Confederation College Alumni Bring Ideas to Life through Film

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Luke Grandmont (right) works on his short film, The Maltese Guinea Pig.
Luke Grandmont (right) works on his short film, The Maltese Guinea Pig.
Luke Grandmont (right) works on his short film, The Maltese Guinea Pig.
Luke Grandmont (right) works on his short film, The Maltese Guinea Pig.

THUNDER BAY – ENTERTAINMENT – What do Piotr Skowronski and Luke Grandmont have in common?  They are both successful filmmakers, they both have film releases coming soon and they are both Confederation College alumni.

Piotr Skowronski graduated from the Film Production program in 2005.  With the help of brother and business partner, Milosz Skowronski, Piotr created and produced the duo’s first ever feature-length film titled These Lovers.  A romantic drama, the film explores romantic connections and the hopes and fears surrounding them.  According to the brothers, less than 100 Canadian-made feature-length films are released each year, making this release a major accomplishment, not only for them, but for Thunder Bay.

With Milosz as Producer and Piotr as Producer, Writer and Director, the Imaginarium Studio film was assembled over two years.  There has been an incredible amount of support from the community and the film has provided opportunity for local talent and locations to be in the spotlight.  Of the local talent involved, over a dozen graduates of Confederation College contributed to the film in key positions across a variety of capacities, from working behind the scenes to acting on screen.

“Confederation College continuously feeds our community with graduates who have impressive creative and technical skill, talent and passion,” said Milosz.  “This is enabling the local industry to grow in production size and quantity.  The college’s role in film education is critical to continue this growth.”

Piotr reflected on how his experience at Confederation College led him to develop the skills he needed to be considered a talent himself.

“I’m proud to be an alumnus of Confederation College.  Having worked in Toronto and Western Canada, I’ve learned that we have a great reputation in the industry.  If you’re a graduate of the Film Production program here, those in the industry know you will work hard, be serious about what you’re doing and have the job skills and training needed to back that up.”

To thank the community for its support, Imaginarium Studio will offer a Thunder Bay debut of the film before taking it to the festival circuit, submitting to over 50 festivals globally.  A total of five screenings will be presented at SilverCity and Magnus Theatre starting November 6, 2014.  For more information about the film, including showtimes and an opportunity to view the official trailer, visit TheseLoversFilm.com.

Luke Grandmont graduated from the Film Production program in 2009.  Having worked on a variety of projects since graduation, Luke is now looking forward to the release of his latest project.  A short film called The Maltese Guinea Pig is a story of love, betrayal and adventure – in grade four.  After the class guinea pig goes missing, self-proclaimed sleuth, Samuel Stapleton takes it upon himself to find the beloved class pet.

“For me, the film isn’t just about the search for Sprinkles,” said Luke.  “It’s about a boy clinging on to the thing he loves most – his imagination.”  Clinging to his own love for his imagination, Luke extended his innovation past the production itself to introduce the unique concept of creating a crowd-funded film.  People from the community made donations to cover the production entirely, from equipment and locations, to lunch for the cast and crew.  As usual, Thunder Bay rose to the occasion, meaning there are lots of people to thank.

Like the Skowronski brothers, Luke engaged a lot of graduates from Confederation College to help bring his film to life, once again highlighting local talent.  To keep on top of all the up-and-comers, Luke makes sure he has a front row seat to the College’s annual Film Night.

“I love to revisit old friends and see the new graduates show off their skills at the annual Film Night hosted by the Film Production program each April.”

Of his own experience at Confederation, Luke appreciates the lifetime of memories, experiences and friends he was able to “cram in”.

“Having attended University prior to College, I found my hands-on learning experience to be much more rewarding,” Luke added. “The smaller campus and class sizes were also great to allow for a more personal learning experience.”

Now in post-production, Luke looks forward to his film’s Thunder Bay premiere sometime in early 2015, after which he will submit it to multiple film festivals around the world.  He hopes to achieve similar results to his last film, The Last Straw, which recently saw a UK (Scotland) debut in September and received a Best Animation Award at CTV’s Best in Shorts in Sudbury, Ontario.  For more information about Luke’s latest film, visit facebook.com/malteseguineapig.

Piotr Skowronski, Milosz Skowronski and Luke Grandmont, like all Confederation College students and alumni, are dreamers who do, and for that, they are all sure to see great success with their film projects.

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