At our 2019 fest, 94% of the 182 questionnaires received from members of the public rated their film package as great (55%) or good (39%); and 100% of the 31 questionnaires received from attendees at the Filmmaker Insights workshops (Stop-Motion Animation and Pitching Skills) and panel (Creating Content for Kids rated their workshop or panel as great (71%) or good (29%). The following is a sample of comments we received from respondents who gave their permission to share them.

General screenings

“Always great choices.” (Vi Hein, MD of Greenview, The Moment When)

“It’s great. Love it!” (Edward Stewart, Grande Prairie, Here Now & Hereafter)

“Great choices! Awesome local filmmakers.” (Daylin Chase, Grande Prairie, Real/Surreal)

“Greatly enjoyed it.” (Carmen Bartoz, Grande Prairie, Psycho Shorts & Pizza Party)

“Always a great selection of films.” (Shea Iles, Edmonton, Cinema Francophone)

“Our venue is awesome and the “feel” of the festival is really inviting and special.” (Emerson Tangen, Wembley, Best of the Fest)

“Love this festival!” (Alex Bossen, Grande Prairie, Best of the Fest)

Filmmaker Insights

Stop-Motion Animation workshop

“This workshop was very well done with great subject matter! A perfect way to introduce a new art form into the Filmmaking Community of Grande Prairie. Evan was very easy to work with and learn from. As a beginner course in Stop Motion Animation, I found all subject matter covered was very useful and interesting.” (Kyler Hart-Moore, Grande Prairie)

“The presenter was knowledgeable, friendly, and taught us by jumping right in and doing. Was very friendly and personable, loved him as an instructor. It was a unique and fun subject. People really enjoyed seeing their creations come to life. The most valuable thing was just doing this again and being re-inspired to create.” (Richard Podsada, Grande Prairie)

Pitching Skills workshop

“Frederick was well experienced and passionate about pitching. Great workshop with the right guy. Good inside knowledge.” (Gordie Haakstad, Edmonton)

“This just really helped to get my mind around pitching better in various contexts – maybe especially the idea of keeping it short.” (Rew Jones, Grande Prairie)

Creating Content for Kids panel

“Good mix of panelists, all with experience in different areas. Good advice and experiences.” (Gordie Haakstad, Edmonton)

School screenings

More than 2,000 students and their teachers attended screenings at our 2019 fest and 79% of the 24 questionnaires received from these teachers rated their film package as great (25%) or good (54%). Over 90% of teachers indicated that they were very satisfied (35%) or satisfied (56%) that their film package provided enrichment for their students. The majority also indicated that they were very satisfied (29%) or satisfied (50%) that their film package met the curricular needs of their students. The following is a sample of the comments we received.

Let’s Play (Gr 1-3)

Clairmont Community School
“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive as always. Both staff and students enjoyed it tremendously.” (Kelsie Jones, Grade 3 Teacher)

Harry Balfour School
“Amazing selection like usual! Keep on doing this please!” (Megan Hutchison, Grade 2 Teacher)

Lost & Found (Gr 4-6)

Parkside Montessori School
“I just attended the “Lost and Found” package with my class today. It was so incredible watching all of the videos again with the kids and seeing them through their eyes. Also, a huge shout out for having Paul from CONNECTING there. The kids were so engaged by him and the film is such a great one. My students loved every film and already said this is a mandatory trip for next year.” (Desiree Tucker, Grade 4-6 Teacher and volunteer on the Reel Shorts programming team)

At Risk (Gr 9-12 Social Studies)

Hines Creek Composite School
“Great set up and atmosphere. Many of our kids love the feel of being a ‘film critic.'” (Olivia Przybyski, Social Studies 7/8 and 30 Teacher)

Real/Surreal (Gr 9-12 English/Languages)

Hines Creek Composite School
“Really good film choices – so much to talk about.” (Sherri MacDowall, Principal and Grade 9-12 ELA Teacher)

Filmmaker Class Visits

Grande Prairie Composite High School
“Thanks for making passionate filmmakers available to share their energy with class visits.” (Devon Whipple, Grade 10-12 Film Studies and Drama Teacher whose class was visited by Aeternitas Producer/Director Gordie Haakstad (Edmonton), Producer/DOP Chris Beauchamp (Grande Prairie), and lead actors Paul Bailey (England) and Dawn Nagazina (Calgary))


“Fantastic films. Amazing work to get 6,000 down to 60!” (Paul Bailey, England, Writer/Producer/Actor/Director of Connecting).

“Exceptional production values on the festival program booklets. That’s a great keepsake I will keep with me. I also liked the pizza party and Q&A. It really felt like a special evening.” (James Cadden, Edmonton, Writer/Director of Five Course Meal)

“Thank you for having our film play at the festival and for welcoming me to it! I had a wonderful time!” (Anna Barker, Vancouver, Writer/Director of Memento Mori)

Jury Members

“I absolutely loved running the workshop, and showing the results at the festival. Very rewarding experience. Great social events and Dino museum trip was a highlight. Fun to connect with local community and filmmakers.” (Evan DeRushie, Toronto, jury member, Stop-Motion Animation workshop instructor, and Creating Content for Kids panelist)

“Lots of excellent films – I was surprised how good they were. Good theaters. Fun parties. I liked the focus on schools and kids’ content. This is one of the best film festivals in Western Canada! It’s kind of a hidden gem. It has the film quality of a big international festival mixed with the intimate and comfortable nature of a small town. (Frederick Kroetsch, Edmonton, jury member, Pitching Skills workshop presenter, and Creating Content for Kids panelist)