Tribute to mother lands U of R filmmaker at film festival

By Costa Maragos Posted: January 19, 2016 6:00 a.m.

U of R alumna and employee Dianne Ouellette is riding the resurgence of Super 8 Filmmaking.
U of R alumna and employee Dianne Ouellette is riding the resurgence of Super 8 Filmmaking. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography.

The Slamdance Film Festival isn’t the Sundance Film Festival but it’s close enough for U of R staff member, filmmaker and alumna, Dianne Ouellette.

Her short film, Red is Dead, has been chosen as one of the finalists in the Kodak Super 8 Filmmaking Challenge. Ouellette the only Canadian to make the list of finalists.

“When I was told I was one of the finalists I think I may have yelled out loud: ‘I won,’ ” says Ouellette who completed her BA in theatre in 1993 and her BFA in Film and Video in 1995, both at the U of R.

“I felt unsure about the win. I kept going back to the web page to check to see if it was real. I remember I had goose bumps and my adrenalin was going.”

Slamdance was created by a group of filmmakers who didn’t like that the Sundance Film Festival rejected their films. Slamdance takes place the same time as Sundance in Park City, Utah. Both film festivals attract some of the finest filmmakers in the world.

“I’ve been screened at many film festivals around the world over the years, but I have never had a film screened in Park City. I remember when I was in film school, Sundance was the festival to get into. After all, it was founded by Robert Redford. Since the dream of Sundance has been unattainable, Slamdance is perfect for me. It’s like I’m getting payback for all the years of being rejected by Sundance,” says Ouellette who is the Research Support and Media Lab Manager at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Media, Art and Performance (formerly the Faculty of Fine Arts).

Dianne Ouellette
“There is something about projecting a roll of super 8 film that tugs at my heart" - Dianne Ouellette.

To view the film please visit here and click the link to the film, Red is Dead.

Ouellette’s film is a tribute to her mother who passed away of cancer in 2013.

“I came up with an idea after observing that my animals were always surrounding my mother with love. I shot the film in an hour,” says Ouellette.

The super 8-filmmaking genre has made a big comeback recently. Ouellette has been shooting and using super 8 film in her work since the 90’s. She has completed 10 super 8 films over the years, which have been shown at Regina’s annual One Take Super 8 Event.

“There is something about projecting a roll of super 8 film that tugs at my heart. When I watch super 8, feelings of nostalgia come forth. If I shoot a roll of super 8 film, wait a week for processing, then watch it, the projected images will feel like a distant memory. I love love love super 8,” says Ouellette.

As one of the 15 finalists, Red is Dead will be screened at the Slamdance Film Festival. People at home can vote for their favourite film from January 19 to January 25. Ouellette has the chance to win a new Super 8 camera from Kodak if her work finishes in the top three in voting.

To vote on the film please visit here.

Ouellette plans on going to the film festival.

“It will be an honour to have my film shown there. I also encourage people to vote for me,” says Ouellette with a smile.