Film Festival

Two Halifax filmmakers win youth category in Bluenose-Ability Film Festival

The movie "A City, A Person" was announced as the winner of the youth category during a press conference for the local disability film festival

Ryan Butt, Andrew Taylor, and Christian McCuaig at the press conference for BAFF
Ryan Butt, Andrew Taylor, and Christian McCuaig at the press conference for BAFF   Molly Woodgate

Butt and McCuaig will enter the Bluenose-Ability Film Festival (BAFF) as winners of the Grand Jury Prize Regional Short Film: Youth.

Tova Sherman, CEO of the reachAbility Association that runs BAFF, announced Thursday at a press conference that Butt and McCuaig’s film had won the youth category.

Their film was one of six films submitted to the festival by Nova Scotians.

Butt and McCuaig are both recent graduates from the journalism program at the University of King’s College. Butt said they created the documentary for a school project.

“We had a couple different choices in our documentary class at King’s,” said Butt. “I think it ultimately came down to just meeting Andrew and talking with him.”

The short film is about Andrew Taylor, who uses a wheelchair in his daily life. The film showed how Taylor is living his new life in Halifax after moving from Musquodoboit.

Taylor said the film is about what it’s like to be a disabled person in Halifax. He said it also shows that his days were the same as everyone else’s.

“There is no real difference between how I conduct my day versus any other day,” Taylor said. “I hate to say this…that I’m normal.”

Butt and McCuaig were both surprised their film has already won a prize in the film festival.

“It’s our first film, and this is the first time we ever entered into a festival, and we happen to win something. Which I don’t think either one of us were expecting,” said McCuaig.

Dr. Bruce Mills is one of the judges of the film festival, as well as co-founder and president of the reachAbility Association. He said he is not like a film critic judge looking at the technical elements of a film, but that he looks at the story.

“I think the most important feature of a film is that it tells a story of someone’s life,” said Mills.

Butt and McCuaig were the only winners announced Thursday at the press conference. The finalists were announced for the other categories.

Sherman also said there are two more awards being added to the festival: the School Choice Award and the Lion of Courage Award.

For the School Choice Award, four different high schools will vote on their favourite youth film. The Lion of Courage Award is for any of the lead subjects in one of the finalist films, who displayed the most courage when facing obstacles. The rest of the winners will be announced during the festival from Dec. 3-Dec. 5.