Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa

Celebrate 25 Years on the Silver Screen with IFCO Stories Featuring Christian Alphonse

Dear IFCO supporter,

I am writing to you on behalf of an organization that is very dear to me: The Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO). I have been involved with IFCO for going on five years, and although IFCO allows me to fulfil my passion for filmmaking, the skills I have developed from IFCO extend far beyond film.

My story at IFCO started in the summer of 2012. I had just finished my first year of studying economics at the University of Ottawa. Even though I was studying economics, I always had a passion for film and decided to purchase a Super 8mm camera I found online. I went to IFCO to have the camera checked over by their technical staff. I was also looking for suggestions about analogue film resources in general, and Patrice James, the Executive Director at IFCO, provided me with great guidance and support in my search. IFCO’s staff also connected me with other filmmakers. Everyone at the Co-operative was so supportive that I decided to join IFCO.

I switched from studying economics at the University of Ottawa, to studying commerce at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University. I realize that on the surface, I might appear to be an unlikely filmmaker, since I spend my academic life analyzing business trends, case studies, accounting tables and spreadsheets. This may sound very unlike filmmaking, but through IFCO, I’ve been able to develop a set of communication and leadership skills, and create valuable relationships that have actually made me a better business student. These are skills and relationships that I believe will ultimately make me a better artist, as well as business professional.

The process of filmmaking has encouraged me to think outside of the box. You need to be creative and really understand the elements of how to make a good picture, a good scene, elements like brainstorming, storyboarding, shot listing and script writing are all intrinsic to developing a film scenario. I have directly applied these skills to case competitions at the school. I find that I’m better able to explain business scenarios especially in presentations and anything else that relies on visual display, because of the various types of planning and developing exercises I’ve delved into as part of the filmmaking process.

IFCO has also taught me about the importance of teamwork. When I was last shooting a film, I had a team of eight people helping me. Communicating effectively to a group and encouraging collaboration is a skill that directly translates to the business world. Making a film is really no different than any other project, it requires planning, scheduling and budgeting, which are all are real-world skills that I can use both now and in the future.

In summary, IFCO has helped me become a better filmmaker, among so many other skills it has allowed me to develop. IFCO gives kids, adults and young adults a place where they can express themselves through the medium of filmmaking. It’s an important training ground for young Canadian filmmakers to get a start—young people like me!

As a long-term IFCO supporter, I’m asking you to make a donation to this important organization. Your contribution will allow IFCO to continue to meet its twin goals of preserving analogue film, while allowing a new generation of filmmakers access to analogue film creation. I really hope that you will help us to continue to provide learning and creation opportunities through making a charitable contribution to IFCO.


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