“One more river,” a documentary that gave an in-depth examination of the process the Cree Nation went through before and after the signing of the “Paix des Braves” with Quebec, made it’s North American debut in Toronto on October 3,2003.
The film was produced by the Cree Company Rezolution Pictures, which is run by the same people who own Beesum communications. It was shown at Innis College in downtown Toronto as part of the 4th annual International Environmental Film and Video Festival, put on by Planet in Focus.
The festival director, Mark Haslam, who founded the festival, is no stranger to the filmmaking business. He has been involved in film for over 20 years, having produced a fair number of made-for-TV series’ that were shown on Vision Television.
“I thought it was an absolutely fantastic film, it’s a powerful story that needed to be told,” said Haslam.
This year’s festival showcased 53 films from 13 countries all over the world.
The 400-seat auditorium where the screening took place was just a couple of seats shy of a sellout. The people that were present ranged from environmentalists and professors to students with a keen interest in learning more about Native politics.
One of the directors of the film, Tracey Deer, was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and hopes that for the future screenings in Eeyou Istchee, it will be just as well received.
“It was exciting for me to experience the audience’s reaction because this is my first film,” she said.
The other director who made this film possible was The Nation’s own Neil Diamond. Unfortunately due to prior commitments he was unable to attend the premier.
One of the audience members was Lawrence Spencer, who hails from Chisasibi and is currently studying human resources at York University.
“When I saw it (the advertisement for the festival) in the paper, I couldn’t believe it. I knew that I had to come see it and I was very happy with the way it was portrayed. They did a great job and they should be congratulated for it.”
The version released was not yet the final version, and a few little changes still had to be made.
Look for “One more river” to be screened in the coming months in each community.