Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My friend Pat Ferns

I just received a donation from my old friend Pat Ferns (www.fernsproductions.com ). He is the only one who knows how long it has been since MFS’s conception. He was the first person I tried this crazy idea out on after coming off a camping trip in Alberta. There were lots of starts and stops over the years. I know that he would be so proud of it if he could see the workshops in action. We really are changing lives. Even for those who will never become filmmakers, asking them to be part of a collaborative project can be transformative, particularly for at-risk youth. For some, this is the first time they are asked to critically think. We are so paralyzed in this country due to testing requirements, because of Bush’s “no child left behind” program.

Pat was also my big influence for running student pitch sessions at various film festivals. It is a way for MFS to get our name out and about. But more importantly it connects the festivals with their local student population in an exciting way. Pat invited me 3 or 4 times to pitch in the co-production panels at the MIP markets in Cannes. That was the best schooling I had as a producer. I am delighted to be able to pass that along. Thanks again, Pat.

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