We were approached by Celeste Pedri, a graduate student in Inter-cultural Communications at Royal Roads University, to help her use film as a part of her Master’s dissertation. Celeste is examining the role of the drum in traditional Anishinabek teachings and regularly works with a group of drummers that spans the generations. She turned to video because she really couldn’t figure out “how to study song on paper” and she required our help not only because she was a full participant in her research (and needed to be in front of the camera) but also because she wanted the technical quality required by outlets that would help her research go public. Not only is she producing research, she wanted to create a lasting gift to her people that can be watched and used to learn from for generations.
That said, because this was research, the challenge for Thunderstone was to capture every word and every song on the first take during the six-hour gathering. Thanks to our great crew and some new technology we were able to document absolutely everything. Now comes the process of working with Celeste to edit the work.
Here are some production stills of the shoot which took place at the Learning Cafe in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photos by Michelle Derosier.
Here are a few screen shots from the soon-to-be completed “Leading the Way: NAN Role Models in Health Care“.
In November, we were asked to produce a short informational film by Paul Giles of Anishinabek Employment and Training Services and program manager for Project ENABLE. ENABLE is a unique Aboriginal skills and base-level education program that takes in to account the specific needs of the individual in order for them to overcome the barriers they are facing to employment of education.
He wanted something that could be used as proof of the effectiveness of the program to funders as well as something that could show off the program at trade shows and conferences.
A tight budget allowed for only a two day shoot. Day one was spent filming the program in action at Gull Bay First Nation, about 180km North of Thunder Bay. An early rise and some snowy roads added an element of adventure. Day two was spent conducting interviews at Thunderstone’s studio and filming the Little Bear Singers drum at Anishinabek Employment and Training Services.
Here’s the finished product:
The Healing Lens has received the following awards:
Seeking Bimaadiziiwin has received the following awards:
Borealis has received the following awards:
Thunderstone Pictures has been busy over the last month shooting a documentary for Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative on role models for youth. Shooting is scheduled to wrap this evening.
Our team recently returned from Sioux Lookout, ON where we filmed at the brand new Mino-Ya-Win hospital, among other places. Wow, what a facility! This place is a real eye-opener to what can be accomplished with a clear vision. Truly culturally-competent health care that revolves around a purpose-built facility in Northern Ontario can now become a reality for so many. This includes an impressive 100-unit hostel to put up families and out-patients who have travelled from remote communities.
Despite the obstacle of 3 feet of fresh snow our crew managed some great results. Thanks to our youth host Cassandra Spence who did a great job conducting the interviews and learning the ropes of production.
Thunderstone Pictures Crew on location in Sioux Lookout (from L to R) Saku Pinta, Dave Clement, Michelle Derosier and Cassandra Spence
Cassandra Spence is the youth host of this film on role models in health care.
“Seeking Bimaadiziiwin” has recently been recognized by the Ontario government as an innovative health care tool.
We have been selected as exhibitors at Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo 2008 happening in Toronto on April 22nd, 2008.
Dr. Paul Mulzer, Executive Producer of the film, will be representing the team and preparations are underway to create a dynamite exhibit.
The group of 10
By Linda Maehans (TB Source)
Most everyone recognizes the striking visual art belonging to the Group of Seven.
Just up this weekend at Definitely Superior Art Gallery is a new exhibit by what one might call the Group of 10: 10 leading aboriginal artists in a contemporary multi-disciplinary presentation of their forward-looking artistic visions that nevertheless are naturally grounded in the roots of traditional culture.
NOCAA-10 (Northwestern Ontario Contemporary Aboriginal Artists) opens Dec. 6 with a gala reception where one can meet the artists, see, hear and experience their work live.
“What we’ve tried to do is put together an all-encompassing show: three galleries full of artwork and all the different disciplines there,” explained gallery director David Karasiewicz. “We have visual art; we have film; we have performance; we have spoken word and music.”
Karasiewicz said the focus this time is on younger emerging aboriginal artists living in this city or out in the region who are highly talented up-and-comers. “Yeah, they are the ‘hot’ newer artists I think are really going places. Regardless of being aboriginal, it’s harder to be an aboriginal artist and work in contemporary styles because everyone has this idea of traditional (native) art. These artists are breaking away from those traditions but they still have their roots there, and you’ll see that in their art.”
Indeed there are beautiful large canvases filled with harmonious hues and pleasing circular lines and shapes, or mysterious shadows of people, faces and animals. Others burst with splashes of bright colour applied in abstract that can be interpreted in any number of private ways by the viewer.
Musically a haunting voice carries the listener, at least this one, into a mythical space where quiet images of dark teal blue water, a horizon, a shore line, are revealed in slow motion, like a movie. Speaking of movies, there are also films to take in. As well, people can hear the rhythms and layered complexity of new age electronic music, again creating completely different pictures in the imagination of the listener: these ones rather eastern in flavour.
Karasiewicz remarked similar to life in general, the world of art tends to be cyclical. He was thinking back to an all-aboriginal exhibit at the gallery in 2000. Now, eight years later he said it has crested with a new wave of creativity.
“As far as what we’ve seen in the past, it has gone through cycles: people leave the city, people come to the city and people are developing all around this city and in the fringes of Northwestern Ontario. So now you�re seeing something I think demonstrates a really big growth in aboriginal contemporary art genres.”
As mentioned, the NOCAA-10 gala reception at 7 p.m. on Dec.6 opens the show; the exhibits are up at Definitely Superior until January 10.
“These 10 are really forming their own paths and that’s the most fantastic thing. You’ll see, I think, some truly exciting work, and hear and listen to it. This sure is a time for these artists to be acknowledged and highlighted.”
The visual artists are Christian Chapman, Eric Keast, Danny Cutfeet and Richard (Asham) Fedorick. Thunderstone Pictures Michelle Derosier represents the film genre and Shy-Anne Horvorka and Solomon (Nolan Schmerk) are the musicians on board. The Rhythmic/electronic pieces are by Robin Ranger and Tenka (Jonah Mamakeesic) and for spoken word fans, there is Chris Waite.
Seeking Bimaadiziiwin sweeps three awards
Sudbury Star, May 12th, 2008
The Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards were handed out during a special ceremony Saturday evening.
This year’s ceremony featured host Jowi Taylor of CBC Radio and Six String Nations, performances from this year’s music finalists including Sault Ste Marie’s Wild Turkeys and Thunder Bay’s Flamenco Caravan, film clips from “The Asphodel Meadows” by Sudbury’s Grant Jeffery ending the evening with a gala reception at the Radisson’s Palladium Room in downtown Sudbury.
The winners are:
Best album: Ox- American Lo Fi
Best songwriter: Angie Nussey – Unwritten Pages
Best film: Dave Clement & Kelly Saxberg – Seeking Bimaadiziiwin
Best director: Dave Clement & Kelly Saxberg – Seeking Bimaadiziiwin
Best film editor: Derek Burnett – The Human Error
Best cinematography: Dave Clement – Seeking Bimaadiziiwin
Best screenplay: Susan Adams – The Devil’s Kitchen
Best vocal performance on a recording: Angie Nussey – Don’t Give Up
Best engineer: Jason Poulin
2008 Trailblazer Award: Confederation College’s Film Production Program
- 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