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• Friday, March 16, 2012
“Theatre really does have the po-tential to be kick-ass, to be just asgood as any other entertainment[students] want to go see—it’s justthey don’t know it,” Markus Liik,ounding partner o Richmondand Tower Productions, sayswhen asked about the potentialor students to become theatre-goers.He explains many studentsthink o theatre as something thatis “not their thing.” He notes manyhad seen a show that simply didnot appeal to them, or showsthat were more narcissistic thanentertaining.“There needs to be a ocus onmaking it entertaining and mak-ing it relevant,” Liik says.He says when the companydecides on a production, theylook or shows with a great hookto attract students. For example,the company’s most recent show,
, eatured a proessor-student relationship.“For the all one that we do, themore well-known the play is, themore audience we can pull in,” JoDevereux, an English proessorat Western, explains. Devereuxdirects an annual show put on bythe English department wherestudents can get involved orcredit. She says it was up to thestudents in the course to promotethe show. She also explains sev-eral proessors would include theplay in their syllabi, which encour-aged students to go see it.According to Liik, when Rich-mond and Tower chooses shows,they look at how to market themas well—including having a slicksocial media campaign. Theircampaigns eature trailers and en-courage their crews to eature theshows on their Facebook proiles.“What you really need to do ishave a network on campus,” heexplains, noting no other compa-nies in London have that advan-tage. “We reach out to an audi-ence who wouldn’t go see it.”Liik also says many people areeager to help out. “Lots o people just enjoy getting involved andbeing part o the process.”Devereux explains she neverhas problems attracting crew-members or actors or the shows.“For auditions, we usually getlots,” she says, noting crew volun-teers come rom all over.Liik explains part o the reasonRichmond and Tower was startedwas simply because they oundlocal theatre wasn’t appealing totheir network on campus. “Whatwe ind is, by and large, it takesthe right show. But i you’re doingtheatre through the university,you’re kind o constrained,” heexplains. “We ound we could dowhatever the hell we wanted.”
The curain rises on suden heare
With the irst London Domes-tic Arrivals Film Festival beingheld this year, students return tothe editing room to prepare orWestern’s student ilm estivals—including the Ivey Film Festival.“This is the ourth year [it hasbeen run]—this has been ourlagship event every year,” saysMatt Boswick, president o theentertainment business club atthe Richard Ivey School o Busi-ness. “The goal o the club is topromote the entertainment indus-try and give [students] the op-portunity to get involved in thatindustry, because there are notas many opportunities to get intothe entertainment industry.”Boswick, who was head omarketing or the previous IveyFilm Festival, observes an in-creased involvement within thestudent body as well as with com-panies. The estival has expandedto include more judges to relectthe increasing participation andrecognition.“It’s a little bit dierent than[the other ilm estivals in London]because it’s completely ree oranyone to come,” Boswick says.“Because o the sponsorship romthese companies, we are able topromote it or students who cancome and see all these ilms orree. It gives students the oppor-tunities to network with peoplerom these companies who cometo judge.”Among the judges is DarinBristow, a producer or Corus En-tertainment in Toronto. Bristowwas impressed with the quality othe ilms screened at the estivaland has been a judge at the esti-val since the irst Ivey Film Festi-val our years ago.“[The estival has] grown interms o entries—the quality wasthere since the very beginning.When I was asked to come be a judge [the irst time], I was blownaway with the quality o the ilms,”Bristow says.“Ivey Film Festivals are simi-larly antastic opportunities orstudents to show o their ilm-making prowess and get someexposure,” says Josh Litman, astudent ilmmaker who submit-ted two ilms to the estival lastyear and won Best Comedy or hiscomedy ilm
Death by Hot Wings
.This year, Litman is submittingtwo o his own ilms, as well asparticipating in three others.“Taking into account the sheernumber o ilms the Ivey Festivalhas to deal with, and the act thatit’s completely ree to submit andattend, it’s a antastic opportu-nity,” Litman concludes.
The Ivey Film Festival will be screening films on March 21 in room 1R40 o the Ivey Build-ing. Submissions to the estival are due Sunday, March 18 by midnight.
Ivey hoss a esivalo opporuniies
Courtesy of Markus Liik