Two local filmmakers have been nominated for Canada’s Golden Sheaf Awards of the Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival. The awards will be given out on the third and final night of the Canadian content only film festival that takes place in Saskatchewan from May 27-30. It is the longest running festival of its kind in Canada.
Baseball Bats for Christmas, a CBC film by producer/director and scriptwriter Jeff Dorn, was nominated for Best Aboriginal Film. The movie is based on the children’s book of the same name by Inuit writer Michael Kusugark. It was originally part of a CBC project to promote Canadian children’s authors and turn the books into films. The book is a snapshot of the author’s life growing up in Repulse Bay, which the film tries to capture through a dramatic telling of the story. In the film, Kusugark is telling the story to his niece, while it fades into reenactments of the story.
From Cherry English is a Nutaaq Media Inc film, written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jeff Barnaby of Listiguj. It was nominated for five awards, including Best Aboriginal Film, Best writer, Best Director, Best Photography and Best Art Direction. The last four nominations are outside the “Aboriginal” category. The film was one of five commissioned by ZeD Mix Flicks to explore the multicultural experience in Canada. The dramatic film focuses on the relationship that the main character (Traylor) has with his language, his culture and his past. It follows Traylor’s fall into an urban wasteland and how he loses his Native tongue, figuratively and literally.
You can catch both films at the First People’s Festival in Montreal June 10-21. From Cherry English will also be shown at the Fantasia film festival this summer in Montreal.