Simbiyez Wilson and Muheim students perform the song “We Are Four” during the premiere of Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers at the Della Herman Theatre May 18. (Thom Barker photo)

Simbiyez Wilson and Muheim students perform the song “We Are Four” during the premiere of Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers at the Della Herman Theatre May 18. (Thom Barker photo)

Smithers rolls out red carpet for film premiere

The short movie was a collaboration between Smithers students and professional Vancouver filmmakers

Smithers rolled out the red carpet May 18 for the premiere of a Vancouver International Children’s Film Festival project featuring Muheim Elementary and Smithers Secondary students and residents of The Meadows assisted living facility.

Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers is a fairy tale based on the Norwegian story “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.”

The original story is a tale of a peasant girl sold to a prince who takes the form of a bear. The collaboration between the Smithers schools and Vancouver-based professional filmmaker Susan Bertoia is a retelling of the story in which a prince is kidnapped by a troll princess.

The intent was to reflect the four elements of earth, water, air and fire.

Following the premiere, which was screened at Della Herman Theatre to a full house, the cast and crew performed live, singing an original song written by Simbiyez Wilson and Muheim students.

The song “We Are Four” was also based on the earth, water, air and fire theme.

Bertoia was thrilled with the reception the film received in Smithers.

“It was pure magic,” said Bertoia. “Last night was full of joy and celebration. An amazing turnout for the community. I was overjoyed and truly emotional by the response to the film, which was an amazing outreach collaboration with Vancouver professional artists and the community of Smithers.”

 

Vancouver filmmaker Susan Bertoia (on middle of ramp) takes photos during the opening reception for the premiere of Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers at the Della Herman Theatre May 18. (Thom Barker photo)

Vancouver filmmaker Susan Bertoia (on middle of ramp) takes photos during the opening reception for the premiere of Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers at the Della Herman Theatre May 18. (Thom Barker photo)