Actors, musicians, scriptwriters, and filmmakers alike gathered Friday evening at the Lansdowne Park Horticulture Building to celebrate and exhibit the 6th annual Ottawa International Film Festival (OIFF) 72 Hour Challenge.
Created in 2009, the OIFF 72 Hour Challenge is an event that pair local filmmakers with cast, crew, and music from local musicians in Ottawa to create a short film.
Sound too good to be true? That’s because the OIFF sets a limited time frame and a specific set of requirements that challenge these artists to present their finished product in just less than 72 hours.
“It was really interesting to see and hear everyone’s opinion on where the concept should go,” said Eric Escaravage of “Sisters”.
“The most fun part of it was definitely getting together as a team and brainstorming ideas while writing the script,” said Escaravage. “The most challenging part was most definitely the time limit and coordinating everybody’s schedule to fit filming times. It was difficult but we certainly pulled it off with some late night shoots.
This year, the OIFF introduced the concept of wildcards, an additional rule that challenged filmmakers to use specific props, pre-approved dialogues, set film locations and songs.
“We already had a story that included a garage sale scene, so as a last resort we could put all the props on display there,” said Gavin Simone of “Winter Yard Sale”.
“Music was the sole inspiration for Domino,” said Ray Besharah of “Domino”. “Music is such a powerful tool in film, so knowing we had to incorporate three songs made them the natural starting point.”
The stakes are high and the challenges plenty as contestants vie for top prizes.
“There were some late nights and early mornings, but it was totally worth it,” said Besharah.
This year, the OIFF announced “The Making Of’ by Kristian Perrault the winner of the OIFF 72 Hour Challenge.
Perrault received a mystery trip for two, merchandise from Kitchessippi Beer, and their film will open the next OIFF in October 2015.