M’CHIGEENG—A full house of fans of film and well-wishers gathered at Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) late last month to share in the seven Lab 1 students’ short film screening—the culmination of eight months of hard work and learning under the tutelage of some of the best in the film production industry.
Before the lights went down and the curtain rose, Dr. Shirley Cheechoo, WFI founder and executive/artistic director noted to the crowd that 2017 marked the 15th anniversary of the film institute before setting her sights on the new graduates.
“There have been many new discoveries and personal growths,” she said of the Lab 1 grads. “We witnessed tremendous learning curves and the growth of our students,” Ms. Cheechoo added, noting their determination, passion and creativity.
Ms. Cheechoo spoke of the importance of reaching indigenous youths through the arts. “Congratulations,” she added, “you are the next filmmakers and those who will tell the stories of our people.”
M’Chigeeng Chief Linda Debassige was also on hand for the screening and offered her congratulations to the film students.
“This programming instills identity to a people,” she began.
Chief Debassige noted that, as a child, she took part in a community project being offered by Ms. Cheechoo. Shy and s