should be well worth the expense!