Calgary producer, Gabriel Yee’s “Olga – An Arequipa Story” is the winner of the $10,000 cash prize at the Big Rock Eddies Short Film Festival at Theatre Junction Grand in Calgary, Alberta, on Saturday.
The Peru shot documentary tells the story of a mother, desperate to find medical treatment for her 12-year old daughter Olga.
For the 23rd year of The Eddies, Big Rock’s theme, was TRAILBLAZER, inspired by its founder, Ed McNally whose vision was to create a craft brewery long before many had ever seen one, or heard such a term.
Yee says two narratives tell the story of a trailblazer in his winning short. “The first is Olga, the second is that of Jodee’s [Olga’s therapist]. Both embark on a journey that has never been walked, or even ran. They cling to the prospect that the path unexplored is sometimes the path to healing,” says Yee.
Second place and a cash prize of $5,000 was awarded to “Recollection Cinema Presents Shotgunning” by Daniel Code, Cam Macleod and Nima Gholamipour. The trio are partners in a small comedy group out of Vancouver called Comedyloaf. Their short, set in 1983 is about washed up rock star roadie, Frankie Lawson, “the beer drinking sensation.”
Ali Hamzah Virk’s compelling film called “Change” picked up 3rd place and $2,500. In it, Joe Roberts shares his story of trailblazing as he travels a road to recovery, after years of heroin addiction. A psychologist is able to connect with Roberts and help save his life.
The only criteria to submit a film for The Eddies was a 5 minute short with a connection to the theme “trailblazing.”
An experienced panel of judges included Emmy Award winning Calgary producer Chad Oakes, Calgary Underground Film Festival founder Brenda Lieberman, Calgary International Film Festival executive director Steve Schroeder, Canadian Entertainment Blogger Michael Morrison, and Jamie M. Dagg, an award winning Canadian director and writer.
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