Top York U student films hit the silver screen at CineSiege

film image for student showcase

Catch a rising new wave of film talent!

Now in its 13th year, CineSiege – the annual juried showcase of York University’s Department of Cinema & Media Arts – presents a collection of shorts: riveting fiction, cutting-edge alternative works and provocative documentaries, selected by leading lights of the Canadian film and media scene.

CineSiege 2015 screens one night only, Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7pm the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. West. It features the best productions made in 2014-15 by York’s undergraduate filmmakers. The films being showcased were chosen from a shortlist of 32 nominees, which in turn were culled from a pool of 137 productions.

“CineSiege is our stellar public showcase in which we present the best of our student work,” said Professor Ali Kazimi, chair of the Department of Cinema & Media Arts in the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design. “Instructors nominate the films, and bring together a jury of industry and film community notables. This is the first connection the student work has with an independent jury. The awards portion of the evening is as charged as any red carpet gala – and it is a terrific celebration for all.”

Details on the shortlisted films are available on the CineSiege 2015 website.

The jurors for this year’s program are director, producer and cinematographer Nicholas de Pencier (Watermark, Manufactured Landscapes, Four Wings and a Prayer), media artist and Hot Docs curator Gisèle Gordon, filmmaker Keith Lock (Magical Coincidence), Charlotte Mickie, president of Mongrel International at Mongrel Media, and Jason Ryle, executive director and programmer at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Above: CineSiege 2015 Jurors, from left, Charlotte Mickie, Keith Lock, Nicholas de Pencier, Jason Ryle and Gisèle Gordon

Jurors will be on hand at the screening to introduce their picks and explain why they were chosen. They will also announce the awards for genre winners and for exceptional achievement in screenwriting, cinematography, sound and editing.

“We thank our jurors for their generous gift of time and expertise,” said Kazimi.  “And we’re very grateful to our founding sponsor, Cinespace Film Studios, for their longstanding support of this event and for the many young filmmakers who have launched their careers with the films screened at CineSiege.”

Left to right, stills from Waya, Breach, In Between Words and Jew Girl #2
Above: From left, stills from Waya, Breach, In Between Words and Jew Girl #2

CineSiege finalists and prizewinners regularly go on to screenings and awards at home and abroad. Jeff Garneau’s drama Erasermen (2012) was named by TIFF as one of that year’s top 10 student-made shorts in Canada, screened at the Edmonton International Film Fest and won the Rising Star Award at the 2014 Canada International Film Festival in Vancouver. Akreta Saim’s experimental film Elpis (2014), also one of TIFF’s top 10 student shorts, toured nationally and was an official selection for the Reel Genius International Film Festival USA and Aakruti International Film Fest, India. Kristina Mileska’s Florence the Fish (2014) screened at the Josiash Media Festival in Texas, the Sirius and Birdies filmfests in the UK, and won Audience Choice, Critics’ Choice and the Festival Director’s Award at Toronto Youth Shorts 2014. Eui Yong Zong’s Conceived (2013) won best experimental short at the Montreal World Film Festival, and his docu-drama Leftover (2014) played at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s student award in 2015.

CineSiege is made possible through the generous support of Cinespace Film Studios. The event is free and open to the public.