Atlantic Filmmaker Focus - Emma VanZeumeren

The Atlantic Film Festival is a champion of Atlantic Canadian filmmakers. In keeping with this promise, every month we profile some of the most incredibly talented people in the filmmaking industry today. This month, we look at youth filmmaker, Emma Van Zeumeren.

Emma was the grand prize winner of the NBCUniversal Film Competition at the 2013 ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth for her film THE WIND IN A FROLIC. The film also won first place for Animation. 

Emma VanZeumeren

D.O.B: February 8th 1996
From: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Currently residing: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Working On: A lovely Irish musician asked me to create an animated music video for him which I’m working on now, and I’ve just started experimenting with digital 2D animation.


AFF: What got you first interested in film?
EVZ: Well... I first became interested in animation at a very young age. My best friend and I discovered stop motion animation and had fun making silly videos with our toys and stuffed animals.
AFF: What, in your opinion, makes a good film?
EVZ: I like films that are visually interesting to watch. Of course an exciting story is important, but I’m a very visual person so I like a film that really feels like a piece of art.
AFF: What is your favourite movie?
EVZ: Oh no, I can’t choose! Disney’s FROZEN is the newest on my list, and I love anything by Studio Ghibli. For live action, I’d say Woody Allen’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, JURASSIC PARK, or FUNNY FACE.

AFF: What was the inspiration for THE WIND IN A FROLIC?
EVZ: I took a class on children’s literature and one of the reading assignments was a poem in which the wind was sentient and liked causing trouble. I thought it was interesting to have a force of nature become the main character so I decided to do an animated adaption of the poem.
AFF: How long did it take you to make?
EVZ: Well I started later than I planned to, so about three weeks of staying up late, breathing chalk dust. 
AFF: Were there any challenges in making THE WIND IN A FROLIC? 
EVZ: I’d say the biggest challenge was how time consuming it was. It taught me that I really need to give myself plenty of time for animation projects because they take a lot of time and patience.
AFF: What was your favourite part of making the film?
EVZ: I enjoyed using the chalkboard because it was such a big space to work on as opposed to a computer screen or a piece of paper. 
AFF: What was more exciting – seeing your film on the big screen or winning several ViewFinders Film Competition awards?
EVZ: I would honestly have to say winning the awards because I really wasn’t expecting it. I was competing against some very good films.

AFF: What film-related role (actor, director, writer, producer) is your favourite to take on?
EVZ: Well I’ve acted in a few of my friends live action projects but anything in the artsy area is what I like the best. I think being a concept artist would be pretty neat.
AFF: What’s next after high school?
EVZ: I’m planning to apply to NSCAD. I’m also going on a three month trip around Europe with my family.
AFF: What advice would you give to a young filmmaker such as yourself?
EVZ: I guess when you’re creating anything, make sure it’s something that you’re excited about. If you’re making something you love, it will feel more like playing than working. 

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, Emma! Best of luck at NSCAD. We look forward to your future work!

THE WIND IN A FROLIC screens as part of the 2014 ViewFinders Elementary Shorts program on Tuesday, April 8th.
For more information CLICK HERE.