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Local filmmakers competing for $10K prize

A time travel drama sounds like the plot to a Hollywood blockbuster but a local film crew is hoping it could land them $10,000. “Aeternitas” is the brain child of Gordie Haakstad. He says the story has been an idea for about a decade but this competition inspired him to pen the script.

Haakstad and Chris Beauchamp co-own the Distillery Film Company which is based in Grande Prairie. Their work includes an array of shorts, corporate films and music videos.

This is the duo’s second time going for the Telus Storyhive Funding. In 2017 they shot the music video “Fly Away Home“. Haakstad says they’ve really seen a lot of growth in the film community in GP over the last five years.

“Through things like the Frantic 48, which is the 48 hour filmmaking challenge, we’ve built up a pretty sizeable number of collaborators that we’ve made film with. So [with] a project like this we’re going to tap into that local base and be able to use a lot of the amazing local talent that is in Grande Prairie.”

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Haakstad says the scene while small is enthusiastic. He says things like the Peace Region Independent Media Arts Association (PRIMAA) and the Reel Shorts Film Festival have been leading the way. Film classes also are now offered at GPRC, something he adds supports future growth on a local level.

Haakstad has worked in film for more than 15 years, with a number of them based in Los Angeles. He says it is exciting to see how digital platforms are giving filmmakers from anywhere an opportunity to be successful.

“You can build up a fan base. You can create content. You can get your work seen by thousands or millions of people simply by doing a good job. So if you have that drive, if you have that [level] of talent, you have a platform and it doesn’t matter where you are.”

While some major centres may have additional resources and supports like equipment rentals, PRIMAA is preparing to offer that service locally.

A local documentary project is also competing for funding. “The Alberta Internet Creators Project” follows internet artists and creators trying find audiences for their content.

Voting closes Friday at 1:00 p.m. local time. Only one vote can be cast per day per project, but you can vote for up to five projects in a day. The Telus Storyhive Funding is meant to develop and support content creators in Alberta and British Columbia. Successful projects will be aired on their Optik TV service and by Air Canada. Winners will announced May 3, 2018.

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