Students announced for new NSI Aboriginal Documentary training course

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is pleased to announce the first students in the new NSI Aboriginal Documentary course.

The course provides Aboriginal director and producer teams with training, mentorship and cash towards the production of a short documentary. Students will travel to Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, have their completed short documentary available on demand on MTS TV and aired nationally on APTN and the APTN website.

The two-week training boot camp kicks off January 14 in Winnipeg with a traditional feast. Boot camp speakers feature industry experts like Bob Culbert, Elizabeth Klinck, Lisa Jackson and Wab Kinew.

Jeff Newman of Winnipeg’s Nüman Films is program advisor and Merit Jensen Carr of Merit Motion Pictures is producer advisor, with NSI staff members Ursula Lawson and Elise Swerhone serving as co-managers.

“This course will provide our students with training and access to top mentors and resources as they create a calling card short documentary,” said Ursula Lawson, NSI program manager. “The opportunities available, including attendance at Hot Docs and two broadcasts, are fantastic bonuses.”

The selected students are:

  • Gabriel Constant (producer), Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Neil Bignell (director), The Pas, MB
  • Crystal Greene (producer) and Cameron Courchene (director), Winnipeg, MB
  • Damien Ferland (producer) and Rhayne Vermette (director), Winnipeg, MB
  • Christopher Read (producer) and Sam Vint (director), Winnipeg, MB

NSI Aboriginal Documentary is made possible by Presenting Sponsor NBCUniversal; Program Partners Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism; NSI Aboriginal Training Programs Partner Manitoba Lotteries; Community Investor MTS TV; Strategic Sponsors Mid Canada Production Services Inc. and The Winnipeg Foundation; Tuition Sponsor NBCUniversal; Supporting Sponsors The City of Winnipeg and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music and Service Sponsor Line 21 Media Services Ltd.

About the National Screen Institute

Renowned for having given many emerging filmmakers, television writers and producers their first breaks, the National Screen Institute provides training and production support through courses like NSI Totally Television, NSI Drama Prize, NSI New Voices, NSI Features First, NSI Lifestyle Series Producer and NSI Aboriginal Documentary.

NSI also offers national exposure through the NSI Online Short Film Festival and provides vast resources and support to those in the film, television, and digital media industry at

All media enquiries

Lauren MacDiarmid, Communications & Programs Coordinator
tel: 204.957.2999 or email:

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