When production shuts down on a film set, it’s not only the cast and directors who are affected. Behind the screen, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of creatives, such as editors and visual artists, whose livelihoods are shaken up.
That’s why it’s hard to overstate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has shocked Canada’s creative communities.
Whether it was a television show, a commercial shoot, or a local theatre production, dozens of people have been put out of work, adding up to tens of thousands of affected individuals across Canada.
That’s why Quarantine Stories, a digital short film festival, was born in fact — to help address this problem. The festival, with the support of Ontario’s City of Brampton, is spearheaded by a grassroots team of organizers including Wooden Panda.
In addition to offering exposure, cash prizes, and charitable donations to creatives, it’s also about helping them remain motivated and engaged in their communities, even while apart.
“Being creative in the midst of a global pandemic isn’t easy,” says Sumeet Kumar, a lead organizer and filmmaker at Amoeba Media. “Quarantine Stories is an incentive for creatives to stay motivated and remain engaged with the community, even while we’re physically apart.”
Entering is simple. Participants are invited to create a film that’s five minutes or less, with whatever equipment they have available, and to use their storytelling creativity. One of the main rules is that films need to be shot in one indoor location — it is a quarantine film festival, after all.
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Aside from that, organizers stress that absolutely anyone can get involved and say that there are up to $1,500 in prizes to be won.
“There are no submission fees and no minimum skill requirements,” reads a statement from the festival. “All we ask is that you observe social distancing and remain respectful.”
Submissions for the Quarantine Stories Film Festival are open until May 15, 2020, at 11:59 pm PT.
Canadians will then vote on their favourite entries, five of which will be live-streamed during a grand finale event taking place on May 29.
Daily Hive is a proud media partner of the Quarantine Stories Film Festival