Indigenous creators selected for a prestigious film program



ST. JAMES

CHARLESWOOD

Nine Indigenous creators have been shortlisted for CBC’s annual New Indigenous Voices, and this year’s list includes two students from Winnipeg’s west end.

St. James resident Clay Mykietowich, 21, has always been creative and artistic, so pursuing a degree in theater and film design at the University of Winnipeg in design was a natural choice.

The Métis artist and designer has worked as an extra in several films shot in Winnipeg, and last summer worked with local theater company One Trunk Theatre.

The opportunity to learn by doing and work with industry professionals is what prompted Mykietowich to apply for the CBC New Indigenous Voices program.

The program, in partnership with the National Screen Institute, is a full-time, 14-week online training program for emerging Indigenous creators to learn the essentials of working in the film, television and digital media industries.

CBC New Indigenous Voices begins with online training sessions featuring panel discussions, presentations and workshops. The end result of the program is a final podcast project and a six-week industry internship. The program’s curriculum is designed with traditional and spiritual elements, and participants are paid minimum wage throughout.

“The program has been really great so far,” said Mykietowich, who just finished her freshman year of college and enrolled in the program on May 25. “There was a lot of amazing information and things that we learned. It’s packed with information and we’ve just finished writing our first scripts for the program. A lot has already happened.

After completing the program and graduating, Mykietowich hopes to continue working in the film industry developing and producing her own story ideas into films and shorts.

“Indigenous voices are underrepresented in the industry. Indigenous voices are coming out and being heard more in the industry, but that’s definitely something that’s missing,” he said. “I was extremely excited and honored to be chosen to be part of the program.”

Charleswood resident Broden Halcrow-Ducharme, 26, is also appearing on CBC’s New Indigenous Voices this year. He was motivated to apply after a parent went through the program and said it was “one of the best experiences of his life”.

“She told me it was like meeting family,” Ducharme said. “It hit me and it was kind of the direction I wanted to go.”

Ducharme, who began his journey as a storyteller in the Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboia Community College in Brandon, Manitoba, hopes CBC News’ Indigenous Voices program will help him hone his skills, gain news and meet like-minded people.

“We’ve grown together so far, and it’s been great,” said Ducharme, who plans to pursue a career in film and filmmaking. “I’ve always loved making movies and I love watching movies. I just thought, ‘Why not make a career out of it?’

Ducharme also hopes to focus on Indigenous stories throughout his career.

“There aren’t a lot of our stories there,” he said. “It’s a chance for me to tap into my Aboriginal roots. I didn’t grow up with the traditions or the knowledge of the native culture when I was younger. It was something that I missed as I pursued my career… that grounding of who I am.

For more information on the CBC New Indigenous Voices program and the National Screen Institute, visit www.nsi-canada.ca/programs/indigenous-voices/

Kelsey James

Kelsey James
Community journalist

Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2018 with a major in Journalism and holds a BA in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to cover the neighborhoods she still calls “home”.