The Halton District School Board recently celebrated the 11th year of its popular filmmaking competition called, The Eddies.
The Eddies is a festival that celebrates student success in filmmaking by recognizing technical and creative achievements. The Halton Student Film Festival is open to all students currently attending any Halton District School Board secondary or elementary school.
The Eddies award a Palm D’Eddy – representing Best in Show – to a student in the elementary and secondary level. This year, Falgarwood Public School student Austin Amaral received a Palm D’Eddy for his animation, The Connolly Christmas, while White Oaks Secondary School student Kathryn Lyons received a Palm D’Eddy for her work, Liam Decker is Missing.
More than 400 students participate each year from various subject areas making this a true display of how technology can be integrated in all academic and technical subjects. "Eddies" are given out in various categories during an awards gala. Following the presentation of awards, all winning entries are viewed on a big screen. The categories are wide ranging, from comedy and public service announcements to music video and animation.
The Eddies festival was started 10 years ago by Jeff Bowman, Multi-Media Administrator; Dale Andrews, communications/technology teacher at White Oaks Secondary School; Martyn Olenick, department head at Aldershot High; and Don Jones, who at the time was a program consultant. As technology made it easier for students to produce movies on their own, they felt there was a need for a venue to celebrate this creativity.
In the first year of The Eddies, there were 32 entries; all from secondary students. This year, 154 entries were received.
Previous Eddies award winners have graduated and gone on to achieve success in the film industry, with some capturing prestigious awards for their work. They include Ana Yavari (Eddies 2005), editor on The Tudors (Gemini award winner at age 24); Morgan Rozender (Eddies 2002), documentary filmmaker (Gemini award winner at age 22); Kelsey Larkin (Eddies 2002), music video director, who has created videos for Hawksley Workman, Northcote and The Fullblast; and Yazad Rabadi (Eddies 2003), short film director, who screened a project at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2005, The Eddies won two national awards: National Innovative Educators Award and the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education Award.