Last fall, I scored my first-ever role in a student film, playing an outrageous Hindu (!) swami/self-help guru, a small but pivotal role in the short comedy titled “Straight to Video”. Today I attended the VFS Grad Show at the VanCity theatre where the film was shown on the big screen! And happily both my girfriend Christine and my Mom, Eileen, were able to join me in attendance. Click here for photos of the event.
I must say I was utterly impressed with the variety and quality of the short films shown. The first group was all documentaries – and each one these 10-minute tales was compelling in its own right. The subject matter varied from issues around school uniforms and dress codes (“Standard Issue”), to the close bond shared by homeless people with their dogs (“Strays”). “Station Stretch” showed a “last chance” program in Richmond for troubled students who have dropped out or been expelled but still want to complete their education. It was downright inspiring.
Then came “Straight to Video” – the story of a guy in a struggling rock band who gets his wish for fame and fortune, thanks to an accidental viewing of a motivational tape with magical powers. The tape is hosted by “Guru Goulby”, a Hindu swami and motivational speaker… played by me!
It was pretty remarkable to see myself up there on the giant screen, decked out as this outrageous character. As with everything at the screening, it was artfully put together (my footage appeared quite convincingly on a small B&W TV in the video store). Great fun!
I have to say, the VFS Grad Show is an absolute hidden treasure of entertainment value. It does happen at an inconvenient time for 9-5’ers, but if you can get there, you’ll be treated to the best efforts of a group of talented and driven young people – the filmmakers of tomorrow. There’s plenty of variety, the films are short and sweet, there’s always at least one or two real standouts, and you can’t beat the price – free!