Student film director wins Cannes trip

It’s a budding moviemaker’s dream. Fourth-year film student Wendi Marchioni will go to the Cannes Film Festival next May for 10 days. That’s her prize – worth $5,000 – for winning the Kodak Director Award at the 34th Canadian Student Film & Video Festival last month for Winter Days, her third-year film project.

Right: Director Wendi Marchioni (standing) takes a light reading during filming of Winter Days.

Winter Days is the first narrative film with sound that Marchioni has directed. It’s a nine-and-a-half-minute film about a romance that blossoms between two young people, Emily and Jeff, who meet when Jeff helps start Emily’s car on a cold winter day. Their happy moments together end when Jeff dies in an accident. Though Emily is left alone, she learns that bad luck can still lead to good luck.

“To win a director’s award has encouraged me to continue pursuing filmmaking as a serious career,” says Marchioni. “It is my goal to continue making films audiences can enjoy. I’m sure going to the Cannes festival in 2004 will be one of the most unforgettable moments in my life, and winning this award has given me the confidence that one day I will have a film playing there.

Right: A scene from Winter Days

Winter Days was chosen for the Kodak Director Award by a jury of professional filmmakers – Andreas Strahl, film director and director of the International Festival of Film Schools and of the International Film Festival of Munich; Monique Le Tourneau, producer of short and feature films and head producer of the Aid to Independent Cinema Program of the National Film Board; and Gonul Donmez-Colin, film critic specializing in cinema from Asia and Middle-East countries and consultant for many international festivals.

Marchioni is not the first new talent from York to shine at the student film festival, held in conjunction with Montreal’s World Film Festival. Most recently, Joseph Baron won the Grand Prix Kodak Canada award for his eight-minute fiction Four in 2001. And Candice Day won honorable mention for her fiction film Angela in 2000.

For more information about the Student Film & Video Festival, visit the World Film Festival of Montreal Web site.

Submitted by Brigitte Kleer, public relations and special projects manager in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.