The 2011 Yorkton Film Festival

Posted in event photography, film festival, shoots by Hemant Naidu on July 6, 2011

At the end of May some of Canada’s brightest filmmakers converged in Saskatchewan for the 64th annual Yorkton Film Festival. I had only heard about the festival about a year ago, and was very surprised that it is the oldest film festival in North America. Recently I had worked on a project with Katrina Ham of Lifetime Productions, who also sits on the festival’s board of directors. She had an idea to promote the festival via a Twitter roadtrip which I blogged about here. She brought me onboard to document the roadtrip from Saskatoon to Yorkton, as well as the the festival itself.

The festival kicked off Thursday evening and wrapped up Sunday afternoon. Between the panels of industry experts, screenings, and social events, the schedule was jam packed giving me ample opportunity to capture the feel of the festival. I didn’t get a chance to view as many films as I’d hoped, but luckily the ones I did see ended up winning many of the major awards. The panels were extremely informative and entertaining at the same time. I particularly enjoyed the tell it like it is attitude of director/screenwriter Dave Shultz. I think he really captured the room’s attention.

Even though the programs for the day wrapped up late in the afternoon, it did not mean that the fun stopped there. Each night there was some sort of social event scheduled that allowed festival delegates to just hang out to mingle and network. I think the highlight for me (and probaby many others) was LobsterFest. This event was held out at the Yorkton Lions Club which shares land with the Yorkton Gun Club. So after filling up on fresh lobster I had a chance to try my hand at skeet shooting. I hit four out of ten targets. I thought that was a pretty good score considering it was the first time I’d ever really shot a gun.

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