YEG Filmakers in the Running for Funding
Filmmakers flex their creative muscles and compete for funding.
July 28, 2016
photo supplied by box cube photography
Three Edmontonian filmmakers are waiting to find out if they’ll be announced as the winners of Storyhive, a community-powered funding program organized by TELUS. The Aug. 17 announcement will boost the local film industry, as two winners from western Canada will each take home $50,000 to continue developing their web series through the program.
Launched in 2014, the program provides funding to creators who pitch, plan and promote their work in their communities. In the first round, community support is measured through voting on the Storyhive website, resulting in $10,000 grants awarded to each of the 30 top projects. In the second round, these top prospects bring their creations to life in competition for one of two $50,000 awards.
Throughout the year, Storyhive holds competitions to provide funding for music videos, digital shorts and web series, helping to grow the western Canadian film industry. In 2015, Edmonton’s Cody Kennedy received top honours for his web series, Straight to Video: The B-Movie Odyssey.
“For me, Storyhive helped to create not only a web series, but helped to get more eyes on my work,” says Kennedy. “The web series now acts as a proof of concept for further materials.”
This year, three Edmonton-based projects are in the final running: Stephen Robinson’s unconventional and educational How to Learn Anything; Angela Seehagen’s quirky space odyssey, Magic Craft; and Aaron Talbot’s comic book rock opera, Plight, are promising contenders for top honours.
photo supplied by Jesse Nash
For each finalist, Storyhive provides an opportunity to develop ideas that might not have been otherwise possible. And while receiving funding is the main motivation for many, the program’s design also encourages some to participate even if only to start the creation process.
“The best part of the program is that even if you don’t win, you can still use it to find support for your project elsewhere,” says Kennedy, “Storyhive helps you to get started, but if you don’t win, it’s not over.”
Still, the opportunities unlocked for winners are attractive. Distribution through Telus Optik TV and on the Storyhive website are major incentives for creators.
This article appears in the August 2016 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.