Zack Jackson of Port McNeill appears in a screen capture from the award-winning short documentary Me

Zack Jackson of Port McNeill appears in a screen capture from the award-winning short documentary Me

NISS grad wins filmmaking award

Zack Jackson won Youth Documentary Filmmaking for his short film, Me.

A first-year film school student from Port McNeill won a major award during the 17th Annual EyeLens Film, Video and Animation Festival.

Zack Jackson, a North Island Secondary School graduate attending Gulf Islands Film and Television School, shared the accolades with Ben Hawker and Hannah Kruzel when the trio won Youth Documentary Filmmaking for the short film Me, a six-minute, interview-driven documentary about the uniqueness of people and how all should be accepted for our differences.

“When I think back on all the students I’ve had here, I was impressed, especially at his age, by how mature Zack is,” said Jonathan Piteux, a mentor at GIFTS. “He acts like a 25-year-old and he’s, what, 18?”

EyeLens Festival judges seemed to agree. Here’s what they had to say about the piece:

“Nice framing with good visual texture and colour showing good planning and grasp of the aesthetics.”

“This piece was very interesting and reflective with attractive and charismatic personalities in the characters and their postures.”

“The creative montage at the end is a good visual concept that creates a good focus. Very good credit handling.”

The festival was held April 21 at Oak Bay Secondary School and showcased top talent from  B.C.’s emerging filmmakers. It also featured a performance by a

Vancouver-based improv troupe as well as a keynote presentation by award-winning filmmaker Bart Simpson, crowd favourite at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The Gulf Islands Film and Television School (GIFTS) — Canada’s most award-winning film school — is a unique rural film camp on Galiano Island, B.C. that offers media intensives, with a focus on developing new filmmakers.

The small but growing school was founded in 1995 and has had amazing success with its students’ films and videos at  national and international festivals. Jackson, like other EyeLens winners, is an up-and-coming media artist who braved the rigours of a GIFTS media intensive and produced stunning work in a short period of time.

The documentary may be viewed online at www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qTdj5FVku7c#t=15s