Yukon First Nations make imagineNATIVE films on identity

The people behind the ImagiNATIVE Film Festival are travelling the country and their latest stop was Whitehorse. The artistic organization is looking for young First Nations from different communities to tell their stories through a series of workshops.

Students have two days to plan, film and edit movies on aboriginal themes as part of a national competition

The filmmakers do all the shooting and editing on the tablets during the two-day whirlwind workshop. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

The people behind Toronto's ImagineNATIVE Film Festival are travelling the country and their latest stop was Whitehorse.

The artistic organization that promotes aboriginal media is looking for First Nations youth from different communities to tell their personal stories. It held workshops and gave students two days to shoot and edit a film using a tablet. 

CBC North's Philippe Morin dropped by the workshop and met with some of the would-be directors to find out more about their films.

Duran Smith said it wasn't easy making a short film in two days but he's happy with the result. (Philippe Morin/CBC)
Duran Smith gave the impression that making a film in 48 hours is frantic. 

"It was called ... 'Why' as in, 'why do First Nations have such a bad reputation?' We only had two days to record and come up with the storyboard, that's why a lot of them are kind of rough around the edges," he said.

Although the films are as diverse as the students themselves, they all cover some aspect of aboriginal identity, focusing on themes like education, language and racism.  

Austin Smith interviewed his grandmother, a language coordinator.

"It's pretty much about what we can do to help people to learn a lot easier, what we can do to make it easier for people to speak in native language so we don't lose our language," he said. 

Autumn Jules did her project on integrating traditional knowledge into the western curriculum. (Philippe Morin/CBC)
Autumn Jules did her project on integrating traditional knowledge into the western curriculum. 

"If the non-First Nations have the knowledge about us and who we are, and why we are the way we are, I think it'll be a breakthrough for equality," she said.

"I think we'll be more equal because they'll actually understand us a little more."  

Once the films are posted online, people from across the country will be able to vote for their favourite. The winning film will be featured at the imagineNative Fim festival in Toronto next fall.  

The film workshop will next be travelling to Lower Post BC as well as Carcross Yukon before moving to Nunavut.

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