Laura Cranmer - Women in the Shadows: A Conversation

Malaspina Faculty, First Nations Studies & playwright. Laura is Nam’gis and Haida, raised by her paternal grandmother Agnes Cranmer in Alert Bay. She has a BA in English (Malaspina University--College and University of Victoria Partnership Program 1997) and an MA in Curriculum Studies (University of Victoria 2003).

"Women in the Shadows: A Conversation" will be a mutual exploration of the creative process. Christine’s film Women in the Shadows expresses her creative journey through the filmic text, and parallels my creative journey expressing myself through dramatic text in writing my play “DP’s Colonial Cabaret.” Both are essentially autobiographical. In western hegemonic discourse, women--and particularly Aboriginal women--are rendered both mute and invisible . Through my play, I wrote myself into the world; and I see Christine in a parallel process of picturing herself into the world through her images.

Christine Welsh - Women in the Shadows: A Conversation

Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh has been producing, writing and directing films for more than twenty-five years and is known for her strong commitment to documenting the experience of Native women in Canada.

Christine wrote and produced Women in the Shadows (directed by Norma Bailey), a one-hour documentary about her search for her Metis grandmothers which won the Best Documentary award at the 1992 Vancouver International Film Festival, was nominated for the 1993 Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Gemini award for Best Documentary, and was broadcast nationally on CBC-TV's documentary showcase series Witness.

She also wrote, directed and co-produced Keepers of the Fire, a one-hour tribute to Aboriginal women's resistance which earned her the honour of being named co-recipient of the first Alanis Obomsawin Award for outstanding achievement in the Canadian Aboriginal film industry. Keepers of the Fire has been featured at major film festivals throughout Canada and the U.S. and has had special screenings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand.

Christine's credits also include the television documentary Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle (co-directed and co-produced with Peter Campbell), the story of the survivors of the Kuper Island Indian Residential School which was broadcast nationally on CBC Newsworld's documentary showcase series Rough Cuts.

Most recently, Christine wrote, directed and produced The Story of the Coast Salish Knitters, a one-hour television documentary on the women who knit the world-famous Cowichan sweaters. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2000 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco and has been broadcast across Canada on CTV and APTN. Christine has spoken widely and published a number of articles which have appeared in Canadian Literature, Descant, Feminisms in the Cinema and Screening Culture: Constructing Image and Identity. In addition to her filmmaking, she currently teaches courses in First Nations Women's Studies and Indigenous Cinema at the University of Victoria.

Sandra Hill - Thinking Outside the Box

Sandra Hill is a local artist, born and raised within Nanaimo itself, who began exploring the creative aspects of media at a very young age. Sandra is a bit of a techno-phobe - approaches the medium of DV with a `what you can do before you touch the machine' approach. In other words, how the physical and the digital can be interwoven to create a unique tapestry that neither medium can create independently. Sandra has created several independent shorts, music and academic videos and was the winner of the peoples choice and best animation at last years Infest; Nanaimo's film festival.

Sandra's presentation will consist of short, key clips from Sandra's films, combined with a discussion of what was learned in the creative process. Followed by a Q and A period.

Fran Benton - Art Applications of Digital Video

Artist and instructor at Malaspina University College in the visual arts program. Fran has an active studio practice focused on sculpture and video.

Recently Fran has been producing and directing a documentary video about the ghost town of Sandon, British Columbia. Fran will demonstrate how digital video has made the work of filmmaking so much more accessable for teaching, how it is used as a tool in sculpture to extend the boundaries of that discipline, and the opportunities it affords in making documentaries. Fran will show two of her own works that are examples of how artists can use digital video to overlay work in transparency.

Johnny Blakeborough - Changing Lanes

Filmmaker, Artist, Multimedia technician. Johnny will demonstrate video editing as a tool for artistic expression and education, with the emphasis on the ease of use of the tools and their empowering nature. This will include showing of a 5 minute video, "Changing Lanes."

Doug Stetar - If This is a Language

This presentation, based on the ongoing, multi-work project titled If This is a Language by interdisciplinary artist Doug Stetar, focuses on the use of time-based media in several of the works within this project. The artist will address issues surrounding the use of video (and other time-based media) as an open, expressive form given the overwhelming influence of the mainstream grammar(s) attached to film and video in contemporary culture. Put as a question, this presentation will ask: “How can film and video be used in the creation of alternative languages within a contemporary culture overwhelmingly influenced by a consumption driven, mainstream media industry?”

Kristin L Dowell - First Nations Narratives, First Nations Activism

Kristin is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at New York University who is currently conducting her dissertation fieldwork with First Nations media makers in Vancouver. Her research is examining relationships between First Nations media production and artistic practices within the context of the First Nations art world of Vancouver. She has also completed NYU's certificate in Culture and Media during which she directed, shot, edited, and produced a twenty-minute documentary video about Irish dancing and cultural identity in New York City.

First Nations media makers produce images that challenge dominant (mis)representations of Native life within mainstream media. Film and video are also important locally as salient forms of expression through which Native communities are negotiating cultural traditions and identities. First Nations media makers are using film/video in the service of expressing community history, cultural memory and political activism: histories largely absent from national narratives.

This presentation focuses on the work of pioneering Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin who has worked as a producer with the National Film Board of Canada for over thirty-five years and has created a prolific body of work documenting many First Nations struggles for self-determination and political activism. Showing clips from several of Alanis Obomsawin’s films the presentation will address the role of video production as a means to sustain First Nations cultural memory and local histories as well as to provide First Nations perspectives on political activism and clashes between First Nations activists and government officials.

Barb Cranmer - Our Stories, Our Perspective

Barb is an award-winning director, who is a member of the ‘NAMGIS First Nation of Alert Bay, BC of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Our Stories, Our Perspective is adiscussion of Barb's experience of filmmaking, augmented with clips of her work. As well, Barb will discuss the successful integration of digital film technologies in one of her documentaries.

Her credits include writing and directing her first documentary, Laxwesa Wa: Strength of the River about the West Coast fishery for the Discovery Channel, which has won numerous awards.

She wrote, directed and produced, Qatuwas: People Gathering Together about the rebirth of the canoe culture on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

This documentary won the first Telefilm Canada/TV Northern Canada Award, Best Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival and was invited to the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. T’lina: The Rendering of Wealth about the traditional eulachon fishery won Best Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival in 1999. It was also nominated for a Chalmers Award.

In the year 2000, I’tusto To Rise Again was completed, this was about the re-building of the ceremonial bighouse in Alert Bay.

Most recently, Gwishalaayt: The Spirit Wraps Around you tells the story of the ancient art form of Chilkat and Northern geometric weaving, this was nominated for the best documentary short at the American Indian Film Festival in 2001.


Angel Joy - Herstory

"I did not feel, for a long time, that I had a real story, a past that I really owned, outside of the one that was given to me by others. I thought the story they told and that I recited was too awful to own, so I left a distance, a breathing space between me and them, me and then, and I lived there in silence between the worlds, with no voice. Now I don't feel that way. I have a voice; I have herstory."

Angel is a Third Year BA First Nations and Media Studies student at Malaspina. She graduated in Interdisciplinary Studies, Fine Arts (1996) at Concordia University, Montreal. She studied theatre, video, and film at John Abbot College and received academic honours in the Creative Arts program (1990-93). She plans to attend the University of Victoria and take an Interdisciplinary approach to Film and First Nations Studies within a graduate program of her own design. For her, film is a personal journey that leads to the academic, and back...

David Pettigrew - Digital Stories

David has over 20 years of experience in cultural projects as a producer, writer and director. Currently David is producer/writer for the First Contact website. He is also currently producing and directing the design of a new website for Environment Trust For Africa, an international development NGO. In 2000 David was team leader for Water Street Picture's design and launch of, the companion website for CBC's hit teen drama Edgemont.

David has worked in film and television since 1978 when he graduated from York University’s film department. His documentary programs have been shown by many Canadian broadcasters including CBC, Bravo!, Knowledge Network, CFCF Montreal, and SCN Saskatchewan.

Jacob Beaton - Digital Stories

CopperMoon Multimedia operates on the cutting edge of new media technologies, creating web sites, e-commerce sites, DVD-ROMs, and digital video. Jacob is currently designing and producing a variety of web projects for clients including Victoria Human Resource Centre, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Roy Henry Vicker's website and the First Contact website. His web work can be seen in his online gallery.

Jacob's recent documentary film work includes Breaking the Silence of AIDS a 30 minute documentary that exposes the pervasive silence surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Vancouver Island Aboriginal community; Finding Our Voice a 10 minute exposé on the realities of the sex trade in Canada; and Celebrating Woman a 10 minute video profile of west coast appliqué artist Patricia Vickers.

Jacob's recent documentary projects as a director are Diabetes: Then and Now, a look at the changing diet of first nations people and the consequential impact of diabetes; and First Citizens’ Forum Video - A profile of aboriginal success stories from across BC.

Bob Therriault & Diane Chicalo & Ron Lazlock - Production Panel - Digital Technology and Production

Bob Therriault is Regional Program Manager, ShawTV North Island/Powell River/Squamish.

Diane Chicalo (Line Producer) has a broad background in television production including the job of line producer on the long running educational tv series Dotto's Data Cafe. As well, she has been a segment producer and has directed numerous other programs produced through the Knowledge Network. She will discuss the producing a tv series using a full studio crew and production team, and directing a live weekly show from a robotic studio.

Ron Lazlock is President, International Media Corp. He will discuss producing tv documentaries.

Zale Dalen - Volksmovie

Volksmovie n & adj.: A motion picture made "by the people", not by the movie or television industry, usually produced by an informal alliance of dedicated artists using whatever equipment they can beg, borrow, or do without. Also see volksdolly, volksgrip, volksboom, volksprop, etc.

Zale Dalen has been a film maker since the late sixties, starting as an assistant editor, writer, and location sound man and becoming a director in the mid-seventies. He now has five features to his credit, as well as two made-for-TV movies and countless television episodes. When he started in the film industry, they had just invented chrystal sync and the steadicam was a couple of years into the future. For the first time it was possible to really separate sound and picture in shooting. His presentation will be about changing technology - how things like titles were done on film versus digital video - and how these changes have democratized the medium. See for more info.

Glen Sanford - Do It Yourself & Useless

"Cheap independent filmmaking and the struggle to keep 16 mm alive." Glen Sanford is an independent filmmaker who lives in Fanny Bay, BC. Although he has tinkered with digital formats, he prefers to toil with 16 mm film and is passionate about keeping this endangered format alive. His recent film "Useless" - an experimental documentary about punk rocker turned political saboteur Gerry Hannah - won the NFB award for best work from an emerging artist at the 2002 Images Festival in Toronto.

"Useless" is a gritty, minimalist film mired in an early punk aesthetic. It includes original 1970s footage of the seminal West Coast band the Subhumans, news coverage of Gerry's arrest as a member of the so-called "Squamish Five", and interviews with Gerry and his mom following the end of Gerry's 10-year prison sentence. "Useless" is a very Do It Yourself project. Sanford was the cinematographer, sound recordist, editor and distributor.

Sanford's current project is a documentary about the impact of the new Wal Mart in his home town of Courtenay.

Heather Haley - Visible Verse

V I S I B L E 
    V E R S E

is presented by videopoem curator/producer, author and media poet, Heather Haley. For more info, visit her web site.

Heather will read from "Sideways," her recent collection of verse published by Anvil Press. She will also screen her videopoem, "Dying For the Pleasure." It is the result of a poem-as-script strategy. It is a darkly humorous, kaleidoscopic trip down Memory Lane, the audience witness to a woman's anxiety surrounding the loss of our humanity after we "crawl inside," to become enveloped, shielded, and cut off from others by a body of steel. The car is a metaphor for power and an extension of desire. The narrator doesn't talk horsepower or anthropomorphosize her vehicle as much as feed off its vigour like a parasite, fueling her flight from banality, her lust for the open road. Once behind the wheel, she is transformed, a cyborg - a car/woman driven close to deliverance.

The theme is timely with Vancouver's streets terrorized by young racers crashing their fancy fast cars at incredibly high speeds, but automobile accidents have long been the single greatest cause of death to people aged 16-24. Set at the intersection of flesh and metal, beyond road rage and autoeroticism, Dying For The Pleasure explores a woman's dread of, and terrible infatuation with, the car and car culture.

Heather will also discuss and screen a variety of other media poems.

Brian Nash - Creativity & Documentaries

Brian Nash has a science degree from the University of Toronto and a B.A.A. in Media Arts from Ryerson University. He taught film theory and animation in the Film and Television Department at Humber College for nine years. At the same time he has been creating his own ground-breaking film and video work and is most well known for his award-winning film bp (pushing the boundaries). Brian continues to push the boundaries of film and video art and has for the last 5 years been honing his skills specifically in the making of digital films.

He has shot hundreds of hours of digital video documenting, editing and manipulating such diverse projects as; ME BC CCMC, a documentary on the spontaneous composition of life as orchestrated by the spontaneous compositional band CCMC, the making of a feature film in Desire: The Diary of a Director Observer, Growth Rings a documentary giving voice to elder loggers while examining society’s relationship to trees, old growths and elders and INSPIRATION a short document on people living on ventilated assistance.

Brian is currently developing his first directorial feature film entitled Tough City written by writer Grant Shilling. He will be presenting clips from the documentary bp (pushing the boundaries) as well as from the digital video currently in progress.