Students announced for NSI Aboriginal Documentary training course

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is pleased to announce the teams selected for the NSI Aboriginal Documentary course.

The course, now in its second year, 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 and their short films will air nationally on APTN and the APTN website.

This is the first year the course accepted students from across Canada. In its pilot year, only Manitoba students were eligible to apply. Those students are currently wrapping up their projects.

The two-week training bootcamp kicks off January 19 in Winnipeg and is followed by a Pipe Ceremony and Traditional Feast on the 20th. Bootcamp speakers feature industry experts like Bob Culbert, Elizabeth Klinck and Shane Belcourt.

Brendon Sawatzky of Winnipeg’s Inferno Pictures is the producer advisor and Lisa Jackson is the director advisor, with NSI staff members Ursula Lawson and Elise Swerhone serving as co-managers.

“This course provides participants with invaluable training, mentorship and industry opportunities,” said Ursula Lawson, NSI program manager. “As well, students get to attend the Hot Docs Canadian international film festival in Toronto, allowing them to network with industry professionals and documentary filmmakers from around the world.”

The selected students are:

  • Michelle St. John (producer) and Rebeka Tabobondung (director), Toronto, ON
  • Jennifer Bowen-Allen (producer) and Chantal Rondeau (director), Whitehorse, YT
  • Justina Neepin (producer) and Jenna Neepin (director), Winnipeg, MB
  • Bracken Hanuse Corlett (producer), Vancouver, BC and Amanda Strong (director), Milton, ON

2013 sponsors are being confirmed, and include Presenting Sponsor NBCUniversal; Program Partners Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), RBC Emerging Artists Project, and Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport & Consumer Protection; Bootcamp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Supporting Sponsors Entertainment One and Hots Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; Tuition Sponsor NBCUniversal and Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music.

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 TelevisionNSI Drama PrizeNSI New VoicesNSI Features FirstNSI Lifestyle & Reality 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

Laura Friesen, Communications Coordinator
tel: 204.957.2999 or email:

Leave a comment