St. John’s filmmaker enters CBC TV competition

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Stephen Dunn honoured to represent Newfoundland as a finalist

Filmmaker Stephen Dunn’s short film “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is competing for the $40,000 grand prize in this year’s CBC Short Film Face-Off.

The film is a coming-of-age comedy. Jade Aspros plays an insecure 13-year-old, while Gordon Pinsent plays her well-meaning grandfather.

Now in its sixth year, the Short Film Face-Off pits films from each region of the country against year other, with a public vote determining the winner.

Last year saw 80 films submitted — nine finalists were chosen, including St. John’s filmmaker Jordan Canning’s film “Not Over Easy.”

“I’m honoured to be representing Newfoundland, my home province,” Dunn said.

“This is going to be the first time a lot of people will actually see my work across the country, so the experience is very important to me.

“$40,000 is the largest prize I’ve ever heard of for a short film and it would all go into the production of my first feature, ‘Closet Monster,’ which I intend to shoot in Newfoundland next summer.”

“Closet Monster” is a personal story, Dunn said, and a film he’s been striving to make his entire life.

Dunn’s previous work includes “Swallowed,” a short film made on a budget of just $1,500, which won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and the Youngcuts International Film Festival last year.

“Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” has proved successful so far, with seven awards already under its belt, including the Student Visionary Award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and Best Live Action Film at the Toronto International Film Festival Student Showcase in 2012.

“Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” will air on CBC TV Aug. 31 at 8:30 p.m. Starting 25 minutes after the film airs, viewers can vote up to five times over the course of 24 hours at

Organizations: CBC

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • April
    August 28, 2013 - 07:45


  • saelcove
    August 27, 2013 - 10:19

    you mean 40 thousand tax payers dollars