Sudbury

Manitoulin Island film school gets new life thanks to crowdfunding

A crowdfunding campaign is helping to ensure classes resume at a film school on Manitoulin Island.

Not-for-profit institute aims to attract more students after being saved by fundraising campaign

The Weengushk Film Institute currently has four students registered with room for six more to attend classes beginning in November. (Supplied)

A crowdfunding campaign is helping to ensure classes resume at a film school on Manitoulin Island. 

Shirley Cheechoo, the Weengushk Film Institute's artistic director, said the initiative raised approximately $25,000, which is half of what was needed to keep the school afloat. It's unclear where the remaining funds were found.

The not-for-profit academy aims to take in students who are at risk and unlock their creative potential through the use of film. The program also teaches life skills and provides support for youngsters dealing with difficult situations. 

"I'm really tired of communities setting up their own people to fail, and I'm trying to change that," Cheechoo said. 

"Eighty per cent of the people who come through here are working, or they've started up their own businesses," Cheechoo said. "And we have some that have gone back to school, and we also have some that start up working in their own communities."

Four students have enrolled so far for classes beginning in November but there's room for six more, according to the artistic director. 

Meanwhile, Cheechoo has been named a chancellor at Brock University and she hopes to create some ties between the two institutions to benefit students.

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