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A tale of four films

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Jan 10/05) - Four film students held their own short film festival last month at the youth centre in Fort Simpson.

It wasn't Cannes or Sundance, but it was distinctly Deh Cho.

The students were graduates of a video course offered by the Open Sky Creative Society in November.

Jerry Antoine directed one film, while his son Jonathan turned out a couple.

In his first, Expressway to Wildrose, a Lower Life production, he filmed himself and bandmates Myles Lafferty and Keone Villeneuve jamming in a basement. There were interspersed roving shots from around Fort Simpson.

A comedic scene in which Lafferty is chased by a black lab drew laughter from the crowd.

Jonathan said it was his first crack at editing.

"I'm just having fun with it," he said.

Chuck Blyth, one of the audience members, complimented Jonathan on the lighting and composition of some of his shots.

His second effort briefly followed the amusing antics of a person wearing an old man's mask, with flowing white hair and nose hair. The "old man" has a series of encounters with others, each concluding with a primal yell.

Jerry Antoine's short film was shot while on a trip with relatives to River Between Two Mountains. It was stocked with picturesque footage as they travelled to a cabin in the fall.

A few of Johnny Landry's Slavey songs were inserted to complement the scenes.

The campers performed a number of chores, such as sawing wood, cleaning the site and setting a fish net while the camera rolled.

Tracy Kovalench's movie, Golo-Dheh, also spoke to the importance of traditional practices, particularly the value of moose hide. Julia Tsetso provided occasional voice-overs explaining the significance of the fall hunt and having people like Louisa Moreau show youth how to tan a hide.

Doug Tate opened the show with Wonderful World, a movie starring his infant twin sons Patrick and Lucas. His wife Heather played a supporting role.

The youngsters, who were on hand for the screening, were frequently transfixed as they watched themselves cooing on the big screen. "This is my first foray into filmmaking. It was a lot of fun," said Tate.

Michael Blyth, who offered the video instruction course, said he was intrigued by how each of his students approached the film assignment in different ways.

Kovalench said another video production course may be offered in February.