Super 8 Youth Film Challenge

In partnership with Nelson Youth Action Network, LighterCyde Film Lab and Nelson Lions Club, The Civic Theatre presents the 1 Day/1 Roll Super 8 Youth Challenge. This year's free workshop will take place on Monday 17th August 2020 and has been moved to an online platform this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. All you need to do is register and we'll send you all the info!

What is the 1 Day/1 Roll Super 8 Youth Challenge?

Last year, in a time before Covid, the challenge was an opportunity to shoot and hand process Super 8 film. Following an interactive workshop, each filmmaker was provided with a Super 8 camera and one 50' roll of black and white film (3-mins run time), to create an in-camera edited, silent black and white film over the course of 24-hours. The combined student processed films were projected at a public screening, on film, to be seen for the first time by audience and filmmaker alike.

The challenge will begin on Monday 17th August 2020, in our "virtual classroom".

Respecting social distancing, Jason Asbell (Filmmaker/Programming Director for The Civic Theatre) and Thomas Nowaczynski (Photographer/Owner of LighterCyde Film Lab), will be your digital online guides through the wonderful world of shooting and processing analog film. Added bonus this year - as we are in-home, we will use and teach how to process black & white film using safe homemade photo-chemistry, ’Caffenol-C’, made with instant coffee, vitamin C powder and washing soda.

The '1 Day/1 Roll Super 8 Youth Film Challenge' is an opportunity for youth to step back into another age of moving image production. To experience a time before smartphones, digital, LCD screens and instant playback. A time when light would tickle silver grains on a celluloid strip, leaving a magic impression that would only be revealed once bathed in a photo-chemical bath.

Adapted for online delivery due to COVID-19, the ’1 Day/1 Roll Super 8 Youth Film Challenge’ begins with an online Super 8 tutorial, where participants will learn howto shoot an in-camera edited, silent, black-and-white film with Super 8 cameras and hand-process a roll of film with Caffenol-C (a non-toxic homemade black-and-white film developer.)

Instructions on how to execute our 2020 challenge (that will take place after watching the tutorial), will be delivered within the tutorial video. Our course instructor, Jason Asbell, will explain how we have adapted the “idea” of Super 8 film to a digital platform this year, so that students can partake by using a smartphone or digital camera.

The Challenge

The following morning, in place of participants being provided with a Super 8 camera and one 50' roll of film (2.5mins run time), participants will shoot an approximately 2.5-minute video.

The Rules

  • Shoot your film in order on a digital camera or phone over the next 24 hours
  • No deleted files
  • No audio (any synchronous sound will be stripped from the final product)
  • Each participant will deliver a folder of the digital files, names unaltered, straight from the camera to the challenge facilitator
  • A piece of audio (music or other, pre-recorded or original, no lyrics please, should also be included in the folder of video files.)

The Final Product

In place of hand-processing the just-shot roll of film, all the individual folders of files will be assembled in numerical order from the file names provided. Sync audio will be stripped and a random submitted audio piece will be applied to each film by the challenge facilitator. The edited screening reel will be 'processed' through a Super 8 video filter and filmmakers will see their work for the first time, along with the rest of the participants/family and friends, in an online viewing party.

Why Super 8 analog film?

The limitations of shooting with Super 8 in the digital age, provides creative new perspectives on visual storytelling to young filmmakers. Beyond the purely creative practice benefits, The lessons learned by slowing down and learning this old/new technology, extends into life as well:

  1. Value ~ The Super 8 experience creates an appreciation and value for the resources used in this process, which can inform participants’ sense of value towards resources in general as the world moves further in the post-peak oil era.
  2. Trust ~ There is no way to know if the images you shot worked, or were even captured, as there is no immediate playback. This requires a trust that you executed the proper care in choosing your frame and operation of the camera before pressing the trigger.
  3. Patience ~ The image sits in a mysterious limbo, until the roll is completely run through and awaiting to be coaxed out through the chemical baths of the hand processing stage before you can see what has been captured.
  4. Acceptance ~ If after your trust and patience, the result isn’t what you’d hoped for; the focus was off, the exposure wrong, or an error in the processing, the young filmmaker has to be able to accept the disappointment and learn from it and move on.


SPECIAL NOTE: If you are interested in extending this activity to your students as part of your coursework, or as an additional opportunity, please contact to discuss how to take part.


Youth Participants


North American Locations


Youth Super 8 Videos produced in 2020

Special thanks to our partners

Government of BC Logo
Government of British Columbia
Lighter Cyde Film Lab logo
LighterCyde Film Lab
Lions Club International logo
Lions Club, Nelson BC
Kamloops Film Society logo
Kamloops Film Society
California Film Institute Logo
California Film Institute