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Indigenous Stories at the Kamloops Film Festival


The 25th annual Kamloops Film Festival will be running from March 3rd to March 12, 2022.



This year's film festival is showing 25 different films and has a slew of fun and exciting events planned to get all members of the community involved. Among the film roster this year are some great Indigenous stories.


Portraits from a Fire

SATURDAY, MARCH 5TH @ 3:00 PM

Tsilhqot'in filmmaker, Trevor Mack, brings us a moving and open-hearted story made in collaboration with his home community.


"Possessing more determination than discernible talent, teenage Tyler (William Magnus Lulua) routinely premieres his lo-fi DIY films on his reservation for a smattering of viewers who struggle to stay awake. Undaunted, he retains his belief that he and his films are bound for bigger things. At the very least, they can be a bigger draw than bingo. Just as his new friend Aaron (Asivak Koostachin) practically manifests from the ether to provide him with some welcome encouragement, a DV tape resurfaces that casts new light on his family’s history and may just provide answers to questions that he’s long harboured."



About the Director:

Trevor Mack is an up and coming filmmaker who has produced a number of short films such as The Blanketing, Clouds of Autumn, and In the Valley of Wild Horses, with Portraits from a Fire as his first feature-length film. His short films have won a handful of awards over the years at various film festivals.


He is a a member of the Tsilhqot'in nation and has a Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Media from Ryerson University.


If you're interested in this film, you can buy tickets here, or visit the KFS website for more information.



Run, Woman, Run

SUNDAY, MARCH 6TH @ 2:00 PM


From director Zoe Hopkins, comes a witty and heartwarming comedy-drama film.


"Beck, a single mom, lives in Six Nations, Canada. After her mother’s death, she abandons her dream of becoming a Mohawk language teach- er, and an unhealthy lifestyle leads to a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. The ghost of Tom Longboat, a sports legend of the early 1900s, appears to her. He teaches Beck to become an honor runner, dedicating each run to an aspect of creation or a special person in her life. With Tom’s help, Beck is able to turn her life around."





FILM Q&A @ 4:00 PM

The film’s star, Dakota Ray Hebert will be doing a Question and Answer period after the film's showing.


Dakota is an actor/comedian/writer on the rise. She was born and raised in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. In 2012, she attended the Globe Theatre’s Conservatory Program, as their first Indigenous student. Some of her more recognizable roles are of course, staring in Run, Woman, Run, as well as In Her City, and Local Girls. Dakota was also featured in the documentary series, Making it in Saskatchewan.



About the Director:

Zoe Hopkins Heiltsuk and Mohawk woman from Bella Bella. She has produced a number of other feature-length films such as Mohawk Midnight Runners and Kayak to Klemtu. Her films have received a number of nominations from different film festivals and also won the Audience Choice Award at the Powell River Film Festival and the Best Feature Film at the Lumbee Film Festival.


If you're interested in this film, you can buy tickets here, or visit the KFS website for more information.



Returning Home

MONDAY, MARCH 7TH @ 6:00 PM

From director Sean Stiller comes a powerful documentary concerning residential schools and relationship Indigenous peoples hold with the land.


"At the heart of the film is Phyllis Jack-Webstad, the survivor who founded the Orange Shirt Day movement. While Phyllis recounts her childhood trials to youth across the country, her relations in the Secwépemc territory near Williams Lake are contending with another outcome of colonialism: the upper Fraser River’s lowest salmon runs in Canadian history. In observing the interconnection between the Secwépemc and salmon, Stiller lays bare the impacts of overfishing on these communities."



FILMS FOR A CAUSE – BCSPCA-ANIMAL EVACUEES

Before the showing of Returning Home, the Kamloops SPCA branch will be collecting donations for the BCSPCA in recognition of the immense support of the organization during the 2021 wildfires. Kamloops is one of two cities in B.C (the other being Prince George) that was equipped last year with the supplies needed to set up an evacuation center at a moment’s notice. Emergency boarding is one of two key services offered each wildfire season by the SPCA. With wildfire potential in the months to come, we are partnering with the Kamloops & District BC SPCA to help them gather some much-needed supplies to help them with the wonderful work that they do.


Top 5 items needed:

Canned cat food (pate style)

Dry cat food

Cat treats

Canned dog food

Laundry HE liquid detergent


About the Director:

Sean Stiller is part of the T’exelc (Williams Lake) and Secwepemc (Shushwap) nations and an award winning filmmaker and cinematographer currently based out of Tkaronto (Toronto).


Sean specializes in documentary, Indigenous, commercial and commissioned films. His work has won nearly a dozen awards and is most recognized for Returning Home, Kéwku, and Through the Gaze.


If you're interested in this film, you can buy tickets here, or visit the KFS website for more information.



Additional Events and Activities:


RED CARPET

THURSDAY, MARCH 3RD @ 5:00 PM

"If driving the red carpet wasn’t quite your style last year, you can join us back at the Paramount on Open Night for an in-person red carpet where you can capture those viral memories for all of your social media accounts. Get a group shot with your favourite people or strike a solo pose: the carpet is your oyster!"


KAMLOOPS INDEPENDENT SHORT SHORTS FILM FEST

SUNDAY, MARCH 6TH @ 11:00 AM

"Join us for KISS, a celebration of the short film format! The KISS competition creates opportunities for local filmmakers to tell stories in 5 minutes or less, while experimenting with movie magic. The Kamloops Film Society has been encouraging local TNRD filmmakers through the KISS festival for many years. This year, we are excited to announce that there will be two categories: amateur and professional. However, whether made by a veteran or a rookie, come join in the excitement of seeing local films on the big screen at this FREE all ages event! Plus, you get to vote for audience favourite in BOTH catergories."


MAKING MOVIES IN KAMLOOPS PANEL

SATURDAY, MARCH 12TH @ 3:00 PM

This Saturday afternoon panel will feature four local industry professionals to speak about their experience working and producing in the Thompson-Nicola Region.


Victoria (Vikki) Weller

Victoria Weller has nearly 35 years experience working within the film and motion picture industry. Weller worked in the film industry in Los Angeles for 13 years. She worked freelance in the film industry in the capacity of Craft Services, Caterer, Production Assistant, Production Coordinator, 2nd Assistant Director, 1st Assistant Director, Casting Director, Production Manager and Line Producer.


In 2001 she became the became the Film Commissioner for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Film Commission.


Ken Hegan

Ken Hegan has just directed his first feature film OUTRUNNERS in Kamloops, BC with a screenplay he wrote in/for Kamloops. In 2021, Ken was the TNRL’s first-ever Screenwriter in Residence and was the Vancouver Public Library’s first-ever Screenwriter in Residence in 2019/2020.


Ken has written/directed 11 short films that have screened at 100+ festivals and on The Comedy Network.



Cjay Boisclair

Cjay Boisclair is an award-winning filmmaker from Kamloops. First introduced to the film world when Power Rangers shot on location, she instantly fell in love with the industry, quickly moving into acting and production. Her first two short films, The Bench and Stood Up, have garnered over 75 nominations and awards at 124 film festivals internationally. She is a proud Alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair, a recipient of the Banff Spark initiative and member of WIFTV. Currently, Cjay is producing a slate of Made for Television movies in Kamloops, several documentaries and her first feature film, Mary. She works alongside her husband and sons, helping to bring film alive in Kamloops.


Duane Boisclair

Duane Boisclair is the founder of Askem Talent and an award-winning filmmaker from Kamloops. After witnessing the need for local representation for actors and background, he started Askem Talent, a full service agency based in Kamloops. As an agent, Duane and his team represent actors in film/television and new media all across BC and specialize in the Interior/Okanagan scene.


As a filmmaker he specializes in producing documentaries and supports productions in many ways including as a Health and Safety Officer, Set Carpenter and general fixer. You can spot his handiwork in the recently released Christmas Alone Together, Listening to Love, and Love and Where to Find it.



For a complete list of events and films during the 25th annual Kamloops Film Festival, please visit the Kamloops Film Society website.


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