2017 Scholarship & Bursary Awards

Bursary recipient Brendan Taylor, KFS Brenda Gilbert, and Scholarship recipient Dylan Monteith

We awarded Dylan Monteith a scholarship last year when he left George Elliot Secondary School in Lake Country. He has now successfully completed his  first year at Capilano University. He has had a variety of opportunities to learn different aspects of film making both from great professors and also by practical application. He has become interested in sound and has worked in this area for two major projects. He is developing interesting insight into how the film industry works. He has been on the Dean’s list for both semesters and has been accepted for the second year program - for which he will earn a diploma. He hopes to study for two more years after this, earn a degree in Motion Picture Arts and then achieve his long term goal of becoming a teacher.

Kelowna Film Society was pleased again to award a Scholarship to Dylan and to wish him good luck with his future endeavours.

Stephanie Townsend is a recipient of a scholarship toward the tuition costs for her third year at Capilano University. Although she has always been a resident of Lake Country and went to George Elliot Secondary School, she only recently heard about the scholarships we offer. Stephanie has come slowly to film making but once she made up her mind that she wanted, through films, to satisfy her need to be creative, there was no holding her back. She began by taking a photography class then went to video making. After two years in General Arts at UBCO she decided that Capilano University and the Motion Picture Arts Program was where she should be. During all her years of high school and UBCO, she was on the academic honour list. She has followed this pattern of high achievement by being on the Dean’s List at Capilano for both years. Her professors at Capilano praise her for the leadership roles she takes, her organizational skills and the way she excels in everything she tackles.

We were very happy to support this outstanding student and wish her continuing success in her next two years of study.

When Malibu Taetz, a previous scholarship winner, was asked for an update on his past year at Capilano University, he sent a four page account of what he has been doing complete with pictures and video links. Enthusiasm flows from the pages! He has obviously had a second successful year at Capilano and is broadening his knowledge of ‘all things film’ plus using his creative gifts to good purpose. Last year he was one of four students (from all four years of the programs) to be selected to make a film using the University facilities and equipment. He entered this film ‘The Accidental’ in some film festivals and was rewarded by having it accepted into the 2017 Cannes Short Film Corner. Because of this achievement, he has had the pleasure of being interviewed by both CBC and Global under the heading “Student’s film makes it to Cannes”. A newsworthy event!

He also entered another film in The Crazy 8 competition for filmmakers in Vancouver. Out of the 244 submissions, he made it to the top twelve finalists. He has again been chosen as one of the four students at Capilano to make another film so that is what he is working on at the moment.

Next year Malibu has been accepted into Capilano’s exchange program with the University of Hertford in England. He hopes that this will help to develop both his filmmaking skills and himself as a person.

When told that we were able to offer him a further scholarship he wrote: “I am immensely grateful to be given this honour. Not only is it great to be recognized by the Kelowna Film Society again but extremely helpful and timely. Once again I should like to thank the KFS membership for all their support and confidence in me these past three plus years. When I first read about the Kelowna Film Society back in high school, I could never have imagined having your help to this extent”. 

Sinead Grewcock is a film producer (plus actor) who has the goal to create films that affect global, community and personal change. She likes to work around issues that matter, such as – mental health, gender, equality and racial prejudices etc. Her latest project is a film dedicated to empowerment. She feels that there is so much repression in this world that affects people in many different ways. This film aims to give a light and hope to young people who are going through change in their life or who are growing up and are questioning who they are and what they want. She hopes that people will be inspired by the film.

Sinead has produced a detailed plan that covers all aspects and a realistic budget for the film which will be shot in the Okanagan over two weeks this summer with the aim of releasing the film at the end of November. ‘Family Bonds’ is the story of ‘a young girl living by the book (studious, independent and meeting her family’s expectations of being successful, but lacking in confidence to follow her own real interests or face her perceived problems’. It is a coming of age film, a journey of self- discovery with a comedic slant, where a family with individual struggles are avoiding what would collectively help them all – and that is ‘togetherness’. Creatively the film will contrast the difficult issues being faced by the characters with the bright, summery colours of the environment – both natural outdoors and sets indoors. Comedy will contrast with solemnity.

Sinead is praised in references for her organizational ability, hardworking drive, her creativity and passion for acting and film making. Kelowna Film Society was pleased to help her with this project and to wish her all the very best with it.

Brendan Taylor has been passionate about films for his entire life. He started making films when he was sixteen years old and made his first full feature length movie when he was in Grade 12. Although he was accepted at film schools, he decided that it could be beneficial to save his money on student loans and put the money into his own films. His pattern has been to work full time for half a year and spend the rest of the year in film production. Last year he felt sufficiently confident to embark on making a feature length film. This film is now in the midst of the post-production process since the principal photography has been completed. The film entitled Videotronyxz is a dark comedy in which a young man discovers his passion for music and stops at nothing to achieve his goals. This furious ambition begins to create tension in his relationships as he forces himself to become who he wants to be, regardless of the consequences.

Brendan’s goal is to become a full time film maker and he feels that he has the creative ability and the necessary dedication to hard work to achieve this. It is crucial to gain the necessary exposure for his film in order to advance himself.

The bursary we awarded him will go some of the way to finance putting his film on the film festival circuit. We wished him success with this project and all his future endeavours.

We asked our award recipients, from the previous year, to briefly update us with a follow up from last June.

Deb Green, based in Penticton, whose group received funding last June for their short film, ‘The Trouble with Destiny' wrote that the film has been receiving a lot of good recognition and feedback on the festival circuit. It has been an Official Selection at the Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmakers Short Film Festival. While interest was very positive with the major international festivals almost all the films selected at those venues, this past year, involved terrorism, violence and\or refugees so their happy little film was unfortunately not selected. They will now concentrate on smaller niche festivals. Deb ended by thanking the Kelowna Film Society for supporting them along their journey where our help was deeply appreciated.

Yannie Yu, one of our scholarship winners in 2015 and 2016, reports that she has been crazy busy at Capilano University with three different seven minute film projects in the second semester. During these projects she has had many different roles – production designer, editor and key grip - supervising all lighting and rigging crews. She was very happy to have made these films. Through it all she learned so much more and met a lot of great people. She thanked the Kelowna Film Society for their wonderful help with her tuition costs over the past two years.

Dylan Monteith and Malibu Taetz were repeat recipients.