New Indie Festival Added to Homecoming Weekend

September 14, 2007 - News Release

There's an artistic twist to this year's Homecoming weekend with the launch of SharpCuts, an independent film and music festival featuring a number of University of Guelph community members.

The festival will offer a variety of entertainment on campus Sept. 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

With programming on Johnston Green and in the McLaughlin Library and the MacLachlan Building, SharpCuts aims to provide a forum to profile the strong and emerging film and music scenes that thrive in Guelph and surrounding area, and to foster connections among those who share a love and appreciation for the arts, said SharpCuts founder Thomas Gofton, a filmaker who graduated from U of G in June.

"I'm blown away by the number of people who tell me this festival is something Guelph has been waiting for," said Gofton. "I hope it'll encourage people to take a leap to explore their creative side by thinking about some of the stories they'd like to tell through film and music."

Although the primary focus is Guelph artists, interest has been widespread, with submissions coming in from across southwestern Ontario, he said.

The weekend will feature film screenings, a filmmaking competition, live music and a number of industry-based workshops.

Special guests include Laura Bertram, a two-time Gemini Award-winning actor and U of G graduate, who will talk about her career in film and television, which spans two decades. Also on the roster are Academy Award-nominated documentary producer Erin Faith Young, who will give a workshop on making short films; U of G drama professor Pat Flood, an acclaimed set designer who will discuss production design; and Alex Ferrari, a Miami-based filmmaker and special-effects expert.

In addition, more than a dozen films produced by local filmmakers will be screened. They include works by Amanda Scott, a web designer in Communications and Public Affairs, and U of G students Nigel Gough, Chad Gill and Melanie Wills. Wills' film, called Five Degrees: Mini Prep, follows five U of G undergraduate science students as they conduct research and share their views on life and science.

The festival's musical lineup includes performances by Tragedy of the Commons, the Randalls, Tiny Danza, ADA, the Show, Kid Coma featuring U of G Integrative Biology professor Doug Larson, Ambria, the Blind Dogs, the Voyd, March for Dawn, Tracenine, Fancy Girls Market, the Door to Doors and Burn Planetarium. Also appearing are solo acts Tim Tibbitts, Scott Normandy, Joel Morelli, Chris Golden and Emma Lee Rose Hogg.

There will also be a unique performance by the VOC Silent Film Harmonic, an act that performs musical accompaniment to complement the work of noted Canadian silent filmmaker Guy Maddin.

"Before artists, musicians or filmmakers can move up and reach a wider audience, they need support from their local community," said Greg Jackson, a third-year computer engineering student and guitar player with Burn Planetarium. "There are some pretty rocking bands taking the stage, so we're pretty excited to be part of this event."

To kick off the weekend, a pre-festival "Fright Night" of horror films is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in Room 102 of the McLachlan Building.

SharpCuts is supported by the Department of Athletics and Alumni Affairs and Development, as well as the City of Guelph, Ed Video Media Arts Centre and Lynnvander Productions.

For more information and for a festival schedule visit the SharpCuts website or go to facebook and type SharpCuts in the search box.

Thomas Gofton

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1