An Alberta Farm, a short documentary by Red Deer’s Brendan O’Brien, won the $10,000 top prize at the Big Rock Eddies Short Film Festival at the Theatre Junction Grand in Calgary on June 6. This year for the first time in its 22 history, Big Rock opened up the theme beyond beer commercials to the idea of “tradition.” From this idea, O’Brien developed the story. The five-minute film, centres on the changing farm life and the memories of Alberta dairy farmer Bruce Bell.
O’Brien owns Red Van Studio in Red Deer, which specializes in producing corporate films. He said he plans to spend the $10,000 on film equipment as he works on other documentaries and indie films.
Partnering with both the Calgary International Film Festival and the Calgary Underground Film Festival, Big Rock received 50 entries from across Canada from which the judges choose 10 finalists.
Second prize, and $5,000, went to Calgary filmmaker Gabriel Yee. Stock, a black-and-white documentary about local artist David Brunning.
Third prize, and $2,500, went to Modern Love, a film by Winnipeg’s Matthew Dyck and Tedi Gilmartin that focused on the love life of a hipster puppet named Zane. The film began as a student project at Red River College.
The top three were chosen by a panel of judges that included Hell on Wheels actor Anson Mount, Calgary TV producer Chad Oakes, the CBC’s David Gray, Calgary Underground Film Festival founder Brenda Lieberman, Calgary International Film Festival executive director Steve Schroeder and Big Rock brewmaster Paul Gautreau.
An Alberta Farm will be screened this September at the Calgary Underground Film Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival.