Iceberg film crashes Hot Docs

Iceberg film crashes Hot Docs

Melani Wood's iceberg documentary, Invading Giants, has been selected for Hot Docs: International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo: Kevin Fraser)

“Being surrounded by a community of documentary filmmakers that are doing the same thing, it almost seems like anything can happen and that’s really exciting.”

Fast Fact

In 2015, Melani was one of eight recipients of the Hot Docs: Documentary Channel Accelerator scholarship – a program that brings emerging talent to Hot Docs to learn in a festival intensive environment.

(L-R) Chantelle Smith, Matthew J. Thompson, Melani Wood and Kevin Fraser, film Invading Giants off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. (Photo: Kevin Fraser)

It was the most exciting call Melani Wood could have received on the day she turned 25, and it didn't involve the words Happy Birthday. Instead, she picked up the phone to hear that she'd received funding for her short documentary, Invading Giants.

Eleven months later, the freelance producer and production manager and her partner Kevin Fraser, journeyed to Newfoundland and Labrador for two and a half weeks to capture the beauty of its icebergs.

Melani (Screen Arts, 2011) and Kevin (Screen Arts, 2004) worked on the project for close to a year. As the editing process drew to a close, she decided to take a leap of faith by submitting the nearly completed documentary for consideration to Hot Docs: International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto. To her delight, it was selected.

"We got to watch a bunch of awesome movies and met filmmakers from the East Coast that we hadn't really met yet," says Melani, who recently returned from screening Invading Giants at the prestigious festival. "We also met people from all around the world. It was so much fun."

Full-circle moment

In 2015, Melani was one of eight recipients of the Hot Docs: Documentary Channel Accelerator scholarship, a program that brings emerging talent to Hot Docs to learn in the festival intensive environment.

Now, having just premiered her own documentary, the full-circle experience is not lost on the British Columbia born producer.

"To be able to go back to the festival two years later with a film of my own felt super good. I couldn't believe it," explains Melani.

NSCC is Me

From travelling to Tanzania at the age of 18 to shoot a documentary about life in the country, to chasing icebergs in Newfoundland and Labrador, Melani's career has given her the opportunity to travel and network. But she says she never forgets where it all began.

"I feel like I never fully left NSCC," she says. "I continue to have a relationship with Janet Hawkwood, who runs the Screen Arts program.

Melani is proud to be an alumna of the Screen Arts program because of the strong reputation the program has within the industry. And when she needs to hire someone for a job, she's got Janet's number on speed dial.

Her own next adventure might only be a phone call away.

"Every time there's a number you don't recognize, it's an opportunity for it to be someone from somewhere else who wants you to do a project," she says. "It's always exciting to see where those relationships can go."

22/06/17

“Being surrounded by a community of documentary filmmakers that are doing the same thing, it almost seems like anything can happen and that’s really exciting.”

Fast Fact

In 2015, Melani was one of eight recipients of the Hot Docs: Documentary Channel Accelerator scholarship – a program that brings emerging talent to Hot Docs to learn in a festival intensive environment.

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