Telus’ funding program for film creators, Story Hive, has announced its new Digital Shorts edition, which will give funding to emerging filmmakers, artists, writers, directors and performers in Alberta and British Columbia.
“What we want to do is make funding video projects more engaging and involve the community. How it works is creators and filmmakers upload their ideas for short films to storyhive.com and the community, so the users, they decided what project should get funding together with a jury,” said Jonas Woost, senior digital strategist for Telus.
“Once the decision has been made we give the different projects their funding and actually go ahead and make those top films. We’ve really invested in the communities where we are. We give a lot of funding to different projects and we really want to make sure that we do that in a way that is engaging and involves the entire community and to keep it fun as well.”
The top 30 projects submitted will get $10,000 each to bring their ideas to life and will also compete for one of two top prizes, which will see them get customized training and a visit to the Banff Television Festival. Everyone in Alberta and B.C. is eligible to take part with no previous film experience required.
Woost says they are also keen to hear from creators outside of the bigger cities, adding that it’s the smaller communities that have great stories to tell.
“It’s communities like (Lloydminster) that we want to make sure are part of this,” he said.
Telus wants to involve all filmmakers in the Digital Shorts edition, encouraging projects that span all genres, including ideas that don’t necessarily follow traditional or mainstream storytelling methods. Everything from documentary, comedy, drama, dance and art pieces are welcome with the submission period extending to Oct. 11.
The winner from a previous short film edition, Olaf Blomerus, had his project, Hello World, go on to win three Alberta Film and Television awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematographer (drama under 30 minutes) and Best Score. Woost says having filmmakers go on to advance their craft is the main objective for Story Hive.
“We really see Story Hive as kind of an incubator. You don’t have to be an emerging filmmaker but typically what we get are emerging filmmakers taking part in Story Hive and what we want to do is for that to be a step to do other things,” he said. “That’s really the whole point of it, to allow these filmmakers to get to the next step in their career.”
Those interested can apply at www.storyhive.com.