Joining film and community with Cin-E-merge

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(Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

Cin-E-merge WLU is tired of film studies students being unaware of the career options that they possess once they graduate with their degree.

Cin-E-merge WLU is an educational outreach program that hopes to connect students from Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo (UW) and various high schools to film industry professionals in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge area.

“Cin-E-Merge WLU is actually one part of the Cin-E-merge outreach program. It was a committee of WLU students as well as ourselves that created the name for the program and hopefully they’ll continue [with the program] for the next few years.” Krista Boniface, one of the co-founders of Cin-E-merge shared.

Cin-E-merge is the brainchild of WLU film study graduates Katie Parkes and Krista Boniface who began the initiative in the summer of 2013.

“Cin-E-merge started because the executive director, Tamara Louks, of the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) had previous conversations with Dr. Katherine Spring. They were trying to figure out a way to see if they could help one another and what would that result in,” said Parkes in an interview with The Cord.

At that time, Parkes and Boniface were both on the programming committee and were asked to brainstorm ideas as Louks felt, as recent WLU film studies graduates, they would be able to best understand the needs of the students.

With that, Cin-E-merge WLU was created.

“We tried to create an event that we would want to attend either as previous students or alumni or as film enthusiastic community members,” Parkes continued.

Boniface and Parkes both mentioned that they found it “really difficult” to get involved with local film makers so they wanted to create an event that would help bridge that gap for future students.

“We found as students really difficult to figure out how to get involved in that scene. Where do you start? Who do you talk to?” said Parkes.

Cin-E-merge WLU reached out to many local media groups such as Arc Media, Vidyard and High Rise Studios.

Ultimately, they want students to realize that they are not limited in their career options for after graduation.

“The beauty of having this other side of the event is to give students the idea that it’s not only film production. They can be part of the communications aspect, online video production, marketing aspect,” added Parkes.

Cin-E-merge WLU is not just limited to this year’s GRFF events.

“Once the name was brought back to the GRFF board of directors, they loved it so much that they’ve actually decided to brand their whole educational outreach program Cin-E-merge. That includes our event this year, a slew of short films that is screening at Southwood Secondary School and two workshops that are happening the week of the festival,” Parkes shared.

Cin-e-merge WLU is also unique in the fact that Boniface and Parkes have complete control over the direction and programming they want Cin-E-merge to take part in.

“It’s just been really exciting working on a project like this, especially fresh of out school and to be able to work right along a film festival and to create an event from the ground up,” Boniface shared.

“When [Parkes] said that we’ve been giving the reigns for this event, us and the committee have done everything from putting up posters to figuring our programming to picking the film and everything in between. I feel like it’s our baby.”

The first official Cin-E-merge WLU event will be taking place on October 17 at 7 p.m. at Princess Twin.

There will be a screening of Last Run, a 2012 release that tells the story of a taxi driver whose last client of the night turns out to be more than a simple ride home.

Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion with the actors and director/producer Matthew Ninaber at The Jazz Room.  Upcoming events include “Captain Canuck: From Comic Book to Animated Web Series” at Princess Twin on Wednesday October 23 at 3 p.m. and “Mourning has Broken” at Princess Twin on Thursday October 24 at 3 p.m. For more information, check out www.grff.ca.

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