Instructor earns prominent place in local filmmaking scene

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 1, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Brett Bell, a graduate of the Film Department, has carved out a place for himself in the local and national filmmaking scene.
Brett Bell, a graduate of the Film Department, has carved out a place for himself in the local and national filmmaking scene. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography.

The world as seen through the eyes of U of R Film Instructor Brett Bell is coming to the big screen.  

A compilation of some of the Regina filmmaker’s best-known and recent short films will be shown at the Regina Public Library, February 2.

“I’ve wanted to put together a screening for some time,” says Bell, who has been a sessional instructor at the Department of Film for 21 years. “Hopefully the event will also offer some exposure for Saskatchewan and Regina filmmaking and a little more exposure for the variety of films we are producing.”

Film Scene from Brett Bell
Oana Toma as ‘the Loner’ in Brett Bell’s dark comedy/drama Blueberry. This was screened in over 70 national and international festivals, winning a dozen awards. (Photo by Jack Hilkewich)

Bell has been making short films since 1984. He graduated from the Film Department at the U of R in 1990 and over the years has carved out a place for himself in the local and national filmmaking scene.

His internationally award-winning films include Blueberry, Hometown and Slatland. He’s also written and directed television documentaries that have been broadcast nationally on CTV, Bravo! and the History Channel. When he’s not teaching at the U of R or making films, Bell is responsible for production of daily promotions for Global TV news in Regina.

The short films at the screening will be:
- Blueberry (2001)
- Home Town (2003)
- Slatland (2005)
- Climb (2009)
- Sign-off (2010)
- Home Town Annex: I was Wrong About the Derrick (2014 - World Premiere)

Click here for a preview of the film screening.

“When it all comes together I like sharing the movies that I make with the audience. The flip side to that is getting through it one can sometimes be very self-conscious, ranging from either painful or uncomfortable,” says Bell. “But being able to share it with audiences is a process that I do enjoy.”

Bell is attending the screening and will take questions and comments from the crowd. He enjoys talking about his craft, whether it is with a viewing audience or his students.

“Every filmmaker learns to make his or her own opportunity. Right now it has never been easier to make your own film but the dilemma now becomes is that it’s not only easier for you but for tens of thousands of people,” says Bell. “For young filmmakers coming out of school there is opportunity for making a couple of really solid films, polishing your craft and then figuring out where you want to go from there.”

The retrospective on Bell’s work is put on by Independent Visions whose free monthly film and video series is devoted to making independent and experimental media accessible to a diverse audience. Independent Visions is a partnership between the U of R’s Film Department, Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative and the Dunlop Art Gallery.

Event:      Brett Bell Films
Location: Regina Public Library Film Theatre
Date:       Tuesday, February 2
Time:       7:00 pm
                Free admission

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