KITCHENER, On. – Christie’s new cinema trailer made its world debut last week at CineAsia, a conference and tradeshow for the motion picture industry in the Asia Pacific region. The trailer was created by Mila Paulman, a fourth-year student majoring in film and media production at Toronto’s Humber College, and directed and produced by Kitchener, Canada’s Digital Sabbath Film Company, with post-production by Company 3.
The trailer is the result of a contest launched by Digital Sabbath on behalf of Christie, to engage and support the next generation of filmmakers. The contest invited post-secondary students in film programs to submit a pitch for the trailer for a chance to win a monetary prize, a day on-set, and to have their concept shown on the big screen, in theatres globally.
Paulman’s winning pitch explores the theme of “the love of cinema” through the eyes of a young boy who moves from imaginative play to seeing his ideas come to life on the big screen. “We felt Mila’s pitch encapsulated the unique feeling and emotion of seeing a film on the big screen,” says Arlonna Seymour, executive director, Corporate Marketing, Christie. “It’s a call to dream big.”
Paulman joined Digital Sabbath on-set for the one-day shoot and quickly jumped into the role of Assistant Director. “I was really excited to work with Kyle [Sawyer, director], and learn how he directs and collaborates with others, like Paul [Duck, director of photography]. Being a part of the crew and presenting myself as a future director was a great opportunity,” says Paulman.
Digital Sabbath, which runs the Open Gate Filmmaker Lab to bring filmmaking to high school students through hands-on workshops, understands the importance of this type of experience for aspiring filmmakers. “It’s a small industry, so she got to meet the crew and now knows them. It will help Mila move forward in her career with a bit more of a rolodex, so to speak,” says Sawyer.
Paulman also gained valuable first-hand experience in post-production, joining Digital Sabbath at Company 3’s offices in Toronto for color grading and sound mixing at a scale that she hadn’t experienced before. “The team here at Company 3 were excited to partner with Christie and Digital Sabbath on this initiative. Providing emerging filmmakers like Mila the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top color and sound professionals is valuable experience that they can carry into their future projects,” says Michael Patterson, director, Sales, Company 3 Toronto.
“When I was starting out, I would walk into studios and sets and feel so unwelcome. That’s a huge issue for people starting out in this industry – there’s no real path into it,” says Sawyer. “We want to flip that. So when there’s someone on set, like Mila, we want to make sure that they feel welcome.”
“This was a fantastic opportunity to, in a way, represent the future of filmmaking,” says Paulman. While Paulman is completing her final year of college, she’s already looking ahead. “In ten years, I’d love to direct a big-budget feature film.”
Christie’s new cinema trailer will be shown ahead of feature presentations at film festivals including Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Shanghai International Film Festival, as well as in select movie theatres around the world.