Right now it is crunch time at the Aboriginal Video Artists Scholarship Program. Troy Massan of Powerview and David Wilson of Rolling River First Nation are currently putting the final touches on their video projects and preparing for their debut screenings.
The Aboriginal Video Artist Scholarship Program (AVAS) is a one-month artist residency which takes place at Video Pool Media Arts Centre in Winnipeg. It is open to all Aboriginal Artists living outside of urban centres in Manitoba. Designed as a professional development fund, AVAS includes an immerse workshop series and one-on-one mentoring to assist the recipients in the production of a short video piece.
I am a former participant of this program.
In 2009 I produced a short-documentary at AVAS called "Mikomiing" which is an Anishinaabe word that translates to On the Ice. It follows a day in the life of a commercial fisherman (my father) on the Little Saskatchewan First Nation.
Since it's completion, it has gone on to play in film festivals across North America including: Terres en vues/Land InSights in Montreal, Anti-Matter Film Festival in Victoria, and The American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco to name a few.
I am currently serving as cultural liaison for AVAS this year, and I help bridge the gap for the participants from living in a smaller community to adjusting to city life.
I talked to the students about their time at Video Pool, their goals and how they are feeling about premiering their short fillms.