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HomeNewsIndigenous filmmaker hoping to tell story with $20K grant

Indigenous filmmaker hoping to tell story with $20K grant

A movie trailer recently filmed in Grande Prairie could be turned into much more. Local filmmaker Len Morissette has been given a $20,000 grant to produce the short film, and he hopes to take it even further.

Morissette of C.I.A. Solutions is one of 30 recipients of TELUS STORYHIVE’s first-ever Indigenous Storyteller Edition. His vision is a film called Lost, which is the story of an ex-gang member on parole faced with a difficult choice.

Statistics from the Office of the Correctional Investigator show Indigenous people make up 26.4 per cent of the federal prison population and just four per cent of the Canadian population. Morissette argues that while trying to turn one’s life around can be a universal problem, he felt it was important for his characters to be Indigenous.

“These situations have to be presented, because if people don’t understand where people come from, then how can you make change and work towards a goal? You can’t solve problems overnight, but the more people understand situations and why people make the decisions they do, it does open up for discussion.”

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The trailer for Lost focuses on the lead up to a home invasion, teasing the story of how someone could think the crime was their only option. It was filmed in Grande Prairie on November 18th, featuring untrained, local actors, and was directed by Morissette.

“It involves firearms, it involves Indigenous gang members but I’m not filming it so it’s going to be gratuitous and promoting violence; I’m actually trying to touch base on a real story about real situations.”

It’s estimated the short film will cost $50,000, and C.I.A. Solutions has already gotten another boost from the community. Bison Oilfield Services has donated another $5,000 to the project, bringing the total raised to $25,000.

Morissette also hopes to eventually turn the product into a feature length film, which he expects will run $200,000. The plan is to use the same actors from the trailer to tell the story.

“I’m going to do my darndest to put together the best story I can with the resources I have to give an example of why this happens,” Morisette promises.

The short film should be available on TELUS Optik TV On Demand once finished.

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