Alexander filmmaker Seth Arcand selected for CBC New Indigenous Voices

submitted by The National Screen Institute – Canada

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) has announced some significant changes to its CBC New Indigenous Voices training program as well as the incoming class of students for the 2020 edition. Morinville resident Seth Arcand is among the nine students set to begin this national program launching September 8.

Seth is an aspiring filmmaker and photographer from the Kipohtakaw [Alexander] Cree Nation and recently convocated from the Concordia University of Edmonton with a degree in English. Seth has worked on short films, documentaries, and has directed and assisted numerous photo series. Focusing on stories from his youth, Seth looks to create positive narratives of Indigenous peoples.

CBC New Indigenous Voices – a 14-week, full-time program aimed at accelerating the careers of Canada’s Indigenous creators – has been redesigned for the realities of 2020. NSI has elevated what has historically been a classroom-based learning model to a dynamic, customized online program.

Created with the same knowledge and sensitivity to cultural traditions that have been the foundation of this program for over 15 years, this year’s edition is also led by an entirely Indigenous team for the first time.

Former associate program manager Kaya Wheeler has been promoted and is now taking on the management of the program in her new position as program manager.

“CBC New Indigenous Voices has a solid track record of connecting Indigenous creators across Canada with high-level industry professionals and career opportunities,” said NSI program manager Kaya Wheeler. “Faced with the challenges of COVID-19 we wanted to reimagine the program in a way that provided those same opportunities while also giving students a meaningful and supportive experience.”

“NSI approached that challenge with a really positive energy allowing us to significantly evolve the program for an online environment. We worked with our partners at CBC and our incredible faculty to bring this experience to life. We selected a stellar group of students back in April so they’re itching to get started and NSI is ready to get the creativity flowing and set them on the path to career success.”

The entire curriculum is being delivered online through a customized learning portal so students from across Canada can attend from the safety of their homes. Online classes begin Tuesday, September 8 with a sharing circle led by Anishnaabe Elder Colin Mosseau with NSI Indigenous programs advisor Lisa Meeches.

NSI warmly welcomes the 2020 CBC New Indigenous Voices students.

  • Seth Arcand (Morinville, AB)
  • Sarah Carrier (Regina, SK)
  • Faith Gore (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Kyler Harper (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Janelle Henry (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Justin Langan (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Nathaniel Magbanua (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Matthew Tenute (Vancouver, BC)
  • AJ Wasasecoot (Winnipeg, MB)

“CBC is proud to champion this important NSI program which supports and develops Indigenous creators by providing them with relevant and customized learning and mentorship opportunities to deepen their experience and advance their careers,” said Sally Catto, General Manager of Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “We look forward to the contributions this year’s group of storytellers will make to our industry.”

NSI faculty honoured this year’s students with individual welcome packages mailed to their homes. The packages included items such as sage, tobacco, an abalone shell, tea and, of course, hand sanitizer.

Workshops during phase 1 of the program will cover Indigenous history, story development, directing, producing, pitching and more.

Another significant change this year is the introduction of podcast development and production.

Typically, students pitch a short film project and team up to produce three films but, due to safety considerations around in-person filming, the focus will be on storytelling through audio. Students will still create a short video piece as part of training which will serve as an accompaniment to the podcast.

NSI will be arranging customized internships for the final phase of the program. Students receive minimum wage throughout the full 14 weeks of training.

Associate faculty this year include Jordan Wheeler, Jeff Newman, Julie Hackett, Andrew Forbes and Anita Lubosch. A number of alumni will return to NSI to also share their knowledge with this new group of storytellers, including: Shane Belcourt, Justina Neepin, Ryan Cooper and JJ Neepin.

CBC New Indigenous Voices is led by program manager Kaya Wheeler with Indigenous programs and administrative assistant Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill. NSI’s Indigenous training programs advisor is Lisa Meeches.

Films created through the program have gone on to screen at festivals throughout Canada and the US. And graduates continue to find success. In August 2020, Melanie Hadley Nepinak and Adeline Bird were featured in an episode of CTV’s The Social aimed at amplifying Indigenous women’s voices with Melanie moderating a panel and Adeline producing the show. Earlier this year Damian Frazee was announced as a recipient of the Indigenous Investigative Journalism Fellowship by The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and APTN.

CBC New Indigenous Voices is funded by Title, Presenting and Tuition Sponsor CBC; Program Partners Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage, the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD)Telefilm Canada; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus EntertainmentSuper Channel; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Supporters IATSE Local 856imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; Service Sponsors iSplice FilmsFinal Draft. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

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