Artist in Residence

About the Program 

Reel 2 Real has offered an artist in residence program since 2014. It is designed to support a filmmaker at an early stage in the making of a film. The residency takes place over four to five months, and offers access to our extensive film library, equipment, networking opportunities, and mentorship.

For the residency, an artist can suggest someone they’d like as a mentor. That person meets with the artist, shares their experience, provides project feedback and financing advice, and challenges the artist to set goals. The mentor also provides guidance as the artist works with post-production creatives, editors and sound designers.

During the residency the artist works on their own film, and develops a new workshop for Reel 2 Real. The workshop is then taught in schools in the weeks immediately following the festival. Artists who develop a film that is suitable for elementary school children (grades 4-7) are given priority.

2018 - Reed Jackson

Reed Jackson is a queer artist & arts facilitator. Working through film, sound, eco-printing and an emergent movement practice, Reed is a filmmaker with a love for soundscape composition and film experimentation. They are energized by working as an educator, bringing filmmaking to the next generation.

2017 - Weronika Stepien

During her residency Weronika Stepien worked on her animated short titled “Ghost Town,” an experimental paint based animation about forgotten mining towns in B.C. During production she taught workshops using archival photographs, working with children in elementary schools throughout Vancouver. She was mentored by Marina Roy, an animator and visual artist in Vancouver, who provided feedback and guidance. At the same time, she benefited from feedback from a youth audience while making her film. “Ghost Town,” and the corresponding workshops were delivered in an engaging manner, and were relevant to Reel 2 Real’s goal to inspire young people to become creators. Stepien’s art practice incorporates 3D and 2D animation, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Stepien graduated from Emily Carr University’s Film and Video and Integrated Media program in 2009 and earned her Master of Art in Fine Arts from UBC in 2019. She has exhibited her work internationally and taught animation to youth in Vancouver for over fifteen years.

2016 - Ariel Kirk-Gushawaty

Ariel began working with the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival in 2015. At that time, she had the opportunity to teach documentary, animation and storyboard workshops throughout Vancouver. She also developed and taught media workshops with young people through the Richmond Media Lab. These experiences gave her the skills to develop workshops that are creative, challenging and relevant to children’s lives. During the residency, Ariel worked on a short titled “In the Here and Now,” an experimental documentary about the possibilities and limitations of the photographic image to direct our lives towards living in the present. She was mentored by Vancouver Filmmaker John Bolton. Ariel also benefited from the feedback she received from a youth audience while making her film.


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