Jun 272011

YORKTON SHORT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL HOSTS
REVISITING GREAT BRITTAIN

A CELEBRATION OF RENOWNED DOCUMENTARIAN DONALD BRITTAIN

April 27, 2005 (Yorkton, Sask.) Canada’s longest running film festival, the Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival (May 26-29, 2005) announced today a two-day celebration of Canada’s most renowned documentary filmmaker, Donald Brittain*. The event, REVISITING GREAT BRITTAIN, will unite former friends, colleagues with established and emerging filmmakers to pay tribute to and screen Brittain’s groundbreaking work in documentary filmmaking.

After earning 70 international awards – among them three Academy Award™ nominations; 15 Genie Awards and Venice’s prestigious Gold Lion Award, Donald Brittain was a prolific filmmaker with over 90 films to his credit. From the bureaucracies of the modern workplace and his fascinating look at the life of writer Malcolm Lowry to the survivors of the Holocaust and the Dionne Quintuplets, his groundbreaking documentaries have explored Canada’s rich social and cultural past. His work has been the subjects of major retrospectives at the New York Museum of Modern Art and at Harvard University.

“This is a rare opportunity to experience again or for the first time the genius of Donald Brittain and interact with many of his colleagues who collaborated with him on the many documentaries.”

Joe MacDonald, Producer of Documentary, Western Centre, National Film Board

The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is Canada’s longest running film festival. Home of the prestigious Golden Sheaf Award, the Festival offers a unique opportunity for established and emerging filmmakers to meet face-to-face with industry decision makers and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in the heart of the Saskatchewan prairie. Join us from May 26 to 29, 2005 for fascinating panel discussions, screenings, retrospectives and the famous Yorkton BBQ and Barn Dance. For more information on the upcoming Festival and registration, please contact:

Donald Brittain is Canada’s most renowned and honoured English documentary filmmaker. Working as a director and writer, he has explored Canada’s history, often rescuing aspects from the nation’s collective amnesia.

Brittain attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and then, from 1951 to 1954, he was employed as a police reporter with the Ottawa Journal. While working as a foreign correspondent, he traveled extensively in Europe, Mexico and Africa. In 1955, he joined the National Film Board to apprentice as a screenwriter. Brittain’s scriptwriting skill combined with his flair for selecting and organizing images created a forceful impact, demonstrated best in Fields of Sacrifice (1963), Bethune (1963), Memorandum (1965), Dreamland (1974), Volcano: An Inquiry Into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (1976), The Dionne Quintuplets (1978), On Guard for Thee (1981), The Children’s Crusade (1984) and The Champions trilogy (1986).

In 1963, Brittain made his name as a director with his first major film, Fields of Sacrifice. During his early years at the NFB, he wrote and directed some of his most memorable films, including Bethune, Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965, co-directed with Don Owen), Never a Backward Step (1966, co-directed with John Spotton) and Memorandum (co-directed with John Spotton), a stirring reminder of Nazi death camps, which many critics con­sider to be his finest film.

Brittain left the NFB in 1968 to work on feature pro­jects and multi-screen filmmaking in the USA and Japan, but returned in 1970 to freelance at the NFB and CBC. His filmography contains some of the best documentaries ever made; notably, the biographical docudramas Volcano, narrated by Richard Burton, which won six Etrogs (now Genies); Canada’s Sweetheart (1985), about the notorious mobster and union boss, which won two Geminis; and The King Chronicle (1987), a six-hour mini-series about Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King.

As director, writer and narrator of his own films, Brittain was one of the best commentary writers of the time. He approached his subjects in a didactic style and with an ironic detachment that distinguished his work and would eventually establish him as the master of the television documentary. Known for both his witty and often withering portraits of famous and infamous Canadians and his examinations of obscure areas of Canadian life and fashion, Brittain is arguably the most comprehensive chronicler of post-WWII Canada.

Shortly before his death in 1989, Brittain started work on Family: A Loving Look at CBC Radio (1991), which was completed by Robert Duncan. In 1990, Brittain was posthumously appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of “his masterful visual records of our social and cultural past.”

* Source: Film Reference Library

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Jun 242011

Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival Launches New Film Club

March 7, 2007 marks the beginning of a new endeavor for the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival: The YSFVF Film Club. This youth Club will meet to learn about various areas of filmmaking, work on film projects and work towards making their own films. Participants will gain a wide variety of technical skill as well as learning the keys to becoming good storytellers. Activities will be hands-on experiences with participants operating cameras and editing equipment. Film club participants can also look forward to taking part in the Festival’s Emerging Filmmakers Day. Rob Miller, the Artistic Programmer for the Festival, is the Film Club’s primary instructor along with special guest filmmakers.

The Film Club is aimed at youth from Yorkton and the surrounding areas, aged 13 to 19. Meetings will take place Wednesdays at 7pm starting March 7. Membership in the Club is free but those looking to participate must register the week prior to a meeting. Those interested should contact Rob at the Festival office at 782-7077 or via e-mail at rob@yorktonshortfilm.org.

The Film Club is made possible by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Urban Aboriginal Community Grant Program. Additional digital equipment provided through a partnership with the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery.

The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is the longest running film festival in North America. In the 60 years of its existence the festival has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing great professional development and learning opportunities. The Festival recognizes outstanding Canadian short films and rewards the very best with the annual Golden Sheaf Awards. Visit www.yorktonshortfilm.org for more information.

For more information please contact:
Fay Kowal
Executive Director
Email: director@yorktonshortfilm.org
Telephone: (306) 782-7077

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Jun 152011

Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival nominated for prestigious arts award

The Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival is in the running for one of this year’s prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Awards.

“This nomination is a great acknowledgment for the festival’s remarkable history and accomplishments,” says Fay Kowal, Executive Director of the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival. “We are very excited and honoured to be a nominee, especially as we prepare to celebrate our 60th year.”

The festival is one of three nominees in the Innovation in the Arts category. Presented annually, these awards recognize the contribution and achievements made by individuals, groups and organizations to the arts.

The longest running festival of its kind in North America, the Yorkton festival is well known for its numerous achievements in furthering the art of filmmaking. In the 60 years of its existence the festival has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing a great professional development and learning opportunity. Each year the festival recognizes outstanding Canadian short films and rewards the very best with the Golden Sheaf Awards.

Yorkton provides a unique setting for filmmakers and industry professionals to meet and share ideas. This year the festival takes place May 24 to 27.

For more information please contact:
Fay Kowal
Executive Director
Email: director@yorktonshortfilm.org
Telephone: (306) 782-7077

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Jun 122011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 26, 2007

Renowned Canadian filmmaker Allan King headlines Yorkton Festival

Yorkton, SK – Legendary Canadian filmmaker Allan King is attending a special anniversary screening of his classic film Who Has Seen The Wind at this year’s Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival, May 24 to 27.

One of the most influential and important figures in Canadian cinema, King will field questions following the screening and will instruct a master class at the festival.

“It’s a great privilege to welcome such a prominent Canadian filmmaker as Mr. King to join us for our 60th anniversary celebrations,” says Fay Kowal, Executive Director of the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival. “He is one of the most innovative directors in the history of Canadian cinema and his knowledge and expertise will be of great value to experienced and up-and-coming filmmakers.”

With a career spanning 50 years, King is renowned for making great dramas and provocative documentaries. His numerous accolades include the Prix d’art et d’essai at Cannes and lifetime achievement awards from Hot Docs, Arts Toronto, and the Directors Guild of Canada. King was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. After Who Has Seen The Wind, King focused on drama and television before returning to documentary filmmaking. His recent films include the groundbreaking and often controversial documentaries Memory, Dying at Grace and EMPz 4 Life.

The screening of Who Has Seen the Wind marks 30 years since the release of this Canadian classic, which earned a Golden Reel Award for being the highest grossing Canadian film in 1977. Set in depression-era Saskatchewan, the touching and emotional film is based on W.O. Mitchell’s novel of the same name and follows a young boy as he learns about life and death on the prairies. An important part of the history of Saskatchewan’s film industry, it inspired a new generation of Canadian filmmakers.

The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is the longest running film festival in North America. In the 60 years of its existence the festival has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing great professional development and learning opportunities. The Festival recognizes outstanding Canadian short films and rewards the very best with the annual Golden Sheaf Awards. Visit www.yorktonshortfilm.org for more information.

For more information please contact:
Fay Kowal
Executive Director
Email: director@yorktonshortfilm.org
Telephone: (306) 782-7077

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Jun 032011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: April 16, 2007

Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival Announces 2007 Jury

Yorkton, SK- The Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival is pleased to announce the nine members of the 2007 Golden Sheaf Awards Jury.

The nine jurors travel to Yorkton, Saskatchewan to preside over the awards selection for films and videos in official competition, deciding the winners in 19 genre categories and 16 craft categories. Nominations will be announced on April 16, 2007 and award winners will be announced at the Golden Sheaf Awards Presentation, on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at the Gallagher Centre.

“We are extremely excited to have such a diverse group of talented filmmakers from British Columbia to Nova Scotia adjudicating on this our Festival’s 60th Anniversary”, said Executive Director Fay Kowal.

The 2007 Golden Sheaf Award Jury members are:

  • Nova Alberts, Producer, Saskatchewan
  • Paul Armstrong, Producer, British Columbia
  • Paola D’Agnolo, Producer, Quebec
  • William Belcourt, Producer, Alberta
  • Jim Compton, Producer, Manitoba
  • Carole Larsen, Editor, Ontario
  • Marie Natanson, Producer, Ontario
  • Pamela Pinch, Writer, Nova Scotia
  • Jayden Soroka, Filmmaker, Saskatchewan

Juror Biographies:

Nova Alberts, Saskatchewan
Nova Alberts has produced award winning features like “Midnight Massacre: The Donnelly Murders” for History Television and “Escape From Iran; The Hollywood Option” for History Television and PBS. More recently she produced “Circus of God” and “Size TV” at Partners in Motion. She is currently working as a CBC Producer in Regina.

Paul Armstrong, British Columbia
Paul Armstrong is a Vancouver based producer for films, television programs, music videos, and theatre. He co-produced “Ill-Fated” and executive produced the Genie Award nominated “See Grace Fly”.

William Belcourt, Alberta
William Belcourt is an Associate Producer for the NFB and has worked on documentary films and teaching film workshops in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Currently he is Associate Producing the groundbreaking “First Stories” program series for four emerging Aboriginal filmmakers who will have the chance to direct a five-minute short that will be broadcast on CBC and APTN at the North West Centre in Edmonton.

Jim Compton, Manitoba
Jim Compton has worked in the television industry for 20 years with clients like the CBC, CHUM, and Craig Broadcasting. Some of his productions include the drama series “13 Stories About Love” and “Wassa Inabidaa- We Look In All Directions” which garnered 5 Emmy Awards in the U.S. He is one of the founders of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network where he is an advisory member and a Producer.

Paola D’Agnolo, Quebec
Paola has worked in production, development and distribution at Pixcom Productions. She has worked on documentary series for the international market and international TV co productions. She currently works at Galafilm developing and coordinating future productions.

Carole Larsen, Ontario
Carole Larsen is a Toronto-based Editor who studied film at Ryerson and was an Editor Resident at the Canadian Film Centre. For the past seventeen years she has been editing documentaries (Things That Move, Meet the Sumdees) and fiction films (Outlaws of Missouri, Fairytales and Pornography).

Marie Natanson, Ontario
Marie Natanson Has directed, edited and produced Documentaries – She was the Executive Producer for “Witness” (which won numerous Canadian, and international awards including four Geminis for Best Documentary series, four Emmys and a Peabody) and co-produced “Why We Fight” and “Sex Slaves”. She is now an independent producer.

Pamela Pinch, Nova Scotia
Pamela Pinch is a Halifax based writer and producer who is know for her work in television, documentary and short film. She is currently the Director of Development at Creative Atlantic Communications and had been critically involved in “Robson Arms”, and “The 902″ for CTV, “The Mighty Jungle”, for CBC and the documentary “Ted Nolan: Behind The Bench” for APTN.

Jayden Soroka, Saskatchewan
Jayden Soroka is a previous Golden Sheaf Award winner for “Under the Skin, Drugs, Dreams and Demons” which he wrote, directed and edited. His initial credits were as a trainee assistant director on the TV drama series “Renegade Press” and the blockbuster “Just Friends”. Currently Jayden is the co-owner of his own Productions Company, 306 Productions.

About the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival
The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is the longest running film festival in North America. In the 60 years of its existence the festival has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing great professional development and learning opportunities. The Festival recognizes outstanding Canadian short films and rewards the very best with the annual Golden Sheaf Awards. Visit www.yorktonshortfilm.org for more information.

For more information please contact:
Fay Kowal
Executive Director
Email: director@yorktonshortfilm.org
Telephone: (306) 782-7077

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May 312011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: May 30, 2007

Golden Sheaf Awards Winners Announced

Last night the winners of the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival’s Golden Sheaf Awards were announced. The ceremony took place at the Gallagher Centre in Yorkton, SK. Golden Sheafs were awarded to films in 19 genre categories and 16 craft categories. Other awards included various Jury awards and cash prizes as well as the prestigious Best of Festival Award. A full listing of all the award winners from the 2007 Golden Sheaf awards can be found on the Festival website at www.yorktonshortfilm.org. The awards celebrate the great short films from across.

The Golden Sheaf Award of Excellence winner was “Mississippi Cold Case” which also took home Golden Sheafs for Documentary Social/Political, Director – Nonfiction, Editing – Nonfiction and Research. The film was directed and produced by David Ridgen.

Another big winner was “Screening”, which won Golden Sheafs for Drama, Director – Fiction, Editing – Fiction, Overall Sound – Fiction, Photography – Fiction, and Performance Female (Martha Burns). “Screening was produced by Philip Svoboda and Anthony Green and Directed by Anthony Green.”

The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is the longest running film festival in North America. In the 60 years of its existence the festival has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing great professional development and learning opportunities. The Festival recognizes outstanding Canadian short films and rewards the very best with the annual Golden Sheaf Awards. Visit www.yorktonshortfilm.org for more information.

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For more information please contact:
Fay Kowal
Executive Director
Email: director@yorktonshortfilm.org
Telephone: (306) 782-7077

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