Leading creator, producer and distributor Shaftesbury  has announced a renewed sponsorship commitment to the Toronto District School Board’s Etobicoke School of the Arts  (ESA). As part of its ongoing support of the school, Shaftesbury will donate $30,000 over the next three years to the ESA Film program. Shaftesbury has also announced winners in the inaugural Shaftesbury Student Filmmaker Awards, in order to recognize achievement at each grade level of the ESA Film program. The awards were announced at ESA on Thursday, May 17 by The Listener’s Ennis Esmer (Season 3 premieres May 30 on CTV).
“Shaftesbury is committed to nurturing young talent – they are the future of our industry,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury. “We look forward to supporting the growth and evolution of ESA’s film program with our renewed sponsorship, and celebrating the creativity of the school’s filmmakers with our awards initiative.”
“Shaftesbury’s commitment to arts education is extraordinary. Both the financial support and the mentoring opportunities will be invaluable in heightening the students’ educational experience, ” said Kevin Johnson, ESA Film program head.
The Shaftesbury Student Filmmaker Awards initiative was created to recognize achievement at each grade level of the ESA Film program. Chaired by film critic Adam Nayman (The Grid; The Globe and Mail; Cinema Scope), Shaftesbury’s jury has recognized the following films and students after scoring each film on originality, entertainment value, production value and overall impression. Winners received a $500 cash prize per film as well as the opportunity to spend a day on the set of a Shaftesbury production. Nayman and jury members will also meet with film program students to share feedback and discuss their evaluations.
2012 Shaftesbury Student Filmmaker Awards
All winning films can be viewed at Shaftesbury’s YouTube channel .
Best Film: Grade 9
Mixdown , Dylan Vogel
- Uses a variety of sophisticated techniques to examine our everyday relationship to sound as well as its importance in filmmaking.
Best Film: Grade 10
Shadow , Samantha Lucchetta
- Draws upon classic suspense-film techniques (and at least one classic film score) to put across its suggestive tale of a girl stalked by shadowy, seemingly inescapable assailants.
Best Film: Grade 11
Dinner Tonight , Hinako Hosoya
- Delightfully macabre – balances its gory details against a deadpan sense of humour.
Writer’s Block , Neil Buday
Best Film: Grade 12
The Life and Times of Alex Little , Arwin Chan, Oliver Lauder and Alex Metcalfe
- Utilizes some seriously absurd humour and a strangely winning lead performance in a story about the importance of making our own decisions instead of waiting around for fate.
Spiders , Angus McMaster