Prince Albert filmmaker, teacher wins inaugural Trudy Stewart Award

Submitted photo. Marjorie Roden with her SIFA on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Trillian Reynoldson

Regina Leader-Post

A filmmaker and teacher in Prince Albert, Marjorie Roden said she is honoured that her film, Finding Margaret won the Trudy Stewart Award for Indigenous Filmmaker at this years’ Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards (SIFA).

“I’m always telling my students that their stories are important and to not be afraid to tell them,” Roden said in an interview Monday.

Winners were announced on the weekend, including the inaugural Trudy Steward Award.

Roden said her film told a true story from her family that happened in 1969, around five years before she was born.

“My father (drove) my mother over a very rough road and induced labour,” she said, adding that after her mother gave birth to her older sister Margaret, she ended up unconscious and then was abandoned by Roden’s father, the baby nowhere to be found.

“She woke up three days later, she could tell that she had given birth, he showed up a month later and denied that she’d been pregnant,” Roden said.

Roden had the opportunity to tell this story in a 48-hour film festival and wrote the script with her mother. 

“It turned out beautifully and it’s been hugely accepted by people who had the opportunity to see it. Even some of my students when they saw it they were like ‘did you actually find Margaret?’ We haven’t. Not yet.”

Graydon Eskowich, a fourth year student at the University of Regina, won Best Student Film for his short documentary Ingrain.

“I was honestly surprised when it even got nominated, let alone win. It’s really a great honour,” he said in an interview Monday.

“I think if you look at some of the other student films that were nominated this year as well, it’s incredible company to be in.”

He said his film is about his family and where he grew up near Melfort.

“It’s basically centred (on) our home and our farm, and myself and my family’s experiences growing up,” Eskowich said.

“Mainly it’s about memory and time and place, and where I grew up.”

The theme this year was “A Decade of Cinema: Celebrated in Saskatchewan.” Out of the 32 films nominated, 10 awards were presented.

The winner of Best Youth Film went to Pay Phone by Mason Kubernus, and Best Experimental Moving Image went to Pilgrim by Narges Rezaian.

Fable Deaf by Deaf Crows Collective and directed by Chrystene Ells received Best Short Film. I Plowed the Sacred Soil by Mark Dieter won Best Long Form and Maggie Robertson received Best Performance for her role in A Storm Blows Over. Tous les matins by Alexis Normand and directed by Lindsay Arnold won Best Music Video, Fear & Trembling by Jeremy Ratzlaff received Best Technical Achievement, and Audience Choice went to Looking Forward at 100 by Kelly-Anne Riess.

The awards ceremony took place at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum on Saturday evening. It was hosted by actor, comedian and filmmaker Moniquea Marion.

Sixty films were initially submitted for consideration. The nominees and winners were chosen by a jury of filmmakers from across Canada.