Students, seniors to feature climate change films at festival

(Submitted photo) Bryan Clarke, a student at Sir James Dunn Academy, prepares a drone with the help of filmmaker Jeff Lively during the Sunbury Shores senior-youth video project on climate change. The centre hired three filmmakers to work with teams of seniors and youth to create documentaries, which they will feature at the 2023 Fundy Film Festival at the W.C. O’Neill Arena Theatre on Saturday.

SAINT ANDREWS – Three two-minute films surrounding global warming will be featured on the big screen this weekend.

Sunbury Shores is bringing the 2023 Fundy Film Festival to the W.C. O’Neill Arena Theatre on Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. Admission is free. It will showcase the centre’s Art of Stewardship senior-youth video project that brought nine seniors and nine youth together to work in three teams on the topic of climate change.

Caroline Walker, the centre’s artistic director, said the outcoming films are “fantastic.”

“They really define what documentaries are,” said Walker. “Each team got to choose their subject matter, and then they all interviewed people in the community about how climate change impacts them.”

Through a grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the centre was able to hire three filmmakers to help with the project. One was local to Charlotte County, while the other two were from the Saint John area.

The teams, said Walker, were a mix of seniors and youth. Ages ranged from middle school to late 70s or early 80s. Students were from Sir James Dunn Academy and St. Stephen Middle School.

“The teams chose who would be the director and the script writer … and all the different roles you need in creating a film. They were then expected to move each area of expertise along,” said Walker, adding it seemed a bit natural in that youth were interested in the technical side.

“The middle school students made the best editors and the adults made the best writers. It’s just the way it worked out.”

During the film festival, Walker said they’ll introduce the three teams following the showing of the three films. There will be time for questions and answers as well.

“The films are all about global warming. One team interviewed an artist. One team interviewed a scientist. And one went out in the community for an organization that’s very activist in addressing climate change,” said the artistic director. “It’s quite interesting what’s going on in Charlotte County regarding climate change. I think this will be a real eye-opener for people.”

When they were looking at the program, Walker said they knew they wanted to have a public presentation as a way to celebrate the end of it. They decided on the film festival.

She said it was interesting to see how the teams worked together and all voices were heard.

Because of the success, Walker said it’s something they’ll look at hosting again while using cellphones, and it has potential of being included in an AV lab the centre is looking at building.