March 26, 2013

Aboriginal filmmakers busy in BC

First Nations filmmakers use business skills, social media savvy to bring TV shows to niche markets

By Jenny LeeIt’s a tiny niche in an otherwise troubled industry, but B.C.-based aboriginal filmmakers are busy and working.

Vancouver director Loretta Todd’s one-hour action series pilot Skye & Chang is among at least five aboriginal productions shot in B.C. the past year. Jason Friesen’s Health Nutz comedy series is in its second season on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and Steve Sxwithul’txw’s 13-part aboriginal sports series Warrior Games is in production for fall broadcast.

“Activity has been strong in the west, that’s for sure,” said Peter Strutt, former APTN director of programming who executive produced Skye & Chang, worked on Health Nutz and is a producer of yet another aboriginal project, UnderExposed, a youth documentary series on photojournalism to be broadcast this fall.

“A lot of times, the big Hollywood productions get all the focus. People are asking what has been going on. APTN is going on,” Strutt said.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Gary Farmer on Native Media and APTN's Workforce Reflects Audience.

Below:  "Loretta Todd in studio with scene from her TV pilot Skye and Chang in Vancouver on March 13, 2013. Todd is hoping the pilot will be picked up as a series by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network." (Arlen Redekop/Vancouver Sun)

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