by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
With the Windsor International Film Festival garnering a huge audience from those wishing to see what the cinematic world has to offer, there was one film in particular which put the W in WIFF.
The weeklong festival, which occurred from Nov. 3 to 8 at the Capitol Theatre, lead to over 17,000 tickets being sold. A successful year withstanding, it was also a platform to have the grand premiere of ‘Stillwater’, which was produced and shot entirely in the southwestern region, particularly Amherstburg. The short film is a showcase of local talent as it centers itself on Windsor’s prohibition history. As the lights came back on and the seats were vacated, WIFF executive director Vincent Georgie found the screening to be nothing less than triumphant.
“When you’ve got a lineup wrapped around the building on a Wednesday night, I think that says a lot,” Georgie said.
Well over a 100 people flocked to see the film. It was made almost entirely by past and present UWindsor film students, with film studies professor Min Bae at the helm. Production for the film initially began in January according to Bae, with the set finished in May which was then followed by a continuous 10-day shooting period. While Bae believes the night went well, he plans to make it into a full length feature in due time.
“I’m still growing, there’s a lot of room to grow, so hopefully for the next two years I keep making it and at some point it becomes a masterpiece,” Bae said.
The film also managed to garner intrigue from those not from the area. Latrallo Presley, who played the role of Getty, is originally from Detroit, saying the audition for ‘Stillwater’ marked his first time in Canada. On top of this being one way to form new professional relationships, it was a progressive experience from an acting standpoint.
“It made me really learn something I couldn’t do, because that character is completely not me, it was an eye opening experience,” Presley said.
The plan in the near future for ‘Stillwater’ is to have it screened in additional festivals. Beyond the reception the film had, Georgie hopes it’s used to pave the way towards a stronger filmmaking community in the city, with the willingness to shoot more projects in a purely homegrown state.
“The key advantage to Windsor is because the community’s so collaborative and so supportive of anything local, people just want to jump in,” Georgie said.