Director Eden Mallina Awashish struggles to understand why her grandmother refuses to allow her to shoot a film about moccasins. Her failed attempt turns into a playful deconstruction of cultural loss, a record of the resolve to protect Atikamekw tradition.
Interview with Writer/Director Eden Mallina Awashish
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I first saw the Wapikoni Mobile stop in front of the high school building (here in Opitciwan). I wanted to try again, because it was not the first time I had made a film. In the past, I realized Notcimik itekera, which means my language "In the forest", "In the woods" or intimately called "Living in the wood", is still under the wings of Wapikoni Mobile.
Imagine that I am a member of the audience. Why should I watch this movie?
I will not ask you to watch my film, it is your choice. If God has put you in this impasse, if the God has put me on the earth, if my grandparents had not shown me the importance of education, a lost generation of these roots would not have Not existed, I would not have existed. The transmission of knowledge is important to us ... She was not lost just put on Pause.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The themes that have personally affected me are the transmission of knowledge and culture. Despite the mistrust still present among Aboriginal peoples, I am fascinated by new technology like photography, digital, art. This is an area where I like to venture. Since my childhood, I have worked with colors, I am a strong emotional person. I live and feel deeply the emotions, the vibrations that surround me and it is in the art that I found the comfort. At the primary level, it was the colors, in high school, it was writing and in college, it was computer arts and technology. So I worked with several media in this field, but the unavoidable thing is to make a film. Thus, the film revolves around my own questions, and my own concerns about the future of my community and Atikamekw culture. In other words, from my identity and all that, I managed to put it in the same context.
How did the script and the film evolve during their development and production?
By an obstacle ... Everything to turn around the famous answer «Ma!» no. The moment I asked my grandmother to tell this story and when I said I wanted to make it into a movie, she said, "Well, go and sell my story." This answer affected me a lot, it almost prevented me from making a film, so I had to explain to the world why, why I could not make this film, on moccasins. And it flew by itself, everything spread, I had only to make pictures. Besides, I had little time, everything was fast. Between my work and my hobbies, it was something. I had not experienced this kind of situation for a long time. It was like going back to school a little, being between two jobs. So I had to be really effective, ingenious and empathetic at the same time. I just flew over.
What type of comments have you received so far?
I had pleasant reviews, also comments about my future, about the future of moccasins. I was asked if I wanted to continue my studies in a program that I would like, and those people who asked me would help me get into a program. Others have offered to continue making films about Aboriginal peoples.
Did the comments surprise or dispute your point of view?
Perhaps on the productive technique of the film. There is this person coming to me, and she spoke French, she comes to tell me, I am surprised, your film is a film with a small budget, in fact, there was not much, and you succeeded in Make as much impact, as this film makes as much impact. It's really successful, it's beautiful! Comments that may have disputed about why my grandmother did not want to, yes! Interested, a lot. Encouraging comments, I have had. Comments on the future of my work, too. That's good, actually.
What are you looking to get by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
What is the purpose of: we are moving stories. For me, you are like a library that you have the right to discuss. So, I like the idea that some people make a subject for discussion, Nothing about moccasins is doing its work, which I have always hoped for, a small topic that leads to great discussion.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sellers, buyers, distributors, filmmakers, journalists) to amplify the message of this film?
I did not think that Nothing about moccasins was going to create all this movement. I come from a small village which is three hours drive from the nearest town. So what happens in big cities, I'm ten hours away or more, otherwise I have the news. So in business, I do not have much contact. It is the mobile Wapikoni team that handles my travels.
What type of impact and / or reception do you want this film to have?
That there is more understanding about aboriginal peoples, that we focus more on issues, the little things. Although this is a very current topic. This film has made its mark.
What is the key question that will help create debate or start a conversation about this film?
Did I do more harm than good in making this film?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
To watch the full movie
Please contact : Christian Morissette : firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview: January 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Nothing About Mocassins
Director: Eden Mallina Awashish
Producer: Wapikoni Mobile
Writer: Eden Mallina Awashish
About the screenwriter, director and producer:
Scriptwriting and production:
Eden Mallina Awashish In collaboration with L'Equipe du Wapikoni
Additional picture Philippe David Gagné, Jean-Marc E. Roy Eden Awashish, Philippe David Gagné Philippe David Gagné
Song Of The Wanderer - HELEN HUMES Beatrice and Benedict - HECTOR BERLIOZ Cinéastes-accompagnateurs Philippe David Gagné, Jean-Marc E.Roy Youth Worker and Training Assistant Gabrielle Caron.
Acknowledgments Stéphane Awashish, Joséphine D. Awashish, Catherine Weizineau
Produced in association with:
The mobile Wapikoni offers audiovisual services to meet your needs while providing ongoing training for our experienced participants. By enabling them to work on their first paid contracts, they experience real work experience within a professional production team.
THE WAY: TWINNING
The film crew, made up of a junior native filmmaker from the mobile Wapikoni and a professional filmmaker, ensures the success of the contract to the satisfaction of the client. As a bonus: Aboriginal youth develop their talents and skills. One way to encourage the next generation!
We offer various services that can adapt to the needs of band councils, health centers, schools or companies, whether for corporate videos, advertising, educational, intervention, prevention or Capturing events.
Where will it appear next month?
Maybe in Seattle. Waitting more confirmation.