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Axani sets focus on Leo awards

Photo submitted Filmmaker Marshal Axani, wearing the baseball hat, blocks out the funeral scene during last year s filming of his award winning short film, The Light of the Family Burnam, at Jericho Beach in Vancouver.

Photo submitted Filmmaker Marshal Axani, wearing the baseball hat, blocks out the funeral scene during last year s filming of his award winning short film, The Light of the Family Burnam, at Jericho Beach in Vancouver.

FAYE BAYKO

For the Globe

Former Lacombe Composite High School student, Marshall Axani, learned last week that his short film, The Light of the Family Burnham, had been nominated for six Leo Awards.

"It's a good step in the right direction," said Axani in a phone interview last week. "There's a lot of quality work out there."

Considered to be the Oscars of the B.C. television and film industry, the Leos recognize achievement in nine categories: features, dramatic series, short drama, documentaries, animation, news, music videos, children's programs, and student productions.

Axani's film was nominated under the short drama category: cinematorgraphy (Danny Nowak), production design (Shane Vieau), musical score (Wesley Krauss), screenwriting (Marshall Axani), and best short drama (Doug Kerr and Marshall Axani as producers).

Deadline for submissions was Feb. 2 of this year and the programs had to have been completed during the 2008 calendar year. Thirty eight jurors sifted through 749 entries submitted for the 2009 awards which will be presented May 8 and 9 in Vancouver at the Westin Bayshore.

The large number of entries indicated a healthy industry said Walter Daroshin, Leo Awards president when announcing the nominees April 5.

"The quality of our 2009 nominees proves that B.C.'s film and television industry continues to excel. Not only is the industry a tremendous economic driver but also a creative force that consistently meets every standard of artistic excellence."

That standard was recognized in Axani's work even before it went into production. The screen play for The Light of the Family Burnham won the first annual Short Film Award, sponsored by The Motion Picture Production Industry and held at the Whistler Film Festival in 2007.

Axani screened the competed film at the 2008 film festival then submitted it for consideration by the Leo Awards panel.

The short drama category is for films under 60 minutes in length and intended as entertainment for theatrical or television release. The Light of the Family Burnham is 18 minutes long and follows the relationship between an 11-year-old boy, his father, and grandfather as they each deal with the boy's terminal illness.

Presently, Axani is committed to his work at Bright Light Pictures, a Vancouver film and television production company, and to his new writing projects. This leaves little time for him to worry about who he will take to the awards ceremony.

"I think I'll just go down with some of my friends."



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