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NWT film Conibear to be screened at international short film fest

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A film that was shot and produced entirely in the Northwest Territories will be screened at the most prestigious short film festival in the world next February.

Conibear will be seen by thousands of people when it plays during the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival in France between February 5 and February 13.

The screening will only take 10 minutes, but the minds behind the production – Jay Bulckaert and Pablo Saravanja of Artless Collective – say they plan on using the trip as an opportunity to network.

“We’re going to showcase what we do as a company and as filmmakers, but when we go to these things, we go with the mindset that we’re representatives of the NWT film industry at large,” said Bulckaert.

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“We’re about to go meet 100,000 people – producers, production companies and people who might be looking for co-production opportunities around the world.”

The short horror, which premiered during the 2014 Dead North Film Festival in Yellowknife, tells the story of two trappers in the sub-Arctic who struggle to maintain their sanity amidst an accident on the trap line.

It features performances from Saravanja and Hay River resident Andrew Stanley, who also stars in Wild TV’s Fur Harvesters NWT.

“I call it a horror-thriller,” said Bulckaert. “I don’t really feel like it fits in the slasher or gore category. It’s a psychological horror.

“It explores a remote location, extreme isolation and the brutality of winter and how all of those things can play on the mind of a human being.”

Bulckaert and Saravanja will both be travelling to France for the festival. They’re hoping to bring as much exposure to the territory’s filmmaking industry as possible.

“The North is a very sexy thing that everyone is looking to get on screen so we have no doubt that people will want to speak with us,” said Bulckaert.

“We’re going ready to work for 10 days straight. Our intent is to really promote ourselves and promote the North.”

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