School of Interactive Arts & Technology

Roll out the red carpet: Surrey students showcase filmmaking talent

From the left, Adam Drake, Hassan Riasat and X posing for a picture with one of the 'little Oscar' winners
August 19, 2022

By Farhan Shahriar

Local high school students took a break from summer vacation to create their breakout short film masterpieces. 

The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology in partnership with the Surrey School District 36 recently wrapped up its third Surrey Filmmaking Academy. The program guides students who are interested in the film industry. 

The program ran for four weeks and welcomed students from Grade 8 to 11 to explore all stages that go into making real-life movies. Students learn about pre-production, script writing, filming, post-production & editing. 

Hassan Riasat, one instructor for the program explains how this was a chance for students to come together again and learn from each other.

“It was an absolute blast and a wonderful experience working with these kids. The students were excited to learn and with everyone together again, it was a fun process,” says Riasat. 

To celebrate the student’s hard work, the class of over 50 students premiered 26 1-minute-long films at the final showcase at the end of July to classmates, family and friends. 

Grade 12 student Logan premiered his short film to his peers, family and friends. “The entire process was so much fun. I enjoyed working as a team,” says Logan.

Following the premier, teachers hosted a “little Oscars” awards afternoon awarding students in a variety of categories including best director, best editing, and best special effects.   

Participants were given access to various film equipments from the Simon Fraser University Surrey Campus

The partnership between the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology and the Surrey School District 36 gives students the opportunity to use high-tech film equipment that is usually not accessible to high school students. 

The faculty and SFU Surrey campus opened its spaces for students to make use of the Surrey campus theatre, the green room, and the editing room for their film projects.

‘The equipment we got to use was so amazing," says Domina, a grade 11 student in the program. "It was cool to see other university students and a glimpse of what university life is like."

Students partaking in collaborative environment in order to shoot their 1-minute movie project

The program also served as an opportunity to equip young filmmakers with new skills. Instead of the program being theoretically dependent, the program gave the chance for the students to go out and learn from each other. 

Grade 11 student Domina explains the program equipped her with new professional skills.

“I developed new skills in this program, knowing how to communicate to people, how to network and learn from other people, and how to put yourself out there,” says Domina.

Riasat adds he hopes the program continues to inspire and push young leaders in filmmaking by continuing providing an amazing space for collaboration and creativity. 

“This course makes a difference and inspires our students to make films.”