Filmmakers co-op calls on aspiring screen writers

The New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative is calling on area residents to get their creative juices flowing.

In lieu of Fredericton being named a Cultural Capital of Canada for
2009, the co-op, celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, is
encouraging the public to submit short scripts until July 25 regarding
what makes Fredericton a cultural capital.

Top submissions will
be turned into a series of 10 short films as part of the Cultural
Capital Film Project. The co-op will be producing and screening the
films throughout 2009.

The project is being funded by the City of Fredericton and the Cultural Capital program.

Co-op
executive director Tony Merzetti said involving the community in the
process is a great way to fish out interesting stories.

"(Local
theatre group) NotaBle Acts developed about 40 or 50 plays from people
that submitted ideas to them, so we thought it would be neat to do the
same thing", he said.

“We want to delve into that pool of people
who have these amazing stories to tell and through the co-op we can
work with them to develop the stories, shoot them, and edit them into
something special."

Merzetti said he wants the scripts to be
detailed, artistic, compelling accounts about Fredericton’s past and
present from a cultural perspective that would come to life on film.

"Fredericton’s
history and heritage has been written about in books before and there
are other things out there where you can learn about it, but it has
never been depicted on film," he said.

Selected stories will go
through an editing process, where scriptwriters will work with a
professional writer to polish the story before it goes into production.

Coun.
Tony Whalen, who also runs a production company with his wife Gia, said
he’s interested in getting involved with the film project and that it
will help showcase Fredericton’s vibrant filmmaking community.

"There are countless stories out there that people could be telling through this project," he said.

"Through
film we can provide a permanent record of interesting stories and
events from our history, people like Boss Gibson, the Maliseet, or the
story of Fort Nashwaak, for example."

"This is a great opportunity to get citizens engaged in the community."

The
finished products will be released to the public via a compilation DVD,
and eventually screened at the Silverwave Film Festival and the Under
the Stars outdoor film series.

Selected scriptwriters will
receive a $200 honorarium, a one-year membership to the Co-op and a
cash prize For more information, contact the co-op at 455-1632 or by
visiting www.nbfilmcoop.com.