Film award prize helps student with future education

Thanks to the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival, David Ivanchikov will be exploring the world of filmmaking as he heads to Concordia University in Montreal to study fine arts, this fall. David is the winner of the 2023 Earl Parker Award for Jewish Film. 

He heard about the award in a Hillel Edmonton post on Instagram. He had been enrolled in Open Studies at the University of Alberta and was seeking financial support for his goal to obtain a fine arts degree. 

The purpose of the Earl Parker Award is to promote the development of Jewish film. The prize can be used to finance a course of study in film or video production. 

David has had a life-long passion for fine arts but had never made a film before he made the video he submitted as part of his award application. He was homeschooled his entire life and began taking art classes at age three. David spent much of his childhood exploring the vast, diverse, and natural landscapes of western Canada. Recently, David has become interested in exploring emotional themes through the use of more diverse mediums, such as film or music. 

His video was a school project for his Eastern religious class, and it focused on comparing the Jewish pressure to achieve, to the Buddhist ideal of aimlessness. Video footage, taken on his phone, illustrated David’s everyday life, with scenes such as bus stops and landscapes. “The first half of the video was me talking about my current experience and the second half I talked about Buddhist traditions,” he says.

David has painted for most of his life and hopes to become more involved with film this year by joining a university club. “I know I don’t plan to stop making films and I would love to put a project together, possibly with help from a few artists. I want to create a film exploring my experiences in Montreal or about its Jewish community,” he says.

The $1,500 award will be used towards David’s tuition at Concordia and he’s very grateful to the Edmonton community. “It was great to know that the Jewish community is here to support me. Every single penny counts right now with my education,” says David.