The talents of three emerging Saskatchewan filmmakers are on display at free public screenings in February with the premieres of the short docs To Wake Up the Nakota Language (Nakón-wįcó’i’e oǧų́ǧa) by Louise BigEagle, Talking at Night by Eric Thiessen and Ride by Kristin Catherwood—all produced through Doc Lab Saskatchewan (#DocLabSK), a new initiative led by the National Film Board of Canada in collaboration with Creative Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative.
Screenings will be taking place on:
- February 13 at 7:30 p.m., Artesian Theatre, Regina
- February 23 at 8 p.m., Remai Modern, Saskatoon
- February 26 at 7 p.m., Big Beaver Community Hall, Big Beaver
These evenings of home-grown Saskatchewan cinema will be accompanied by Q&As with the filmmakers from the area, with Louise BigEagle and Armand McArthur in attendance in Regina; Eric Thiessen and staff from the Saskatoon Mobile Crisis Centre in attendance in Saskatoon; and Kristin Catherwood, Liam Marshall and others from the film on hand in Big Beaver.
Chosen from over 30 applicants following an open call for submissions, Louise, Eric and Kristin began
work on their projects in September 2017. Directors were provided mentorship and production support to create short documentaries from concept to post-production that shared perspectives about their home province, with a focus on visual storytelling—helping to jumpstart their professional filmmaking careers.
The three Doc Lab Saskatchewan films are produced by Jon Montes and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio. Regina filmmaker Robin Schlaht is the director-mentor.
To Wake Up the Nakota Language (Nakón-wįcó’i’e oǧų́ǧa)
“When you don’t know your language or your culture, you don’t know who you are,” says 69-year-old Armand McArthur, one of the last fluent Nakota speakers in Pheasant Rump First Nation, Treaty 4 territory, in southern Saskatchewan. Through the wisdom of his words, Armand is committed to revitalizing his language and culture for his community and future generations.
Talking at Night
Saskatoon’s Mobile Crisis Centre provides 24/7 crisis resolution to people in distress. Its workers take calls from individuals in unpredictable and urgent situations, and respond in person when help is needed most. Director Eric Thiessen captures the behind-the-scenes experiences of the crisis centre’s staff, crafting a compelling observational portrait of a critically needed but largely unknown service.
Bareback bronc riding is not for the faint of heart. The risk of serious and possibly fatal injury looms with each buck and kick. For Liam Marshall, it’s a thrill he’s always known growing up in the Big Muddy Valley, in rural Saskatchewan. Training to compete and become a bareback champion requires his complete focus. It’s clear it fills his every waking moment (when he’s not checking his cellphone).
“The NFB has a long history of seeking out new talent, and our studio is proud to have been able to work with Eric, Kristin, and Louise. Our thanks go out to Creative Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative for their wonderful contributions throughout the process. After a busy fall of production, it’s a pleasure to see these short documentaries making their way into the world.”
-David Christensen, Executive Producer, North West Studio
“Creative Saskatchewan’s support of Doc Lab Saskatchewan reflects our commitment to invest in filmmakers at every stage of their career, from emerging to well-established. I’m excited to see what these three documentary filmmakers were able to accomplish with the support of the National Film Board, the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, and the industry mentors they collaborated with.”
-Greg Magirescu, CEO, Creative Saskatchewan
“The Filmpool has been a very proud partner of the National Film Board’s Doc Lab Saskatchewan initiative. The opportunities provided to our emerging filmmakers through the creation of this program will have a positive impact on our provincial-wide independent filmmaking activity for years to come. Thank you, NFB!”
-Gordon Pepper, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative