Lights, Camera, Cross your fingers! The feature length documentary One River, Many Relations has been submitted to the Toronto International Film festival.As the co-director on this film, and someone who has come to love Fort Chipewyan and the admire the folks who call it home, it fills me with a lot of excitement to think that we have what it takes to have the premier on the world stage. One River is an important film with a unique message that is often overlooked or ignored. There’s just too many louder voices on either side of the oil sands line, whether pro or against. A thumbs up from the TIFF, or (gasp!) even an award or special recognition would mean the world and shape the discussion around oil sands, environment and indigenous rights. It’s not all black and white, and indigenous people downstream have some important insights to share with the world!
It’s hard to guess what kind of a chance we have at being selected. The TIFF receives thousands of entries every year but only screen around 300. I’m not sure if any amount of social media hype or other campaigns to raise the profile of the film will have any effect on the selection process, but it couldn’t hurt to join our Facebook page or our Twitter.
We’re putting out positive vibes and putting ourselves out there, and will know by August. The TIFF runs in Toronto from September 4 – 14.
Michael Tyas is the managing editor of One River News. He graduated the University of Manitoba with an honours degree in environmental studies, and is a professional videographer and video trainer. He produced the feature length documentary "One River, Many Relations" in Fort Chipewyan. He continues to work with indigenous communities to share their stories around resource extraction, industrial development, and impacts on traditional territories.