Six Indigenous film students from Capilano University are getting ready to head to France, where not only will they meet each other in person for the first time, but they will have the opportunity to build networks and talk all things film at the Cannes Film Festival.
The students from the Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership and Management Business Affairs (FILMBA) and Indigenous Digital Accelerator (IDA) programs will attend the festival, which starts May 17, in what is a first for Capilano University.
Doreen Manuel, director of Bosa Centre for Film and Animation and Inclusive Community Projects at CapU, said it’s important that Indigenous people are not excluded from career building opportunities due to generational poverty or lack of access caused by marginalization.
“This sort of opportunity did not exist for me as an emerging Indigenous filmmaker. I become emotional when I think about the generosity of the funders and supporters for this trip and I am grateful to be in a position to facilitate this type of support for Indigenous film producers today,” Manuel said.
Developed and created by Manuel, the FILMBA program launched in 2021, and aims to address the under-representation of Indigenous film producers in Canada.
Supported by Warner Media and Creative BC, students Eva Thomas, Ojibwe; Kelvin Redvers, Deninu Kųę́; Roger Boyer, Saulteaux/Ojibwe; Ryan Cooper, Ojibwe; Colin Van Loon, Blackfoot; and Daniel Foreman, Metis, will be making the trip.
Foreman told the North Shore News that it’s a big opportunity, one which he hopes might lead to selling his suspense thriller, Abducted, or co-producing his television series, Daughters of the wolf.
“Best case scenario is, I'm able to facilitate a deal between an international buyer and our existing distributor, and start a relationship for a co-production with another company,” Foreman explained. “Canada has a lot of different co-production treaties with a number of different countries, and they're always looking to do stuff.”
Producing films and television series with his production partner Sharlene Millang at Treaty 6 Productions, Foreman also runs the Edmonton Short Film Festival and has just been accepted into the ReelWorld E20 writing program for emerging film and television writers.
Taking the FILMBA class remotely online, Foreman said that the opportunity to meet industry professionals in person is going to be a great opportunity.
“It's gonna be good, solidifying relationships, for sure. It's always better in person,” he said.