A young trio of local movie-makers may be bound for gold — a Golden Sheaf Award for their 23-minute film nominated in the Yorkton Film Festival’s (YFF) drama category.
Joel Kereluke of Wadena and film-making partners Jacob Farrell and Luke Halyk of Foam Lake are collectively known as Blister Cinema.
The film-makers/videographers, all teenagers who share a passion for film, have made a prodigious 20 films to date. Besides being in competition for Yorkton’s Golden Sheaf Award, they took first place at the 2013 Saskatchewan Workplace Safety-Youth Video Contest, were the People’s Choice Award winners on WorkSafe Saskatchewan’s social media site, and were recently invited to assist on the professional shoot of a Quebec-based company’s film in Saskatchewan.
Joel, Jacob and Luke have been long-time collaborators, considering their youth, and have amassed more than 19 million views of one of their productions. Their YouTube channel itself has registered more than 74,000 subscribers.
Their first success came with their gaming film Minecraft: Herobrine Lives (2013), which garnered more than 15 million views on YouTube. They followed that up with the sequel Minecraft: The Hunt for Herobrine (2014). According to Blister Cinema’s website, after the success of the first instalment of Minecraft and the possibility of millions of views, more attention was paid to the details in developing the sequel in all aspects.
“With the potential for millions to see our work, we needed to make sure both Blister Cinema and Minecraft fans got what they wanted. Minecraft lore and a compelling storyline blended into one was the balance we were looking for,” states the crew.
Their most ambitious venture to date, the YFF-nominated Laundroman, was made with a full crew and was, according to the website, a fast-paced and exciting shoot. It is pitted against three other nominees: Flankers by Oak & Arrow, Gord’s Brother by Broken Mirror Films, and Transit Game by Sepasi Films.
The team of three shares writing, directing, acting and producing duties as well as photography, sound and film editing responsibilities and has developed key collaborations with Warren Gevers from Lateral Interactive in Victoria, Garrett Bates from Halifax and WorldAirsoft’s Greg Parsons, a former Wadenan.
Luke, Jacob and Joel all plan to attend the University of Regina’s department of film to work toward their bachelor of fine arts degrees. Although Jacob graduated from Foam Lake Composite School last year, he decided to find gainful employment while waiting for his cohorts to complete Grade 12 this year.
As spokesman for Blister Cinema, Jacob points to friends, family and Saskatchewan’s landscape for the Blister Cinema’s artistic inspiration and influence.
The Yorkton Film Festival, North America’s longest-running film festival, is May 21 to 24 and is open to the public. Among those whose works have been nominated for awards this year are Oscar-winner Torill Kove, the National Film Board of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Howie Mandel.
By Jim Lincez