Yukon Media Development has announced continued support for Whitney Horne (Telsin, Yukon) as she begins phase 2 of the National Screen Institute’s IndigiDocs program with her film, The Longest Canoe Race. The program provides customized training and mentorship to Indigenous filmmakers with an idea for a short documentary film.
The Longest Canoe Race observes canoeing as sport and an Indigenous way of life, to address deep inequities present in Canadian society; recognizing an all-Indigenous canoe team who paddled in 1966-1967 canoe races, today facing erasure from history.
“This initiative will create new opportunities for up-and-coming Indigenous filmmakers to build on their skills and take their work to the next level. I want to congratulate all of the filmmakers involved in the program and celebrate Yukon’s own Whitney Horne for her film The Longest Canoe Race,” says Yukon Minister for Economic Development, Ranj Pillai. “Our government is happy to support the NSI IndigiDocs program through Yukon Media Development. I look forward to seeing the completed films.”
Whitney’s training began in late February 2021. Eight filmmakers participated in six weeks of online classes to learn about writing, directing and producing. They created a market-ready film proposal which they then pitched to a jury for phase 2 consideration.
“Phase 1 helped Whitney work through and develop her documentary ideas, resulting in a body of work that is ready to be brought to life on screen,” says NSI IndigiDocs program manager Kaya Wheeler. “This project is a great example of Whitney’s dedication and creativity as a filmmaker. We are thankful to Yukon Media Development for helping Whitney on this journey.”
Phase 2 training focuses on gaining firsthand experience in documentary filmmaking from development to pitch, to production, to packaging and delivery. Participants will work in their own community, following their own community’s COVID-19 protocols, as they develop their documentaries.
“Being part of NSI IndigiDocs not only advanced my film concept to the next stage, but also allowed me to grow my skills as an emerging filmmaker and creative professional, while overcoming challenges of operating my studio in a northern community,” says Whitney. “I am humbled to work alongside tremendous talent in the first cohort, and very excited to move into phase 2 with support to make and share my film The Longest Canoe Race.”
Working with mentors and advisors, phase 2 participants will work through each step of the production process, with post-production services provided by the National Film Board (NFB). The National Screen Institute’s associate faculty, mentors and colleagues contribute their time, expertise and advice to all participants as they advance through training. We are grateful for their support and contribution to the program.
The following students join Whitney in phase 2 to further develop and produce their own documentaries:
Brandon Wilson (Calgary, AB) – Heart of a Nation
Heart of a Nation is a participatory and visual look at the sacred and healing power water and land holds for members of the Fort McKay First Nations, told through the perspective of Cree member Brandon Wilson. Wilson weaves a complex story of loss, identity and struggles of growing up as an Indigenous person in an environment marked by colonial legacy.
Marsha Knight (Winnipeg, MB) – Winnipeg’s Food Desert
In Winnipeg’s North End, a mother endeavours to provide basic and culturally-based food for her family and relatives amid the barriers of transportation, economics and no full-scale grocery stores in the area.
Kim Stadfeld (Toronto, ON) – Flora Bear Story
To understand her family roots, Kim searches for truth and answers about her Indigenous grandmother Flora Bear’s life.
Completed films will feature in an exclusive one-hour special broadcast on APTN. Individual films will appear on documentary Channel, CBC Gem, nfb.ca, nsifilms.ca and APTN lumi. Previous NSI IndigiDocs films including Lost Moccasin, Keep Going My Daughter, When the Children Left, As the Smoke Rises and êmîcêtôsêt: Many Bloodlines are now streaming on CBC Gem.
NSI IndigiDocs 2020-22 is funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and 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 and A&E Networks; Provincial / Territorial Sponsors Manitoba Film & Music, Ontario Creates, Northwest Territories Film Commission, Creative Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association, Yukon Media Development and the Alberta Government; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Service Sponsors Line 21 Media and iSplice Films. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.
About Yukon Department of Economic Development
Yukon Media Development is a unit of the Department of Economic Development. Our mandate is to develop a thriving, prosperous and diversified Yukon economy to enrich the quality of life of all Yukoners. Our investments support sustainable job creation for Yukoners, innovative approaches to existing and new industries, increased investment opportunities, market expansion outside Yukon, and business and industry growth.