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Students engage in interactive film workshop

Students at Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex got to experience a taste of the film industry on Wednesday as part of a Film Workshop Tour in eastern Saskatchewan.

Organized by Pathfinders Film Institute Corp., the tour aims to expose students to various career opportunities in the Canadian film and television industry.

“The program is really based a lot on my own journey on how I got started in the film industry and how I worked in crews, how I did acting and stunts,” said Julian Black Antelope, founder, CEO and executive program manager of Pathfinders Film Institute Corp.

“By coming down here, hopefully it will inspire the students to pursue or to be a storyteller because that’s what we are as Indigenous people is storytellers. What better time to live than right now in this technological age,” he said.

“It’s a way for us to reclaim our narrative and to tell our stories, it doesn’t matter if they’re hard stories or good stories, but at least we’re telling them authentically because they are ours to tell.”

Through the one-day interactive film workshop, students are learning the insights of the film industry, while also exploring their own creativity and raw talents through a hands-on learning experience.

Black Antelope said the workshops target Indigenous communities in support of connecting youth to the world of show business.

“Being self taught at everything, to me it makes sense to put it into a program that someone else can grasp, and it’s all practical, useful things that they can build their own knowledge base onto as well,” Black Antelope said.

Principal Jonas Cote of Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex said having Indigenous actors, producers, and writers come into the community and teach First Nation students carries a personal meaning to the educational workshops.

“The program itself is very unique to our school because this is the first time we had a film company come in and actually showcase what the film industry is, in regards to directing, acting,” said Cote.

“The students have even seen some films that Julian has been involved in. For our youth in our school, this is the first time they’ve actually seen a First Nation person being a director, being an actor, and so forth. That’s very unique and I’m hoping that at least one kid in our high school area is going to say, ‘Hey, that’s something I want to try.’”

One student said the interactive film workshop has allowed students to express themselves in a different lens.

“This opportunity makes me want to express my feelings into a positive way than I do now,” said Lakota Laughren, a Grade 12 student at Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex.

“I think they’re [the students] are having fun because they get to come out of their shell, and I’m seeing people that I don’t really see talk and laugh, and they’re getting involved, it’s good.”

The workshop was organized through Black Antelope and Janet Love Morrison, one of the teachers at the school.

Morrison wrote a book called The Hawk and the Hare a few years back which developed into a film produced by Antelope.

“I asked Julian if we could bring the kids to his film academy in Calgary and introduce them to career possibilities, and he said he would come here,” said Morrison.

“It was so kind and wonderful that Julian offered that to the school.”

Having workshops that expose to students to different career paths helps students see the endless possibilities for their future, said Morrison.

“It’s bringing something new to them and just recognizing that because they’re young men and women, they’re also role models for the other kids in the school,” she said.

“It’s sort of the ripple effect, it’s not only about them, it’s about the other kids in the community. It’s sharing and bringing the light to that.” Top Stories

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