Former Thompson residents and filmmakers Justina and Jenna Neepin won $10,000 in the first ever RBC Emerging Filmmaker Competition July 26 at the Gimli Film Festival after Justina wowed the judges with her pitch of the sisters' proposed short film.
"The art of film is to tell a story with characters and pictures," said Kim Todd in a festival press release. "When she (Justina) was speaking you could have heard a pin drop."
Jenna had expected to be a part of the pitch until moments before it started, when Justina told her she'd take care of it.
"She nailed it," said Jenna. "I am so proud of her."
The five judges unanimously picked the Neepin sisters' pitch for a film called "MARK," about a mysterious encounter between a young man and a beautiful woman at a bus stop to take home the award, which comes with $10,000 from RBC to go towards production of their film, a story-editing mentorship opportunity with the National Screen Institute of Canada, one year of mentoring from a Manitoba production company, a one-year membership to On Screen Manitoba and a premiere screening of their film at the 2013 Gimli Festival.
"We are so delighted to support our local film industry and our talented emerging filmmakers," said Rob Johnston, RBC's regional president for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario,
Cheryl Ashton, Gimil Film Festival director, said the organization was proud to support new filmmakers alongside RBC.
Justina is currently a production co-ordinator for a documentary series produced by Animiki See Digital Productions Inc. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Manitoba and completed the National Screen Institute New Voices program in July 2011.
The Gimli Film Festival is Manitoba's largest film festival, showcasing 130 features, documentaries and shorts from Manitoba. It ran from July 25-29 this year.