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Alumni News

Larica Perera

Larica Perera and fellow Media Arts grads strike gold with Tik-Tik

August 23, 2016

Media Arts graduate Larica Perera has always been a teller of stories, from the time that she was a child learning about the folklore of her native Philippines. “My mother grew up with seven brothers and sisters, and our family would get together a couple of times a year and sit in a circle and exchange tales — ghost stories, heavy with spirituality and religion, about the places we lived,” says the 2013 alumna.

Today, she continues this tradition, although both her circle of story tellers and the audience within it has grown. Perera — along with fellow Media Arts graduates Bea Macapagal, Michael Peeling, Melanie Mckechnie, Nick Coffin, Laszlo Borondy, Jeff Kaczmarek and Lucas Joseph, as well as actor Leo Sciara, formed Hamilton-based film collective Camp 905. “It’s really important coming out of a program like Media Arts that we had a support system,” says Perera, who points to professors such as Stephen Barden as instrumental in encouraging the group’s success. “With our Sheridan family, we all have the same goals and want to get to the same place.”

As many of the Camp 905 members are young filmmakers who, like Perera, graduated in 2013, the collective must deal with the challenges of small budgets, often between $200 and $300 per film. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our films, which are funded most often directly from our own pockets for a low cost,” says Perera. “You don’t need a lot to make a really great film. If you have a great story and tell it simply, it sometimes resonates more than something flashy. Everything should fall into place.”

Camp 905 received a boost recently when Perera won the Female Filmmaker Grand Prize at the 2016 My Rode Reel world-wide short film competition for her film Tik-Tik, based on one of the monsters of Filipino folklore. The prize endowed Camp 905 with over $40,000 of software and equipment, which the group plans to use to establish itself in Hamilton, collaborating with local businesses that have an initiative that give back to the community. “The thing that we’ve always said about our group’s directive is that it has to mean something for us,” says Perera. “It has to feel like we’re doing something for the community.”

For Perera, her future as a filmmaker includes circling back to the personal nature of storytelling. “Tik-Tik was branching off into a genre that I had never pursued before, but it's been the most successful film I've done so far. The goal going forward is to bridge popular 'high-concept' genre ideas (like Tik-Tik) with very real issues (mental health, marginalization, etc.),” she says. “There’s something to quiet moments and small struggles that people have to deal with on a daily level.”

Sheridan’s Media Arts program has evolved into the Honours Bachelor of Film and Television program.