“Our students had a great time, thank you for the opportunity.” (Natalie Edgington, Peace Wapiti Academy Grade 10 English teacher, “Fair Trade”)
Daniel Mills, Grande Prairie Composite High School Film Studies teacher: “My students and I all found it extremely worthwhile to have Axel Ricke and Henning Ricke [D-I-M, Deus in Machina Producer and Director respectively] come to the class to speak to us. Prior to their talk, it had been very difficult to give students a realistic snapshot of how difficult film creation is. Likewise, students had struggled to understand how much time, effort, thought, and planning is involved in the creation of a film. However, after the talk from the brothers, every student was able to gain a new appreciation and understanding of the complexities of film.
Several of those students have since begun working towards a future in the film business citing the visit from Axel and Henning as an inspiration for their own dreams.
The students and myself felt honoured to have the opportunity to have people that are involved with the film business speak to us and help us to better understand the genre and the medium that we are exploring.
Thank you very much.”
John Kerl: “I am a teacher at Bear Creek School, located in the Grande Prairie Young Offender’s Center. During the 2008 Reel Shorts Festival, filmmaker Ervin Chartrand and painter Patrick Ross (the subject of one of Chartrand’s films), visited our school for an afternoon. The experience was valuable for our students, given the subject matter of Chartrand’s films and the relevance of both artists’ life experiences to those of our students. Through their openness and generosity, Ervin Chartrand and Patrick Ross made an immediate connection with our students.
Chartrand screened three of his short films for the students, two of which dealt indirectly with some of his own personal struggles (experiences in and out of the correction system). The third, entitled Patrick Ross, provided the students with an example of how an individual can rebuild their life through art. Artist Patrick Ross (the subject of that film) painted with our students and also brought several examples of his own work into the classroom. Our students were impressed by Patrick’s paintings, Ervin’s films and both guests’ casual manner. I believe, as well, that this presentation helped the students draw a connection between life and art and the importance of creating from one’s personal experience.