Student filmmakers Exposed 

By Karen Herland

Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema is the largest film production house in the entire country, according to François Laurent, president of the Cinema Students Association (CSA).

“We produced the equivalent of 15 feature films this year,” he said while finalizing the arrangements for Exposed, the end-of-year film festival.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Laurent. “School’s over, but not for everyone.” The festival is running for the first week of May, long after most students have finished their last exam or assignment. This year, he heads a team of eight students who are coordinating the programs, publicity and parties that make up the festival. For full details, go to

While the cinema students planned a showcase for student work, the department was coordinating the annual awards night. The May 1 event honoured nearly 70 students who had excelled over the past year and was timed to kick off the student film festival. The Cinema Awards ceremony packed the DeSève Cinema was packed with winners, family members, faculty and donors celebrating the cream of a production crop.

Grand prize winner Stéphane Calce poses with Mel Hoppenheim, his award’s benefactor. Magnifying glass

Grand prize winner Stéphane Calce poses with Mel Hoppenheim, his award’s benefactor.

The big winner of the evening was Stéphane Calce, who received the prestigious Mel Hoppenheim award. All winners received funding, tuition waivers or in-kind donations of editing time or rental equipment. Some awards, including the Concordia University Stop-Motion Animation Award and the Emru Townsend Award, are funded by full- and part-time staff. Several donors from private industry attended the event including Michel Golitzinsky from Kodak, Francois Garcia from Technicolor, Paul Bellerose from Vision Globale, Sharon Chepil from Fuji, Brian Peterson from Autodesk and Peter Morton from GBC Asset Management.

Meanwhile, nine of the evening’s award winners had works among the nearly two-dozen selections in the final program of the student film festival on May 7. The best films of this year’s crop of work were determined by an independent jury who screened all the contenders in two full days of viewing just before the festival began.

That set of films is the 13th full-length program curated by festival organizers. Although this is the second year students have organized a full week of programming, it’s the first year they have opened the event beyond cinema students. In addition to traditional animation and film production works from beginning to advanced students, programs featuring the work of Intermedia/Cyberarts students were also presented.

(See next story about the celebration of Peter Rist.)


Concordia University