There is an old saying, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and for a local group of friends, an award from the Okotoks Film Festival could be the first step on their way to the Canadian Screen Awards, Cannes, or the Oscars. 

Tristan Tilma and eight friends entered the Okotoks Film Festival, 48 Hour Challenge in which they were tasked with creating a short film with a prescribed genre, prop, and line of dialogue to use and then had 48 hours to write, shoot and edit the film. 

Over the May long weekend the Cochrane group, out of 19 teams of filmmakers, won the Audience Choice Award for the New Horizon Media production of Dog Gone. 

The creative group includes:

Director Zachary Tilma 

Director of Photography and Editor Jared Somerville,

Actors Tristan Tilma, Hunter Latchuk, Jordan Tilma, and Kyle Melhoff

Makeup artist Faith Scheers 

Writing and sound Zach Lekic

(Tristan's dog is also in the credits)

The parameters for their film was a Quentin Tarantino adventure-style film that had to use party streamers for a prop. Tristan says with a chuckle, "It was very random very chaotic, and the film kind of shows that in a way it's all over the place."  They received that information Friday night and Tilma says, "Friday night soon as we got what we were doing we said ok we need to start filming a scene let's figure out what we're gonna do and we were just running and filming." Sunday was spent editing before submission Sunday night. 

To make the effort even more challenging they did it on what is called a shoe-string budget with little equipment. Fortunately, Jared Somerville is enrolled in a film school and was able to get a camera. 

The group went to a theatre in Okotoks and saw their work on the big screen and then received an actual Audience Choice statue and $100 for their efforts. They will be putting the money towards more lighting for future projects. 

The win has only whetted the group's appetite to continue their efforts in the industry "Me and the crew are very excited to keep going and keep doing some more stuff. We're looking for some more festivals to enter we've got more projects on the mind." says Tilma. 

It all begins with a single step and Tilma says, "It feels really good for all of us we're really excited to take this energy and keep moving forward with it."