By Lincoln Son Currie
Boston University News Service
“Artboy,” a film about a shy high school artist, won Best Picture at the 2023 Redstone Film Festival held at Tsai Performance Center on Friday, March 31.
Maura Smith, a BU film professor, watched “Artboy” develop from its original pitch to the final product in the Production III class that spawned many of this year’s Redstone submissions.
“Everybody who worked on that film was incredibly invested and worked so hard throughout the entire semester,” Smith said. “It’s such an exciting evening for them.”
Boston University senior Eli Canter, the writer and director of “Artboy,” also directed “Double Take,” the film that tied for Best Picture runner-up at the 2022 Redstone Film Festival. Before the awards ceremony, he said that this year’s Redstone Festival felt “bittersweet.”
“It’s my last one, and it feels like my college career as a filmmaker is coming to a close,” Canter said.
“Artboy” posed new challenges for Canter, such as making a film using 2D animation and had post-production challenges. “Artboy” was also the first time Canter worked with young actors.
“I had never worked with so many extras before or such a big, large crew,” Canter said. “It was also the longest film I’ve ever made.”
The festival showcased seven short films: “Artboy,” “Concetta,” “In Cod We Trust,” “Lili,” “The Rest of the House,” “Saved by Love” and “Semper F*cked.” All but “Lili” — the BU alumni submission — were produced by BU film students.
BU senior Geraldo Hinch wrote and directed “Concetta,” which tied for third place for the Redstone Best Picture award. “Concetta” tells the story of a dementia patient and the nurse trying to help her eat, an experience that hits close to home for Hinch.
“My grandmother had rapid onset dementia like four years ago,” Hinch said. “There’s a lot of challenges with dealing with that, but it makes for a good story.”
The other third-place winner for Best Picture at Redstone was “In Cod We Trust,” a story about cod fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The Best Picture runner-up was “Saved by Love,” an autobiographical documentary co-directed by BU senior Valentyn Arden that follows a Ukrainian-born boy who was adopted by two American gay men. “Saved by Love” also won the Audience Choice Award.
Boston University Film and Television Department chair Paul Schneider said the festival is “one of the highlights of the year” for the BU film program. Schneider said the event typically draws crowds of 300 or more, and many attendants are not BU-affiliated, giving the festival a wider reach.
Schneider also said Redstone is an excellent opportunity for the BU film program to come together and “celebrate all of its talented students.”
“Making a good film is a very, very difficult thing,” Schneider said. “It’s easy to make a mediocre film or a bad film, so making a good one, that’s really special.”