Minister highlights growth of film industry in speech to NWT legislature

NWT Minister of Industry, Tourism & Investment (ITI), Wally Schumann, made note of the recent accomplishments of our territory’s film industry in a Minister’s Statement delivered to the NWT Legislative Assembly on Monday.

Schumann, who as ITI minister oversees the NWT Film Commission, noted the feature film Elijah and the Rock Creature, as well as documentaries I Hold The Dehcho In My Heart and Revolution Moosehide as recent success stories.

The minister also gave credit to the NWTPMA for its work in helping grow a sustainable film economy in the NWT, and spoke about the newly-announced Film Apprenticeship Pilot program—which is being jointly delivered by both the Government of the Northwest Territories and the NWTPMA.

“(The apprenticeship program) will now provide opportunities for up-and-coming filmmakers to get some of the guidance and mentorship they need to succeed,” said Schumann.

Full text of the Minister’s Statement is below:

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has committed to supporting the film industry to further develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers, build infrastructure, assist below-the-line crew and support services, and help develop marketing and communications plans for films made in the NWT.

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the first annual NWT Film and Media Awards that concluded this year’s Yellowknife International Film Festival. In accepting an award for his impact in the NWT film industry, the godfather of the NWT’s film industry Terry Woolf said our industry was experiencing a renaissance. Today I am happy to amplify his words, share some successes, and highlight how the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is sustaining this renaissance with investments in the future of this important sector in our economy.

Mr. Speaker, we cannot talk about the significant growth that we have seen in our film sector without recognizing the NWT Professional Media Association. Their role in our local industry has been, and continues to be, a critical driver of its success. Without their mentorship, support, and leadership, it is unlikely that the slate of nominations at this year’s inaugural awards show would have been as full as it was.

While in attendance this year, I was able to announce a new Film Apprenticeship Program that will soon provide opportunities for the Northwest Territories’ film workforce to gain on-the-job experience with major film productions. This program will be delivered by the NWT Professional Media Association with the financial backing of the Department of ITI’s NWT Film Commission and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment. This new support is one that originated in a conversation I had with Ms. Jennifer Walden on the set of Red Snow. It will now provide opportunities for up-and-coming filmmakers to get some of the guidance and mentorship they need to succeed.

Mr. Speaker, this year’s Yellowknife International Film Festival was also an opportunity to shine the spotlight on, and celebrate the success of, some of the projects that have been made possible, directly and indirectly, by our government’s investments under Take One – the NWT Film Strategy and Action Plan. They include projects like the big ticket premiere of Ms. Jennifer Walden and Mr. Jeremy Emerson’s Elijah and the Rock Creature. It was exciting to see the hard work, passion and time invested in this project rewarded in a first showing that sold out in minutes.

This year’s festival also featured films like I Hold the Dehcho in My Heart and Revolution Moosehide. Productions that further confirmed the talents and skills of local producers and crews which also serves to share important cultural stories from our territory. Off screen, the 2018 Film Festival included a program of workshops, speakers, and networking which brought together talent from within the territory and beyond. Together, they were able to gain valuable knowledge, and encourage each other.

Through ITI’s NWT Film Commission, the Government of the Northwest Territories is investing, every day, in the growth and diversity of our economy and its film sector. The NWT Film Rebate Program, in particular, has helped the NWT support high profile productions like the multi-award winning Sun at Midnight, while leveraging an estimated $1.8 million in economic activity from our $280,000 investment. Through film support contributions under our Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development, or SEED Policy, we provide financial resources for local film makers to produce and promote their films.

We are also increasing the profile of the NWT with location marketing and global networking led by our Film Commission which is attracting and encouraging both local and guest producers to film in the NWT. The film and media sector offers extraordinary opportunities to share our stories, and diversify our economy. We continue to invest in this area, and look forward to more success in the future.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Honourable Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He currently serves as Vice President of the NWTPMA

Winners announced for 1st Annual NWT Film & Media Awards

The Northwest Territories Professional Media Association (NWTPMA) is excited to announce the winners of the First Annual NWT Film & Media Awards! These awards recognize excellence in the NWT film and media industry. The five categories and their winners are:

  • Best Narrative Short – She Keeps Me Warm
    • Directed by Scott Clouthier, Produced by Scott Clouthier & Heather Heinrichs
  • Best Documentary Short – I Hold the Dehcho in My Heart / Sedze Tah Dehcho E’toh
    • Directed by Lesley Johnson, Produced by Lesley Johnson & Amos Scott
  • Best Commercial Piece (Government) – Opening of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway
    • Commissioned by Department of Infrastructure, GNWT
    • Directed by David Stewart, Produced by Peter Clarkson
  • Best Commercial Piece (Non-Government) – Canadian Brilliance – Showcasing the 20th anniversary of the Ekati Diamond mine
    • Commissioned by Dominion Diamond Corporation
    • Directed by Jay Bulckaert and Pablo Saravanja, Co-produced by Artless Collective and Kellett Communications
  • Impact in Industry Award – Terry Woolf, Owner of Lone Woolf Film and Television Production Services
    • As the first recipient of this annual award, the NWTPMA recognizes Mr. Woolf’s four decades worth of accomplishments in the film and television industry in the NWT, as well as his countless hours spent mentoring the next generation of media producers.

The awards were presented during the Yellowknife International Film Festival Gala on Saturday, September 29th. The winners represent the best in film and media in the NWT!  

Jen Walden, President of the NWTPMA states: “It was amazing to see the level of competition in the first year of the awards, we had so many amazing entries! It is a privilege to recognize excellence in film and media in the NWT.” She expands to add “The NWTPMA hopes that with initiatives like the awards, the YK Film Festival, local film competitions, and our efforts to create training opportunities for local filmmakers, we will see industry growth in film and media. We look forward to seeing more projects coming out of the creative and dynamic population that lives in the Northwest Territories!”  

Award trophies handmade by North Soul Glass Studio.

About the Organization: The Northwest Territories Professional Media Association (NWTPMA) was founded in 2011 to create a sustainable media industry that generates economy in the NWT. We do this by cultivating the professional growth of our members and influencing policy. The NWTPMA membership is made up of industry professionals who work in the film, television and media industries within the NWT.

For more information on the awards, please contact:

To interview the winners, please contact Jesse Reid, Awards Organizer to get individual contact information | 867-445-3559 | jesse@talkingraven.ca

Shortlist released for 1st Annual NWT Film & Media Awards

The judges’ shortlists for all four categories in the upcoming NWT Film & Media Awards have been released.

Represented among the nominees are filmmakers from Yellowknife, Behchoko, Inuvik and Hay River. The shortlists for the Commercial categories include entries from two GWNT departments, a diamond mine, a print shop and a clothing store.

Winners in all categories will be announced during the awards ceremony taking place at the Yellowknife International Film Festival Gala, hosted by the NWT Film Commission on Saturday, September 29th at the Yellowknife Ski Club.


Best Narrative Short

FIREWEED
Produced & Directed by Mason Mantla
Behchoko

SHE KEEPS ME WARM
Produced by Scott Clouthier & Heather Heinrichs
Directed by Scott Clouthier
Hay River

TO YOU GO
Produced & Directed by Ben McGregor
Yellowknife


Best Documentary Short

BIRCH SONG
Produced & Directed by Keith Robertson
Yellowknife

I HOLD THE DEHCHO IN MY HEART / SEDZE TAH DEHCHO E’TOH
Produced by Lesley Johnson & Amos Scott
Directed by Lesley Johnson
Somba K’e/Yellowknife

RECKONING AT ST. ANNE’S
Produced & Directed by Cullen Crozier/APTN
Yellowknife


Best Commercial Piece – Government

CANYON CREEK ALL-SEASON ACCESS ROAD PROJECT
GNWT Department of Infrastructure
Produced by David Stewart
Inuvik

DON’T GET SHAMED BY YOUR DOG
GNWT Industry, Tourism & Investment
Produced by Cabin Radio
Yellowknife

OPENING OF THE INUVIK TO TUKTOYAKTUK HIGHWAY
GNWT Department of Infrastructure
Produced by Peter Clarkson
Inuvik


Best Commercial Piece – Non-Government

CANADIAN BRILLIANCE
Dominion Diamond Corporation
Produced by Kellett Communications & Artless Collective
Yellowknife

IT’S A SIGN
Signed
Produced by Signed & Artless Collective
Yellowknife

NEW LOOK
GL Workwear
Produced by Sherry DaRosa, Scott Clouthier & Craig Kovatch
Hay River

YK Film Fest returns for 12th edition

The 12th annual Yellowknife International Film Festival (YKIFF) is set to take place from September 26-30, 2018 in NWT’s capital city.

A flagship event for the NWT film community, YKIFF presents a program of the best NWT-produced films as well as those from the circumpolar world along with a handpicked selection of international works.

Though an official program for 2018 has yet to be released, it is anticipated the NWT-produced feature film Elijah and the Rock Creature, written and directed by Jen Walden, will make its premiere.

The festival will also include a program of free filmmaking workshops as well as a gala reception hosted by the NWT Film Commission.

For more information on the Yellowknife International Film Festival, visit: www.ykfilmfest.com.

Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He currently serves as Vice President of the NWTPMA

NWTPMA announces NWT’s first Media Industry Awards

The Northwest Territories Professional Media Association (NWTPMA) is excited to announce the First Annual NWT Media Awards! The awards will recognize excellence in the NWT film and media industry. The four categories are:

  • Best Narrative Short
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Best Commercial Piece (Government)
  • Best Commercial Piece (Non-Government)

Applications are open until August 31st at 11:59 pm. All entries will be judged by a panel of NWT industry professionals. The awards will be presented during the Yellowknife International Film Festival Gala on Saturday, September 29th. Each winner will receive a prize that is intended to encourage future projects in film and media.  

Jen Walden, President of the NWTPMA states: “It is about recognizing the amazing contribution to film and media in the NWT, as well as the talent that exists in the North. Over the past few years, there has been such growth and interest in this industry, and we see further development on the horizon, including the creation of local jobs. The NWTPMA feels that it is time to start recognizing individuals and teams that are making important contributions to this industry. The board hopes that this initiative will encourage individuals to continue pushing technical and artistic boundaries, and ultimately inspire people to consider careers in film and media.”

About the Organization: The Northwest Territories Professional Media Association (NWTPMA) was founded in 2011 to create a sustainable media industry that generates economy in the NWT. We do this by cultivating the professional growth of our members and influencing policy. The NWTPMA membership is made up of industry professionals who work in the film, television and media industries within the NWT.

Submissions can be made on NWTPMA’s website: https://nwtpma.com/awards

For more information on the awards, please contact:

Monterey Media snaps up U.S. rights to The Sun at Midnight

Film to hit American theatres this fall

It’s been less than a week since The Sun at Midnight‘s producers announced the film was set for a theatrical run in Australia. Then, late yesterday, came the news that its US rights have been purchased by distributor Monterey Media and plans are underway for the film’s theatrical debut south of the border.

In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon, director Kirsten Carthew shared a link to an article published by Variety magazine which includes a section about the acquisition. The article states Monterey Media has purchased all rights to the film in the US (which—presumably—includes theatrical, non-theatrical, digital and home video distribution). It also states Monterey is planning to launch the film in US theatres this September and October.

The Sun at Midnight is the first NWT-produced feature film to receive Telefilm funding. It was directed by Carthew and produced by Carthew and Amos Scott. It stars Devery Jacobs (who just announced she is joining the cast of the Starz series ‘American Gods’) and Duane Howard (The Revenant).

For more info on the film, visit www.thesunatmidnightmovie.com.

Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He currently serves as Vice President of the NWTPMA

Yellowknife short film tapped to face off on CBC

This year’s edition of CBC’s Short Film Face-Off will feature a film produced in the NWT.

BAIT! from director Keith Robertson, has been selected to represent the northern territories as one of nine finalists in this year’s competition.

Each episode in the TV series features three short films which are screened and then critiqued in person by panelists from Canada’s film and media industry. Once a final three films are selected, the overall winner is then chosen by viewers.

The winning filmmaker receives a prize to use towards the creation of their next short film, which will be licenced for broadcast by the CBC.

Keith Robertson’s film BAIT! was originally created for the Dead North Film Festival in 2017.

Robertson’s BAIT! was originally created for the Dead North Film Festival in 2017 and was chosen to be part of a Canadian Short Film programme at Cannes later that year. It has since screened at the Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse.

In the film, an ice-fisherman drops his bait in the water but soon finds himself being lured by something beneath the surface.

This isn’t the first time an NWT film was featured in the CBC series. Painted Girl, a film by Yellowknife filmmaker Jen Walden, was part of the competition in 2016.

For a full listing of this year’s CBC Short Film Face-Off selections, visit this link: http://www.cbc.ca/shortfilmfaceoff

Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He currently serves as Vice President of the NWTPMA

Aarigaa: Meet the NWT’s newest film festival

“Inuvik is overdue for a film festival, and why wait any longer?”

This statement was written in the first Facebook post made by organizers of Inuvik’s newly-minted Aarigaa Film Festival on their official page.

Set to take place on July 20 & 21, the inaugural edition of the NWT town’s first very-own film fest (a production of Inuvialuit Communications Society) has been a long time coming, said Festival Director, ICS manager and local filmmaker Dez Loreen.

“The festival was started because our community has been lacking a film presence. We have a handful of local people from the region who are making films and shorts, but we never had a stage to showcase them,” he said.

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Scott Clouthier is a filmmaker, editor and colourist based in Hay River, NWT. He currently serves as Vice President of the NWTPMA