Steven Denault Takes Home Second Annual MPPIA Short Film Award
Vancouver, Canada – Writer/director Steven Denault emerged from a field of five talented filmmakers to take home the second annual MPPIA Short Film Award on December 7 at the Whistler Film Festival.
Denault won the Award based on his overall submission, script and pitch for The Gray Matter presented to a jury of Canadian filmmakers on Saturday, December 6 during the Whistler Film Festival Industry Forum. The pitch competition featured five finalists selected in the first adjudication phase in October 2008. Denault’s co-finalists for this year’s MPPIA Short Film Award were: Neil Every (Silence is Golden), Jason Karman (Copies), Cory Kinney (Buddy Movie) and Eric Tremblay (Dumped).
Guided by moderator Whistler Film Festival Board Chair Rob Egan, the three jurors for the final pitch competition were filmmakers Andrew Currie (Fido), Ann Marie Fleming (Running) and Carl Bessai (Normal).
Said Bessai following the jury’s decision, “This was a very difficult decision, as all of the finalists pitched with passion and conviction in their projects. Ultimately, the jury agreed that in realizing his vision for The Gray Matter, Steven Denault’s project would benefit most from the scope of industry resources that the MPPIA Short Film Award offers in addition to the cash award.”
“I look forward to seeing what Steven makes of this opportunity when ‘The Gray Matter’ screens at the Whistler Film Festival next year,” Bessai added.
A partnership initiative of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA), BC Film + Media and the Whistler Film Festival to support the career development of emerging BC filmmakers, the prestigious Award comprises $15,000 in cash plus in-kind services up to $100,000 for the production of a short film project. The Award was established to recognize the contribution of film and television to the growing creative economy in British Columbia.
“The MPPIA Short Film Award is one of the largest filmmaking prizes in Canada,” said MPPIA Chair Peter Leitch. “We are very pleased to be able to assemble the support and resources to help one of BC’s talented filmmakers take his (or her) career to the next level.”
Leitch added, “I want to thank our Award jury for their generous participation. I would also like to thank BC Film + Media, the Whistler Film Festival and MPPIA members for their support – without them this Award would not be possible.”
The completed MPPIA Short Film Award project will screen at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival.
Writer/Director Steven Denault, The Gray Matter
A science fiction film, The Gray Matter is a tale about the redemptive power of music. An expressionistic journey though the cobwebbed memories of former renowned pianist Harland Clark, now in his sixties, a recluse crippled with arthritis, he has spent his life mourning the loss of his beloved wife. With his ever failing memory he surrounds himself with the stinging reminders of his once celebrated career and the happiness he once had. Harland’s prized possession is a small translucent emerald card, manufactured by the shady Recollect company. Convinced it holds his wife’s final words, Harland visits Recollect each year with the intent of using the card. But he can never bring himself to unlock its secret. Haunted by dreams of jellyfish, a ghostly boy and the beach where he met his wife, Harland is about to discover it’s never too late to hear the music.
For more information, contact:
Katherine Di Marino
Administrator, MPPIA Short Film Award
BC Film + Media