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Thunder Bay director Michelle Derosier's animated film heads to Sundance festival

A Thunder Bay filmmaker says she's thrilled her animated movie "The Grandfather Drum" will be screened at next month's prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
A still image from the trailer from Thunderstone Pictures' The Grandfather Drum. (Thunderstone Pictures)
A Thunder Bay filmmaker is showing at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. We hear from MIchelle Derosier about her animated short film The Grandfather Drum 8:13

A Thunder Bay filmmaker says she's thrilled her animated movie "The Grandfather Drum"  will be screened at next month's prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The idea for the film was born when Michelle Derosier, while working in Sioux Lookout, heard the story of a man who had a very special drum.

She said it was believed the drum could bring people back from the dead. Derosier saw the drum in Red Lake and felt a deep, spiritual connection.

Thunder Bay filmmaker Michelle Derosier said she made The Grandfather Drum to highlight the richness and depth of First Nations culture and tradition. (Michelle Derosier)

"With this particular story, it felt like I was directed, as opposed to being the director," she said.

"There are many things over the last few years that happened [and] I'm now starting to understand — at a very different level — the power of story and how important it is for us to pay attention to stories and that sometimes stories need to come into the public conscience."

Derosier said part of her motivation in making the film was to highlight the richness and depth of First Nations culture and tradition, and illustrate what was often lost through the residential school experience.

Derosier said the film was made locally through her company, Thunderstone Pictures.

Watch the film trailer here.