It all started with an idea in 2001, a phone conversation between the multimedia director of the board, Jeff Bowman, and the communications technology teacher at White Oaks Secondary School, Dale Andrews. Jeff asked, “What do you think about starting a film festival for the Halton District School Board?” Mr. Andrews agreed. From that day forward the Eddies Film Festival was transformed from an idea to an event which we celebrate across the Halton District School Board.
Added to the original team shortly after was a secondary school art teacher, Martyn Olenick and an elementary school Vice Principal, Don Jones. Right from the start The Eddies involved both elementary and secondary panels. The limit of 5 minutes for each video quickly became a 10 minute limit. Awarding only first place winners has evolved to acknowledging the top three winners. One consistency is the P’alme D’Eddy trophy which goes to the overall top video and the winning school keeps it in their possession the following year.
The first festival was held in 2002 at White Oaks Secondary School. The audience had about 75 people in it, parents, students and teachers. Only a few dozen entries were submitted that year. Much like the first Academy Awards ceremony, it was brief but eventful and it accomplished what they had set out to do.
The primary purpose of the Eddies Film Festival is to encourage excellence in film making from the Halton District School Board students. From making videos, important skills are developed like storytelling, cinematography, editing, sound design and artistic design to name a few. Arguably more important are the other skills which are developed during the film making process: problem-solving, team building, nurturing creativity and developing the resiliency to overcome the slew of problems when facing the many challenges of making a film.
The Eddies Film Festival has inspired and produced many talented artists who span the globe and who directly contribute to the television and film industry, jobs which include screenplay writers, editors, cinematographers, directors, sound artists and the list goes on and on.
As we move forward with a different team, we’d like to express our gratitude to Mr. Andrews whose tenacity and vision for the Eddies Film Festival has remained steadfast and strong throughout the years. It is our hope that our effort honours the groundwork that he has laid. For that we are grateful.
The Eddies Team