U of R shows off its best at Yorkton Film Festival

By Costa Maragos Posted: May 25, 2016 6:00 a.m.

The student team that produced the documentary Officer 332, nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award. (l-r) Kaitlyn Van De Woestyne, Victoria Dinh, Tiffany Head and Evan Radford. Missing are Brady Knight and Alex Soloducha.
The student team that produced the documentary Officer 332, nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award. (l-r) Kaitlyn Van De Woestyne, Victoria Dinh, Tiffany Head and Evan Radford. Missing are Brady Knight and Alex Soloducha. Photo: External Relations.

A final-year project by a team of students from the School of Journalism has a shot at bringing home a prestigious award.

The students’ documentary has been nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award in the Best Student Production category at the annual Yorkton Film Festival, which features some of Canada’s finest short films. This year’s event includes many nominees with U of R connections, including the students from the School of Journalism.

“I was surprised and happy and so grateful, but also just felt humbled that our documentary was nominated. It’s nice to be recognized this way,” says Evan Radford who graduated from the Journalism program in 2015 and is now a freelancer in Regina. His work has appeared in The National Post, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, CBC and other media outlets.

Other members of the team are Victoria Dinh (journalist - CBC Saskatoon), Tiffany Head (writer for Eagle Feather News), Kaitlyn Van De Woestyne (associate producer - CTV), Alex Soloducha (reporter – kelownanow.com) and Brady Knight (formerly of CJME News, now a law student at the U of S).

The students produced the documentary titled “Officer 332.”

Dianne Ouellette
Dianne Ouellette, Faculty of Media, Art and Performance, continues to impress with her Super 8 films. Dianne’s film Alexander is nominated for Best of Saskatchewan. (U of R Photography)

The officer is Larry Hartwig, who is obsessed with vindicating his reputation, 24 years after the freezing death of Neil Stonechild in Saskatoon. It’s a documentary made possible thanks to the support received from the School of Journalism.

“One of the things that sets the U of R apart is its journalism program,” says Radford. “I was in a program that will benefit me not only when I’m done but also during my studies. It means I could pursue a career, which I wanted to do for awhile, in my home city and my home province.”

There are several other nominees at the Yorkton Film Festival with U of R connections.

A short film by Dianne Ouellette, Research Support and Media Lab Manager at the U of R Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance, has been nominated for The Ruth Shaw Award (Best of Saskatchewan).

The film, Alexander, was shot on Super 8 film. It tells the heartbreaking story of a son who lost his father to a rig accident, 10 days before Christmas.

Ouellette has made a name for herself in the Super 8 genre. Her film, Red is Dead, was a finalist in the Kodak Super 8 Filmmaking Challenge at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2016. Ouellette is an alumna, with a BA in Theatre and a BFA in Film and Video.

The Sabbatical
The Sabbatical will open the Yorkton Film Festival. The film is directed by Brian Stockton, film instructor at the U of R. The film stars include James Whittingham (BFA '92) and Laura Abramsen (BFA '15).  Photo - Frame enlargement from The Sabbatical.

Ruth Shaw Award (Best of Saskatchewan)

The film Motus was produced by Mike Maekelburger, Bachelor of Fine Arts grad (co-founder of the video production company Play Creative) and Allan Roeher, graduate from the U of R with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Media Production, and a Diploma in Business Administration.

Roeher recently produced the feature film Basic Human needs which had a successful theatrical run in Saskatchewan.

Motus explores the geographical landscape of southern Saskatchewan through beautiful cinematography.

Dancing the Space Inbetween is a short dance film inspired by the Regina Indian Industrial School’s unmarked cemetery on Pinkie Road in Regina. The film was conceived by Lacy Morin-Desjarlins in collaboration with Michele Sereda. The film was finalized two days before the car accident that claimed their lives.

Sereda was an alumna of the theatre department. Morin-Desjarlais taught powwow classes at the U of R.  

The film was produced by Trudy Stewart (BFA ’08) and Janine Windolph who earned her Master’s of Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Degree in media production and Indian Fine Arts from the U of R.

Community Television Production

Sisters Jacqueline Hui (BFA ’14) and Janice Hui are nominated for Invisible Wall, episode 2, which airs on Access Communications. The series examines the lives of people starting fresh in a new country and shines a light upon the struggles, cultural differences and new experiences encountered by immigrants.

The Sabbatical

The festival will open with a screening of “The Sabbatical,” directed by Brian Stockton, who is a film department instructor. Much of the film was shot on campus and features a fictional U of R fine arts professor on his year-long sabbatical, which coincides with a mid-life crisis. The Sabbatical has impressed audiences at film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival and the International Beijing Film Festival.
The Yorkton Film Festival runs May 26 – 29. Established in 1947, it’s the longest running film festival in North America.