NUTV Does Documentaries

By Veronika Janik

They began shooting in late November, continued throughout December, and then it was time to edit. Numerous proposals were submitted, however, only four were selected. This selection meant the opportunity of a lifetime–an opportunity for first time documentary film makers to create their eight minute masterpieces. So, that’s just what they did.

Founded by NUTV and inspired by NUTV Producer and Program Director Tinu Sinha, the Documentary Field School gives first time doc makers a chance to gain and develop essential skills. Now in its second consecutive year, the doc school has provided its members with valuable experience through workshops and meetings with industry professionals.

“NUTV provides pretty much everything. We can only accept about four or five people because we just don’t have the resources to have more,” says Documentary Field School Coordinator Dominique Keller.

The group met weekly and attended five workshops throughout the entire process. The workshops included guidance from individuals such as David Chirstensen, who is a Calgary-based producer, writer, and film-critic, and Keller herself who recently returned from Europe where she worked as a Field Producer for The Lonely Planet.

This year’s doc school began in late October, and all four participants agree that it is a major learning experience that takes much dedication.

“We were told to do something that we were passionate about or personally connected to which helps because we spend probably at least two to three nights a week working on this from about 5–11 o’clock,” says film-maker Karyn Makarchuk.

Although the process is time-consuming, with about four hours of editing per two minute excerpt, all four members are extremely happy to attend the doc school, and are looking forward to the screening.

With each of the documentaries being very unique, filmmakers Karyn Makarchuk, Darrell Doroshuk, Colleen Sharpe, and Ed Lee, are willing to provide a sneak preview of their work.

Karyn Makarchuk

Title: Singleitis?

Details: Makarchuk takes viewers through a light-hearted exploration of why seemingly great women are chronically single. She describes it as a personal story, which initially develops with a jovial tone and progressively gets more serious, while asking the question, “can you be completely happy being single long-term?”

“I think a lot of people know a lot of great people who are single and kind of wonder ‘what’s up with that?’” says Makarchuk.

Makarchuk, who graduated with a Masters in Medical Science, always took a very academic route in school, and never explored her passion for film making until recently.

“It’s very hard to get into something like this when your whole background is academic so I feel really fortunate that I’ve wanted to do this my whole life and that there was a way that I could get started for free and with lots of help,” she says.

Makarchuk plans to use her experiences as a pathway to a gradual career switch.

Darrell Doroshuk

Title: An Open Letter to the NHL

Details: Doroshuk takes a look at the NHL lockout and its effects city-wide. Players are without contracts and owners are without revenue, however, Doroshuk examines all the little people.

“I’ve noticed a lot of people who have been affected by the lockout, and we’re not talking owners and players here. I’m talking charities, inter-faith food banks, taxi-cab drivers, restaurants, bars, and even minor hockey,” says Doroshuk.

“Every game that is not being played is making so many people lose a huge chunk of money and I just thought that story wasn’t really getting out there.”

He describes his piece as informative, straight-forward, and to the point.

Doroshuk began volunteering for NUTV in 2000. He went on to graduate from sait and also plans to produce films professionally.

Colleen Sharpe

Title: One Way Passage: the wake of a war bride

Details: Sharpe examines the war bride phenomenon of World War ii. She focuses on an artist who paints a portrait of her mother and through this painting, discovers her mother’s past. This past, which had not been talked about for 60 years, involves her mother’s story as a woman who meets a New Zealand flier in Saskatchewan during the war, marries him, goes to New Zealand with him, and therefore becomes a war bride.

“The story is about the painting that started all of this and about her relationship with her mom,” says Sharpe.

“For me there was a personal interest in the story of long-distance love and this idea of leaving the place you know,” she adds.

Sharpe, who works at the Nickel Arts Museum, hopes to get the war bride phenomenon out to the public on some level. In addition she hopes her documentary will give some credit to the artist who inspired her and who has painted over 48 portraits of war brides since discovering her mother’s account.

Ed Lee

Title: Invisible Son

Details: Lee takes viewers on an extremely personal journey and depicts his struggle to come to terms with his cultural heritage and sexuality. The doc is shot as a letter to his parents, in which Lee gives voice to his previously unspoken thoughts, emotions and experiences. Lee, who is currently attending U of C as an undergraduate student, describes his piece as introspective and raw.

“This documentary captures some important parts of my life that I can maybe show my parents some day down the road,” says Lee.

“Hopefully other people watching might get an understanding of some of the difficulties of the coming out process, while gays and lesbians may be able to recognize some of their stories within my story,” he adds.

Lee is extremely grateful for this opportunity and appreciates his experiences with NUTV.

The screening takes place on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in Science Theatres 145. The artists will be in attendance and there will be refreshments and a question and answer session following the documentaries. Students are encouraged to attend.

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