In search of storytellers

The National Film Board (NFB) is looking for budding Saskatchewan filmmakers with a unique story to tell.

The NFB launched a call for submissions last week for Doc Lab Saskatchewan, a project that will see three amateur filmmakers each produce a five to seven minute documentary with the help of the seasoned professionals. One winner will be chosen from Saskatoon, Regina, and one from elsewhere in Saskatchewan.

The winners will be brought into a professional production environment to write, shoot and edit their ideas. The call for proposals runs until July 14, and the completed films will be launched in November.

Films must be visually-driven, and shooting must be completed within two days.. There is a very limited local travel budget. The producer for the project is Jon Montes, who joined the NFB’s North West Studio in Winnipeg a little over a year ago, with a focus on documentary film production in Saskatchewan.

“What’s really struck me is how active emerging filmmakers are,” he said. “I want to try and siphon some of that energy into the kind of work the film board does, which is primarily in documentary.”

Montes isn’t pushing any narrative, nor is he necessarily looking for someone with experience telling non-fiction stories through film.

“I just want to focus on filmmakers here who have a solid understanding of story and storytelling and just nudge them over into the documentary form,” he said.

“I’m not coming in with any thematic agenda, although the projects that come out of this are probably going to be intensely rooted in local experiences, the places and people the filmmakers are close to.”

More information can be found on the NFB website. For questions, email Jon Montes at jmontes@nfb.ca.

For more on this story, please see the May 30 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.