In brief: The NSI’s 2021 IndigiDocs cohort

Plus, Uninterrupted Canada and Par-Lay Content play ball with Fred VanVleet and director Trevor Mack's film Portraits From a Fire heads to post-production.

The NSI’s 2021 IndigiDocs recipients

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) has revealed the participants set for its 2021 NSI IndigiDocs program.

A part-time online stream which offers customized training for Indigenous documentary filmmakers who have an idea for a 10-minute film, the program officially kicked off earlier this week.

Recipients for this cohort include: Jiah Dzentu with These Tools of Mine (from Liidlii Kue, NWT); Whitney Horne with The Longest Canoe Race (Telsin, Yukon); Benjamin Kicknosway with Anishnaabe Miskiki (Wallaceburg, ON); Marsha Knight with Winnipeg’s Food Desert (Winnipeg); Kim Stadfeld with Flora Bear Story (Toronto); Lois Standing with Wahpeton Dakota Language Retention Project (Prince Albert, SK); Theresa Stevenson with Beadwork and Cedar Tea (Toronto); and Brandon Wilson with Heart of a People (Calgary).

Notably, last week, APTN announced it had signed on to continue to support the program as a program partner.

At the end of phase one of the initiative, all students will have a market ready proposal and will attend the online Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.

From there, up to four students will be tapped to go into production and receive a cash award of up to $16,000 and approximately $10,000 of in-kind services. Additionally, each participant will also be paired with a mentor suited to help their individual needs. Post-production will be done through the National Film Board, with completed films broadcast as a one-hour special on APTN. Films will also appear on the NFB’s website, APTN lumi and the NSI’s NSI Films.

Uninterrupted Canada unveils doc on Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet

Athlete-focused content brand Uninterrupted Canada and Par-Lay Content, the creative arm of Par-Lay Sports & Entertainment, have unveiled an original documentary on Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet.

Called Par-Lay – The Fred VanVleet Story, the project which is set to debut in fall 2021 and premiere on TSN later this year charts player’s rise and path to becoming an NBA champion. Notably, the film includes never-before-seen footage of VanVleet’s off-season and decision process behind signing the largest contract ever for an undrafted free agent.

In addition to holding the rights to the film’s worldwide premiere on TSN, Bell Media serves as its domestic distributor in Canada. The international rights to the documentary will be put to market later this year.

Coming-of-age film Portraits From a Fire in post

Director Trevor Mack’s Portraits From a Fire has completed filming and is now in post-production.

A coming-of-age film shot in Tl’etinqox, B.C., the film follows an eccentric and lonely teenager who meets a mysterious and charismatic stranger who encourages him to showcase his most personal film about his mother’s disappearance to his community – leading to a reckoning. Penned by Manny Mahal, the story is by Mack.

Produced by Portraits from a Fire Productions Inc., producers include Rylan Friday and Black Moon Media’s Kate Kroll. Screen Siren Pictures president and producer Trish Dolman serves as an executive producer on the project. Funders include Telefilm Canada’s Indigenous stream, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telus Storyhive and the BC Arts Council.

Image: Unsplash