Four Indigenous filmmakers advance to second phase of NSI IndigiDocs training



Published by communications

An independent jury has selected four filmmakers and their short documentary projects for phase 2 of the National Screen Institute’s IndigiDocs training program.

Erica Daniels (Winnipeg, MB), Miranda Currie (Yellowknife, NT), Peter Brass (Regina, SK) and Steven Davies (Victoria, BC) will each receive a cash award of up to $16K and approximately $10K of in-kind services. They will also be paired with an industry mentor during development and production of their projects.

The four were part of an original cohort of eight Indigenous creators who began training earlier this year with an intensive two-week boot camp to hone their documentary film ideas. Participants then re-submitted their proposals to a jury for phase 2 consideration.

The projects selected for phase 2 are:

Gift to Give – Erica Daniels (Winnipeg, MB)

A two-spirited daughter discovers she is a perfect organ donor match for her ailing father. By gifting a piece of herself, she hopes to save his life and gain his acceptance.

Tails on Ice – Miranda Currie (Yellowknife, NWT)

This heartwarming story set in the coldest of climates follows Ellesmere a loveable Canadian Inuit sled dog as she sets off on her first training expedition and rite of passage to become the leader of the pack.

Good Boys – Peter Brass (Regina, SK)

Three Cree single dads trying to navigate raising their sons in post Colten Boushie trial Saskatchewan.

Aa?uukwiath (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe – Steven Davies (Victoria, BC)

After working as a logger and being fired for refusing to destroy a salmon-bearing stream in the Clayoquot Sound, master carver Joe Martin sets out to reconcile his past by revitalizing the ancestral knowledge and artistic practice of the dugout canoe.

“These are amazing and diverse stories from an incredibly talented group of people,” said APTN CEO Monika Ille. “APTN is proud to partner with NSI in supporting these storytellers as they give voice to the experiences within their regions and communities.”

“I don’t envy the jury for the difficult decision they had to make. Each NSI IndigiDocs participant presented a compelling untold story,” said NSI CEO Joy Loewen. “Heartfelt congratulations to Erica, Miranda, Peter and Steven.”

“During boot camp the faculty and a variety of additional mentors provided rich opportunities for discussion and project development,” said Steven Davies, creator of Aa?uukwiath (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe. “From story and visual structure, poetic elements, internal and external worlds, to entertainment law and insurance and much more – I feel inspired, confident and well-supported as I take this important story to the screen.”

Participants will work in their own community for the majority of the time as they develop their documentaries.

Due to the COVOID-19 pandemic, production schedules will be in keeping with official government guidelines. No filming or other pre-production activities which pose a health risk to participants or the general public will take place while current restrictions are in place.

Participants will, however, attend an online-only event for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. Once government restrictions lift, production will take place with final post done with the National Film Board of Canada. Completed films will be packaged as an exclusive one-hour special for APTN and individual films will be available on documentary channel, and

NSI IndigiDocs is funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, RBC Emerging Artists Project; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Boot Camp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Strategic Sponsor documentary Channel; Supporting Sponsors Telefilm Canada, Super Channel, CBC GemCorus Entertainment, A&E Television Networks; Provincial Sponsors Manitoba Film & Music, Creative Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA), Northwest Territories Film Commission, Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Service Sponsors Line 21 Media, iSplice Films. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

About NSI IndigiDocs

NSI IndigiDocs is a two-phase distance learning program providing training, mentorship and documentary film production.

Participants are led by some of Canada’s most respected documentarians including director advisor Shane Belcourt (Red Rover, Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier), producer advisor and program alumna Michelle St. John (Merchants of the Wild, Colonization Road), and program managers Elise Swerhone and Kaya Wheeler. Lisa Meeches is NSI’s Indigenous training programs advisor.

About APTN

APTN launched in 1999 as the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit and charitable broadcaster, it’s the only one of its kind in North America. The network is Sharing Our Stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages to nearly 11 million Canadian subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audiences through genuine, inspiring and engaging entertainment on multiple platforms.

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About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

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Rachel Young, Outreach and Engagement Lead

The National Screen Institute is supported by: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUSTelefilm Canada; Patron: CBC; Builders: APTNBell Media; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & MusicRBC Emerging Artists Projectdocumentary ChannelCBC GemCentre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD)Indigenous Screen Office (ISO)Canada Media Fund (CMF)The Winnipeg Foundation, Super Channel; Industry Partner: National Film Board of Canada; Friends: StantecWilliam F. White InternationalCompany 3.