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by Archives September 5, 2006

Every famous filmmaker had to start somewhere. Getting an education on how to make movies may have its uses but to break into the film and television industry, it takes a little something extra. Many students are not aware of the tremendous opportunities they have to present their independent projects in festivals, online, in theaters and on television.

Concordia University in particular is building a reputation for producing many high quality short documentaries and experimental narrative films. Many veteran Concordia students have already been successful submitting their works to festivals. The Montreal Worldwide Film Festival (WFMM), presented nine films from the Concordia Communications Department during their student festival program held over the past two weeks.

In fact, students are encouraged to take their work to the next level. Liz Miller, a Concordia television and documentary film professor, persuaded her students to get their work out there by organizing a seminar on the subject. “Another thing that we do is that each year is have students in [my] T.V. 2 [class] write a paper. Two years ago it was on distribution. So, students had to go visit various Montreal film distribution companies and write a paper on the history, the practice and the marketing outreach strategies within these different companies. Truthfully, those students are the ones who are now entering all the competitions.” Miller encourages students not think of a class assignment as the final destination. Rather, she says, students should be seeking multiple venues for their work.

Paul Aflalo, a seasoned Concordia film student and participant in the WFMM with his film Surfing the Waste, agrees:

“I have always worked with the philosophy that the worst thing that anybody could say was no.”

There are many ways students can submit their films to festivals. Aaron Hancox, whose film Cin

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