Alanis Obomsawin, Sturla Gunnarsson and more train NSI Aboriginal Documentary students in Winnipeg

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is pleased to announce the third year of NSI Aboriginal Documentary, a training course for producer/director teams looking to produce a short documentary.

The program kicks off Monday, February 9 with a pipe ceremony led by Elder Colin Mousseau, followed by a traditional feast to invoke the spirits of the ancestors to bless the students on their journey.

This year’s students are:

  • Tasha Hubbard and Marilyn Poitras (both from Saskatoon, SK)
  • Janet Rogers and Jackson Twobears (both from Victoria, BC)
  • Cowboy Smithx (Rosedale, BC) and Alexandra Lazarowich (Edmonton, AB)
  • Rachel Garrick (Hudson, ON) and Nadine Arpin (Sioux Lookout, ON)

“We’re looking forward to meeting the students and learning about their documentary subjects,” said Elise Swerhone, NSI Aboriginal Documentary program co-manager. “We have an amazing lineup of documentary filmmakers coming in for training sessions with the students, so seeing their stories flourish from that instruction will be rewarding.”

Training bootcamp continues over the next two weeks in Winnipeg during which time students will attend sessions with over 20 different industry professionals including Alanis ObomsawinSturla GunnarssonShane Belcourt and Elizabeth Klinck.

Documentaries from Alanis Obomsawin and Sturla Gunnarsson are also screening in Winnipeg during the course bootcamp. Trick or Treaty from Alanis Obomsawin is screening for free to the public on Monday, February 9 at 7 p.m. at the Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque. Monsoon from Sturla Gunnarsson is screening from February 13 to 15, also at Cinematheque.

Students will work on their projects for 10 months following the intensive two-week bootcamp and will deliver a finished 10-minute documentary in about a year’s time. Completed short documentaries from the course will air nationally on APTN as a one-hour special and stream on, followed by streaming on

The course is led by NSI program managers Ursula Lawson and Elise Swerhone, with NSI programming director Brendon Sawatzky serving as producer advisor and Lisa Jackson as director advisor.

NSI Aboriginal Documentary 2015 is supported by Presenting Sponsor NBCUniversal; Program Partners Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport & Consumer Protection and RBC Emerging Artists Project; Aboriginal Training Programs Partner Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries; Bootcamp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Supporting Sponsors Entertainment One; Super Channel; Corus Entertainment; Telefilm CanadaimagineNATIVE Film + Media Festival and Hots Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; Tuition Sponsor NBCUniversal; Industry Partners National Film Board of CanadaAcademy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) and Directors Guild of Canada; and Service Sponsor Line 21 Media.

About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

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, Movie Central Script to Screen 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:

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