Music, film awards dished out to North’s top talent
By JACOB TOUCHETTE, FOR THE SUDBURY STAR
For some of the winners of the 2012 Northern Ontario Music and Film (MFM) Awards, simply being nominated is enough.
Winner of the Album of the Year by a Duo or Group, Kalle Mattson said after being nominated he was just hoping for a “great weekend.”
Mattson had been nominated two years ago for an album he released and despite not winning, he enjoyed getting to know people and making friends.
“It’s really great to just be recognized for an album we worked really hard on,” he said.
Mattson is happy to have won, and the album, titled Anchors, has also reached the top of many album-of-the-year lists.
Others at the awards have been nominated a couple of times before and did not see the win coming.
“This is my third nomination in a row … I was starting to feel like Kate Winslet. Happy for the nomination and was open to whatever happened,” Lee Chambers, winner of the Screenwriter of the Year award, said in an email.
The screenplay, titled Hugh Jackman Saves the World, is part of Chambers’ Make It Short Film Project he has been running since 2005. The project is a charity event, this year helping to “bridge Canadian and Australian cultures” with high school students currently finishing up postproduction, Chambers said.
“We have talked to Hugh Jackman and are supporting World Vision this year. Over the years, we have donated thousands of dollars to numerous charities,” he said.
Chambers has a script he cowrote for a feature called Pineville Heist. The film is currently in the financing stage, and will be his debut as a feature director. Twilight star Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater) has signed on to star.
Dave Clement, winner of the Cinematographer of the Year award, said no one can know once they’re nominated if they will win. Only one person on the MFM staff knows the results.
“MFM is really good at keeping it a surprise,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Clement has been recognized for his work. He said he’s been nominated by MFM in the past and from other award ceremonies has won best cinematographer three times since 2006.
Originally a photojournalist, Clement got into the movie-making business after creating a feature-length documentary out of a story he was working on. That was when he went to film school.
In his time in the Canadian film industry, Clement has begun to notice some changes.
In Northern Ontario, “we have our own people telling our own stories,” he said.
In addition to more filmmakers coming to the north to make their movies, there is a ” homegrown trend” of good films coming from people in the north.
The Northern Ontario Film and Music Award started as a way to recognize and celebrate Northern Ontario artists in music and film.
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ALBUM OF THE YEAR BY A SOLO ARTIST
Winner: Cindy Doire -Sticks and Mud Nominees: Angele Desbois -Singularity Sunday Wilde -What man? Oh THAT man!!!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR BY A DUO OR GROUP
Winner: Kalle Mattson -Anchors Nominees: Faraway Neighbours -Carry On, Man
SOCAN SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Kalle Mattson -Singing Knives Nominees: Cindy Doire -Don’t Let The Bastards Bring You Down Angela Evans -Still Hope
VOCAL PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Faye Blais -The Ways That I Love You Nominees: Jean-Paul De Roover -Fix Cindy Doire -Too Long
ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Faraway Neighbours (for Carry On, Man by Faraway Neighbours)
Nominees: Chris Dorota (for Pitch Pipes by Jean-Paul De Roover)
Shawn Sasyniuk (for All Is Not Lost by Cody Allen) FILM OF THE YEAR
Winner: HeatherK. Dahlstrom-Dave vs. Death Nominees: Joseph Mansourian -Every Emotion Costs
John Alden Milne -The Standoff
DIRECTOR’S GUILD OF CANADA – ONTARIO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Winner: David Lickley and Rob Gagne – Wildfires! A 4D Firefighting Adventure Nominees: John Alden Milne -The Standoff Darlene Naponse -Every Emotion Costs
FILM EDITOR OF THE YEAR
Winners: James Lahti -Wildfires! A 4D Firefighting Adventure
Nominees: John Alden Milne -The Standoff Piotr Skowronski -Jean-Paul De Roover’s You
CINEMATOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Winner: Dave Clement -Return To Manomin Nominees: Ben Bruhmuller -Angel Of Death 1883
Damien Gilbert -Wax Philosophic’s Devil In A Red Dress
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR Winners: Lee Chambers -Hugh Jackman Saves The World
Nominees: Darlene Naponse -Every Emotion Costs
Brad Stephenson -After The Fire
Thunderstone Pictures would like to congratulate all of the talented Northern Ontario filmmakers and musicians who have been nominated for this year’s Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards!
By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff
Ten northern artists will have the opportunity to sparkle at the ninth annual Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards, and the list of contenders is in.
Album Of The Year by a Solo Artist
Cindy Doire – Sticks and Mud
Angele Desbois – Singularity
Sunday Wilde – What man? Oh THAT man!!
Album Of The Year by a Duo or Group
Kalle Mattson – Anchors
Faraway Neighbours – Carry On, Man
Ox – tUCo
SOCAN Songwriter Of The Year
Kalle Mattson – Singing Knives
Angela Evans – Still Hope
Cindy Doire – Don’t Let The Bastards Bring You Down
Vocal Performance Of The Year
Faye Blais – The Ways That I Love You
Cindy Doire – Too Long
Jean-Paul De Roover – Fix
Engineer Of The Year
Faraway Neighbours (for Carry On, Man by Faraway Neighbours)
Cody Allen (for All Is Not Lost by Cody Allen)
Chris Dorota (for Pitch Pipes by Jean-Paul De Roover)
Film Of The Year
Heather K. Dahlstrom – Dave vs. Death
John Alden Milne – The Standoff
Joseph Mansourian – Every Emotion Costs
Director Of The Year
David Lickley and Rob Gagne – Wildfires! A 4D Firefighting Adventure
John Alden Milne – The Standoff
Darlene Naponse – Every Emotion Costs
Film Editor Of The Year
James Lahti – Wildfires! A 4D Firefighting Adventure
Piotr Skowronski and Curtis Jensen – Jean-Paul De Roover’s “You”
John Alden Milne – The Standoff
Cinematographer Of The Year
Dave Clement – Return To Manomin
Damien Gilbert – Wax Philosophic’s “Devil In A Red Dress”
Ben Bruhmuller – Angel Of Death 1883
Screenwriter Of The Year
Lee Chambers – Hugh Jackman Saves The World
Darlene Naponse – Every Emotion Costs
Brad Stephenson – After The Fire
The awards take place at the Great Hall at Laurentian April 28 at the end of the MFM conference. Submissions for the annual event came in from all around the north.
For each category, the nominees were selected by a panel of prominent music and film industry professionals.
For more information, visit thinknorth.ca.
Dryden Observer – Culture & Events — 24 January 2012
It’s been an important year for Eagle Lake export Michelle Derosier, one half of award-winning Thunder Bay-based filmmakers, Thunderstone Pictures.
A career social worker turned filmmaker, Derosier has recently found herself on the leading edge of bringing national exposure to compelling stories and important issues facing Ontario’s Far North.
A 34 minute documentary released in 2011, titled ‘The Life You Want: A Young Woman’s Struggle Through Addiction’, is an intimate look at the life of oxycontin-addicted Fort Hope resident Doris Skipperjack, and has brought national attention to the prescription drug epidemic in the region. The documentary spurred CBC national radio program The Current, as well as high profile newspapers The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun and Montreal Gazette to examine the issue in depth.
Derosier’s most recent work, ‘Return To Manomin’, hits closer to home. Three years in the making, Derosier documents her effort to re-introduce multiple generations of her own family living at nearby Eagle Lake and Wabigoon Lake First Nations to the traditional practice of harvesting manomin (wild rice) and in doing so regaining a deeper connection to their past and the land. The 72-minute film was an official selection at both the Biindigaate Film Festival and San Francisco’s American Indian Film Festival.
Michelle Derosier spoke to Observer Editor Chris Marchand via telephone, Jan. 12.
Dryden Observer: Describe your transition from social work to filmmaking. Did you get into film with a conscious intent to shine a light on social issues in northwestern Ontario?
Michelle Derosier: At the time I was working in Sioux Lookout and basically I was burnt out by a lot of the work I was doing and I wanted to do something different — something creative. I really felt like I need to take a different path. I still felt the need to do something useful and I wanted to do something with storytelling and images, but at the time I didn’t know what that was. I moved back to Thunder Bay and I met up with Dave Clement (Thunderstone partner) and we had a similar vision with what we wanted to see happen in terms of social change and dealing with issues.”
DO: ‘The Life You Want’ has been instrumental in gaining national exposure for an issue that is very important in the region. Can you talk about how that project came about?
MD: Jim Morris, who is the executive director of the Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority, had tried for a few years to get people’s attention about the issue of oxycontin — they were basically being ignored. They approached us. He wanted to create awareness and change around an issue that’s had a profound negative impact on the communities.
Sometimes film can be a really powerful tool to create social change. When the reports aren’t working anymore and nobody seemed to be listening, it can be a good way to get your message out, especially with social media being such a big part of our lives. You put something up on the web and you never know whether it’s going to go viral. If that happens you have access to a global audience.
DO: Can you describe the importance of having someone as brave and forthcoming as Doris Skipperjack involved in a project like this?
MD: Having Doris be so open, honest and courageous — we were really fortunate to have somebody like her come forward. And she’s done great. She’s really busy. She’s been speaking at different First Nations communities, she was on CBC’s The Current — a national radio program, and in the Ottawa Citizen recently. Her story is getting out there and it’s having a positive impact. I hear that in a lot of the feedback I get about the film.
DO: From your perspective as a First Nations person and a filmmaker, what are your observations of the First Nations relationship with the mainstream media? Is there a reluctance to participate?
MD: I just finished working with CBC’s Fifth Estate over the summer and we did a story called Stories From The Rivers Edge. There’s definitely some apprehension. People aren’t really quite sure about whether or not, or how much they should engage with mainstream media. And rightfully so too — if you fly up to a community and fly out the same day, which typically happens, how much do you know about those people? How much do you know about that community, their lives and the way that they see the world? You can miss the beauty in these places. Our first impression can often be, ‘Oh my gosh! This is terrible’. If you enter a community that is not reflective of your own worldview, then there is the chance that there might be misconceptions, or stereotypes. The stories are complicated, and complex — especially when you’re talking about First Nations and the reserve communities. It’s not as simple as people think because of the relationship with the federal government.
DO: Does the mainstream media have to change the way it approaches covering First Nations issues. Do you feel you are doing things any differently?
MD: “I’ve made myself, over the years, well aware of the history of the relationship between first peoples and the history of Canada. That’s been part of my own personal process and part of my education that’s been very important. I’m talking about treaties, The Indian Act and the reserve system itself. If you have some awareness about what these things mean and how they impact us as Canadians, then I think your story might be a little bit different. Especially in today’s age, I feel it’s a responsibility of mainstream media. People often say ‘that’s history, we need to move on,’ but it’s not history. It has an impact on daily lives, especially if you’re living on a First Nation today.”
DO: Your most recent film brings you back to the Dryden area in hopes of recapturing a part of your family’s heritage. What did you gain from that journey?
MD: I got the idea that I wanted to take four generations of my family back after a 30 year absence of harvesting manomin (wild rice) to a rice lake up the Sioux Lookout Highway. It’s kind of a personal journey and I did succeed in relearning to harvest wild rice, which I hadn’t done since I was 10 or 12 years old, and taught my children and grandchildren. There was an absolute spiritual connection to that place, that one little lake where my grandparents and great grandparents used to be, working the land. I believe we’re connected to that land and that there are spirits who live there.”
DO: The past few years seem to be a very exciting time for the arts in Thunder Bay, filmmaking in particular. Can you describe what’s happening in the creative scene?
MD: Often times what happens, in the arts community and especially in film, is that people have to leave Thunder Bay, go elsewhere to Toronto, Vancouver or Winnipeg. But here, in the last five years, people are making the decision that they aren’t going to leave and to start a real movement here. It makes absolute sense because there’s a lot happening. There are a lot of stories to tell.
Part Two of The Current
OxyContin Addiction (Pt 2) – James Morris, Health Authority
We started this segment with a clip from Doris Slipperjack crediting her 5-year-old son for motivating her to get help for her addiction to the prescription drug OxyContin, a narcotic from the same family as morphine and heroin. If you’re just joining us, Doris – a mother of three and recovering addict – told us her story in Part One of the program. Why is it happening and what needs to be done?
This half hour, we’ll hear some other perspectives on what First Nations leaders in northern Ontario are calling a crisis.
Leanne Tyler is a registered nurse at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre. They’re dealing with a jump in the number of mothers and newborns addicted to oxycontin. About 20 percent of babies born at the centre experience withdrawal. We heard from her.
First Nations leaders in Northern Ontario are also alarmed at the rising numbers of mothers addicted to OxyContin and other prescription drugs. James Morris is the Executive Director of the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. He was in Sioux Lookout.
OxyContin Addiction (Pt 2) – Susan Russell, Health Canada
Health Canada is one of several government agencies responsible for dealing with the health-related fallout from OxyContin addiction. Susan Russell is the Acting Regional Director for First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in Ontario. She was in Ottawa.
OxyContin Addiction (Pt 2) – Michelle Derosier, Social Worker
A few minutes ago we heard from James Morris, at the First Nations health authority in Sioux Lookout. Last year, in a desperate effort to put a spotlight on the toll OxyContin has taken on his community, he tried a different tack. He approached Michelle Derosier and asked her to make a film about it. The result is a documentary, The Life You Want: A Young Woman’s Struggle with Addiction. It tells the story of Doris Slipperjack, the young woman who spoke to us in our first half hour. Michelle Derosier is not only a film maker. She’s a social worker from the Eagle Lake First Nation in northern Ontario. She was in Thunder Bay.
Thunderstone Pictures receives Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Short Film at world’s largest indigenous film festival
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Film Company receives Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Short Film at world’s largest indigenous film festival
Thunderstone Pictures is pleased to announce that our film “Eagle vs. Sparrow” received an Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Short Film at the 2011 imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto earlier this week. In its twelfth year, imagineNATIVE has become the premiere event for indigenous filmmakers worldwide and this year featured over 100 new films from 24 countries. Thunderstone Pictures is an award-winning film production house based in Thunder Bay, ON that specializes in northern storytelling and First Nations drama and documentary works.
“Eagle vs. Sparrow” is a 10-minute dramatic film based on a traditional Anishinawbe legend that was adapted by at-risk high school students working alongside professional filmmakers and artists. It was a collaboration between Thunderstone Pictures, professional artists, the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project (CAHEP), and students and staff from the THRIVE Program at the Dryden High School. It was made in the school working two days a week over a five-week period. Michelle Derosier, the film’s Director who is originally of Migisi Sahgaigan (Eagle Lake) First Nation near Dryden, was pleased to be working on a project near her home community. “This was actually a legend that was told to my uncle Len Gardner Sr. by my great grandfather” said Derosier. “It was traditionally used to teach about humility, one of the seven grandfather teachings”, she added. Mentoring cinematographer and editor, Dave Clement of Thunderstone Pictures noted “The trick was figuring out the key to taking an ancient legend about animals and transforming it into the high school drama. Then one student blurted out ‘What if they are half humans, half animals?’ and we knew we were all on to something that would work as a film”. Clement attribute’s the film’s success to the dedication, creativity and resiliency of the youth who worked on the project. “These kids haven’t had it easy, but they really committed and were there everyday, often before we even got there. These tough, quiet kids donning make-up, leaving their comfort zones and putting so much of their hearts into the performances it made it magical”. He also credits the film’s extraordinary Art Direction, which was beautifully crafted by artists Michelle Coslette-Goodman (of The Night Garden fame) of Dryden and Lila Cano formerly of CAHEP.
The honourable mention was presented to Michelle Derosier by Academy Award nominee and Cannes Camera d’Or winner Zacharias Kunuk, the famed Inuit filmmaker who made “Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner” and “The Journals of Knud Rasmussen”, at the festival’s closing night gala and awards show. “It was quite a surprise” said Derosier, “I had just spent the whole week watching all these amazing works from all over so when he called my name I thought it was a mistake”.
Thunderstone’s documentary “The Life You Want”, which tells the story of a young mother from Fort Hope and her struggle to overcome her addiction to opiates, was also presented at the 2011 imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.
For more information please contact Michelle Derosier or Dave Clement at 807.683.0671 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday September 30, 2011
Lenny Carpenter, Wawatay News
Doris Slipperjack’s battle against prescription drug abuse was featured at the Biindigate Film Festival in Thunder Bay in the world premiere of The Life You Want.
“This was my third time watching this video and it still makes me cry,” said the 22-year-old mother of three after the Sept. 24 screening. “It’s been really rough, actually. But even though I’ve relapsed, I don’t let that stop me from getting back on.”
The 34-minute documentary film was produced by Thunderstone Pictures, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and the Sioux Lookout Zone Chief’s Committee on Health to bring attention to the situation facing many families and communities in northern Ontario.
“I feel like I’m fighting a battle within myself,” Slipperjack said in the film. “And that’s a never-ending battle. I thought being high was everything; being high was my world. But it’s not because when I was high I couldn’t even think, I couldn’t even feel.”
The film follows Slipperjack from her home in Eabametoong to a treatment centre near Kenora, where she gets off the prescription drugs for a time but eventually relapses after her mother-in-law passes away.
Slipperjack eventually signed up for a treatment program using Suboxone, a combination medication program that treats adults dependent on opiates such as oxycodone or morphine.
“It’s like a substitute, you know how your mind is always thinking of opiates,” Slipperjack said. “It’s like a blocker; it prevents you from doing. It helped me with the withdrawals at the beginning, but now I’m feeling good.”
Slipperjack has now started up Eabametoong’s first youth council and is doing presentations on addiction in her community and on local radio. She has also been campaigning for a youth centre and a treatment centre in her community.
“I’m finally on my path to what I want to do – help people.”
Friday September 30, 2011
Lenny Carpenter, Wawatay News
After a day of showing and teaching his niece Michelle Derosier some of the old ways of wild rice harvesting at what the family calls Rice Lake, Uncle Simon sits with the filmmaker in their rustic, old family cabin.
“You guys got to do something,” the 75-year-old says of the rice harvesting. “Revive the whole thing.”
“That’s what I want do, uncle,” Michelle replies. “That’s exactly what I want to do.”
And it’s these attempts to revive that family tradition that are portrayed in Michelle’s 71-minute documentary, Return to Manomin, which premiered Sept. 23 at the Biindigaate Film Festival.
The scene sets up the premise of the film. Realizing they are only a few years away from the complete loss of an ancient tradition, Michelle and four generations of her family struggle to return to their traditional wild rice lake. Guided by the spirits of her Grandmothers and the wisdom of her aging uncle, Michelle attempts to revive her family’s annual manomin (Anishinaabe for wild rice) harvest with hopes of passing on the teachings of her ancestors to her children and grandchildren.
The film opens with some beautiful scenic shots – the work of cinematographer Dave Clement – of Rice Lake with a narrator speaking in Anishinaabe, introducing herself as a “grandmother who has left this world and become a spirit.” She indicates the lack of visits to the lake. Then we are introduced to Michelle, who is driving on her journey to revisit her family history.
The film is divided into three years, and in year one we are introduced to Uncle Simon, who shares his wisdom of the tradition.
“You don’t pick steady everyday,” he says as one of the first tidbits he shares. “You pick for a couple days then let it rest. Ripen, eh.”
As they visit the lake, Uncle Simon says there isn’t as much rice as there used to be. The audience at the screening let out a collective gasp as a shot of the present-day lake cuts to an archival photo of the lake full of wild rice.
The film’s description in the festival program describes the documentary as being of a cinéma-verité style, in which the presence of the filmmaker or camera is made aware – even acknowledged – by the participants and viewers. This is made apparent in a few scenes. In one instance, we hear Michelle asking, “OK, are we rolling?” before she updates the viewers of her journey.
In another scene, Uncle Simon says a prayer, offers tobacco then, as part of the ceremony, passes around a bottle of whiskey to everyone present, including the cameraman, who takes it. The camera even engages the participants at times.
There are no formal interviews either, save for a couple of Michelle updates. Instead, everyone’s statements or interactions are captured candidly, adding that sense of realism and truthfulness to the film.
The film also documents some setbacks in trying to revisit the tradition, be it due to mechanical or environmental factors.
“I’m not sure whether or not it’s going to work,” Michelle tearfully laments to the camera. “Whether or not it’s the right thing to do or whether it’s wishful thinking – to think you can go back.”
And while the film is about reviving a tradition, at the heart of it is family.
“Here, uncle,” says Michelle’s sister Neechi, offering a walking stick to the Elder. It’s subtle moments like this that help make the film a heart-warming story.
While the trip to Rice Lake is a remembrance for the uncle, it’s a discovery for the younger generation. At the advice of the uncle, Michelle brings her daughter MorningStar to the dam up the river leading to the lake.
“We’re not sure what we’re doing,” Michelle says to the camera, “but we’re going to check it out.”
After the harvest, a teenaged cousin admits to almost making up an excuse not to take part.
“But I’m glad I came out,” she says.
The film is also imbued with humour. I won’t spoil anything, but these moments come unexpectedly and perhaps unintentionally by the family members.
The film is underscored by the music composed by Jason Burnstick of Winnipeg and Faye Blais of Sudbury. Burnstick’s folk-blues acoustic work and lap-slide guitar adds a down-to-earth feel to the film, while Blais’ dynamic vocals and jazz-blues music heightens or underscores the drama in certain scenes.
Return to Manomin is a documentary three years in the making, with the past 10 months spent in post-production. While the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council For the Arts and Eagle Lake First Nation initially funded the project, the budget ran out and the film became a labour of love for the filmmakers.
Michelle, who directed the film, was overwhelmed by the response she received. She was moved when a friend said her nine-year-old daughter saw the screening and later asked, “What traditions do we have, mom?”
“Everybody has traditions, and we live in an ever-changing world where it’s easy for the traditions to get lost,” Michelle says. “This was about a lot more than making a film, it was about starting an active process of remembering not only who we are as a family but who we are as a people.”
We are so happy to report that all three films that premiered at the 2011 Biindigaate Film Festival were more than well received. This fantastic weekend in September saw 41 films screen at the Paramount Theatre to a racially mixed Northern Ontario audience and to indigenous filmmakers from all over.
Return To Manomin, directed by Thunderstone’s Michelle Derosier, premiered as part of opening night to a packed house (~ 200 people). It was introduced by festival co-chair Jana Rae Yerxa and Sara Roque, Aboriginal Arts Officer from the Ontario Arts Council. Now, we weren’t really comfortable with this time-slot at first, as that we both (Michelle and Dave) are also part of organizing of the festival. However, the rest of the 12 person committee insisted that this was the film for that time-slot given the fact it was feature-length, was made by local filmmakers and crew, and pertained to a topic of regional relevance. That said, we were floored by the response from the community. Our first truly feature-length film received a long standing ovation from the crowd and the questions during the Q&A that followed were heartfelt and engaged. The accolades have been pouring in ever since. This is a filmmaker’s dream. Honestly, we didn’t know how people were going to react to such a simple story, a family returning to a place. Of course, the uproarious laughter and tears on faces were welcome, albeit unexpected. Meegwetch to everyone who came out, especially family and friends.
Next up for Thunderstone was the public premiere of our short documentary The Life You Want on Saturday afternoon. This film is about a young mother’s struggle to recover from prescription drug abuse while living in a remote northern reserve community. This film had already pre-screened to regional Chiefs and earlier on Friday to service providers in the community. These screenings had gone well and we were honoured to have Doris Slipperjack, the subject of the film, there at these screenings. Saturday’s screening however, was extremely special as that Doris has brought a lot of her family from Fort Hope (Eabametoong First Nation) who had never seen the film. Her mother features prominently in the film and tears could no be held back by anyone when during the Q&A Doris thanked her mom for never giving up on her. Four days later, the film has been requested for use in the training of medical professionals in the Regional Hospital, for use in schools with youth and for use in treatment scenarios. It is also sitting in the hands of several Federal politicians and policy makers. For us, and for our partners, the Sioux Lookout First Nation health authority, this is a huge success.
Last, but not least, was the premiere of Eagle vs. Sparrow which opened for the Maori feature comedy Boy by Taika Watitti. This seemed to be a perfect fit as that Eagle vs. Sparrow was made with at-risk youth from the Dryden High School who adapted a traditional legend about humility (as told by Michelle’s great grandfather who was from that area) and Watitti’s film is about a young boy who’s relationship with his father could lead him down the wrong path. And while our film was based on the legend of “Eagle and Sparrow”, the change in the the title was coincidentally inspired by Taika Watitti’s first feature “Eagle vs. Shark”. A match made-to-be we suppose. Anyway, the response was fantastic, a large cheers were elicited from the audience before the credits even hit the screen.
So, what a weekend for Thunderstone Pictures! We hope you can forgive the lack of blogging over the past several months. We’ve been quite busy. Now, it’s on to a short period of screening our work to the world. Both Eagle vs. Sparrow and The Life You Want have been selected to screen at the ImagineNative Film Festival in Toronto in October and we have our fingers crossed on a few other submissions.
- Thunderstone’s Dave Clement wins Northern Ontario Cinematographer of the Year
- Thunderstone Dave Clement nominated for Cinematographer of the Year for “Return to Manomin”
- Filmmaker Derosier offers a voice for the North
- Our Michelle Derosier guest on CBC Radio “The Current”
- Thunderstone Pictures receives crime prevention award