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Residential school film plays Bay Street Film Festival

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  • Rob Schmidt
    http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2009/10/29/Residential-school-film-pla ys-Bay-Street-Film-Festival_18437 Residential school film plays Bay Street Film
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2009
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      http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2009/10/29/Residential-school-film-pla
      ys-Bay-Street-Film-Festival_18437

      Residential school film plays Bay Street Film Festival

      A film about a young girl’s final four days at home before going off to
      residential school aired Oct. 2 at the Bay Street Film Festival.

      by: Rick Garrick - Wawatay News

      “Shi Shi Etko is a Thompson word – it means she who likes to play in the
      water,” said director Kate Kroll, who shot the film because she wanted to
      spread awareness of the residential school issue among the general
      population.

      “It’s something I was always interested in. Before the big apology, we
      didn’t really hear much about it.”

      When Kroll first saw the children’s book Shi Shi Etko, which was written by
      Nicola Campbell, she realized she wanted to film the story.

      “I came across the book by Nicola Campbell and could just visualize it in my
      head,” Kroll said, explaining she shot the film entirely in the Halq’eméylem
      language of the Sto:lo First Nation. “We got language coaches in, the actors
      were really dedicated.”

      Kroll said the actor who played the Elder remembers being yelled at for
      speaking her own language while at residential school; only a few of the
      Elders now speak their language in the Chilliwack area of B.C., where the
      film was shot about a year ago.

      “Only a handful of Elders speak the language anymore,” Kroll said. “I got to
      know about the language and the traditions of the people of that area. We
      wanted to keep the film as traditional as possible.”

      Kroll said she decided to shoot the film in the Chilliwack area because
      Campbell had lived there for quite some time.

      “Nicola spent a lot of time in Chilliwack,” Kroll said. “That place was
      close to her.”

      The film, which will also be shown at the Vancouver International Film
      Festival, the 10th Annual ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival in
      Toronto and the 34th American Indian Film Festival in the San Francisco, was
      produced in association with Bravo!FACT, the B.C. Arts Council and
      Kickstart, a program funded by the Director’s Guild of Canada, B.C. District
      Council and British Columbia Film.

      “I just found out it got into the American Indian Film Festival,” Kroll
      said.

      “Next week its being shown at ImagineNative.”

      Starring Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Lee Provost, Inez Jasper and Rita Pete and written
      by Marilyn Thomas and Kroll, the film received three LEO Award nominations
      including Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score and Best Performance by a
      Female in a Short Drama.

      Kroll said the film will also be included in language kits as a teaching aid
      in elementary schools to increase knowledge about residential schools.

      The Bay Street Film Festival also featured Michelle Derosier’s 42-minute
      documentary The Healing Lens and a 93-minute documentary called The Last
      Days of Shishmaref, which tells the story of about 600 Inupiaq Eskimos who
      need to leave their home on an island off the west coast of Alaska within 10
      years due to the effects of global warming.
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