A 15-year-old filmmaker from Rosebud has the industry paying attention.
Weston Snider’s short film Dichrome, which premiered last November at the Napier Theatre has been receiving accolades and awards at a number of festivals. Its most prestigious achievement came from being selected as one of the finalists in the high school film competition for the third annual Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Films.
Weston, a student at St. Anthony’s School, was selected as part of the festival’s High School Film Competition. There were 12 films selected to compete for the $2,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial grand prize.
“It has been really cool to see that short film I made, for me it feels like a long time ago last summer, which I have since grown from, is still having quite a decent amount success on the film festival circuit,” he said.
As a youngster, he dabbled with making films with friends, but when he was about 13 he decided to make something a little more involved.
“It took us a year and a half to do but we made a 15-minute space film,” Weston tells the Mail.
“That was kind of the moment when I realized I was good at this to the degree that I could make films possibly at a high level in the future when I am older. I took from this that I could be a filmmaker and devote my life to it hopefully.”
In some ways, Dichrome is his second major project and shows a sophistication beyond his years.
Growing up in Rosebud he has been around the performing arts all his life. This has shaped his ability to make stories on film and also provided him the opportunity to pursue it in a supportive atmosphere.
“There have been so many people who have been able to help in little ways. The fact it is more of an arts town, I think if I grew up somewhere else I wouldn’t have had the courage or ever really want to make a film,” he said.
Dichrome centres around the relationship between two very different teens, as one “tried to close his eyes to the problems of his life encounters a person who can see things that others can’t.”
The films featured Edmonton film student Tom Kassian, as well as Snider. The rest of the roles in front of the camera and behind, featured local Rosebud talent contributing to the work, including his older brother Donovan who provides an evocative soundtrack.
When he completed the film he entered it into as many film festivals as he could and it qualified for many. He has won best international film at the Central Film Festival, 3rd Place in the best international film as a part of the Fresh International Film Festival, a special mention award at the New York World Film Festival, and film of the year at the Stardance Youth Film Festival. This week he learned he won the Swindon International Film Festival’s award for “Best Youth Film” and received second place in the UFA Youth Short Film Festival which had over 3,000 submissions.
The Indy Shorts International Film Festival runs virtually July 21-26. It is an Academy Award-Qualifying festival and will be showcasing 128 films. For more information go to https://indyshortsfilmfestival20.eventive.org/welcome