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By Erin Eaton
Humber film and television graduate Lee Ventura has experienced soaring success with his film, The Great Maldini.
Maldini was chosen by TIFF as one of the top 10 student films of 2012, and is now appearing on Air Canada flights as part of the sixth annual enRoute Film Festival.
“It was kind of surreal, actually. You know, you make a movie, don’t think anyone will see it, but then there it is in TIFF cinema 1, and they’re saying it’s one of the top student films in Canada,” Ventura told Humber News.
Twenty selected shorts are competing to win prizes that include an all-inclusive trip to the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France, and $5000.
Maldini is a turn of the century tale about a chivalrous barber who meets the girl of his dreams at a wrestling match.
This silent, black and white short was created as part of Ventura’s Film and Television thesis project at Humber.
“The concept of the film is kind of strange. I wanted to make something that’s of that period—the 1920s—the silent era,” Ventura said. “I also wanted to make a weird kind of wrestling movie, too. An action adventure.”
Maldini‘s TIFF debut propelled the film’s accessibility – an opportunity Ventura said he treasured.
“It was a great honour to be a part of that,” he said.
Ventura said his experience at Humber helped mold him into a stronger, business-savvy filmmaker.
“You come to Humber with your own preconceptions and idea of how to make things, but what they do is form you, and give you the technical knowledge of how to accomplish what you’re dreaming,” he said.
“They also help give you the administrative mind that you need to be a director. Pre-production, pre-visualization planning, and how to execute it.”
The enRoute festival’s grand prize is selected by a group of Canadian film professionals, including actors Gordon Pinsent and Jay Baruchel.
Screenings continue until Dec. 31, with audience choice voting taking place Nov. 1-7.