Breaking the silence
September 7, 2016
Motion Picture Arts student Petie Chalifoux is a born storyteller. A hoop dancer since her teen years, the Woodland Cree filmmaker says the progression from telling stories through dance to telling stories on screen was a natural one. Petie entered Capilano University’s
Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts program originally hoping the degree would help her get work in on-set visual effects. However, the screenwriting courses she took grabbed her storyteller’s heart. “With everything I’ve learned at Capilano, I asked myself what I could do here, today, that could make a shift in the
perception of Indigenous people,” Petie says. Realizing she has important stories to tell, Petie applied for and won Telefilm Canada’s prestigious
$120,000 Micro-Budget Production Program grant to make her first feature film,
River of Silence. Drawn from her own family’s experience of losing her grandmother, the film explores the difficult issue of murdered and missing women in Canada.
“I would like to, in a sense, turn the tables and take the children of non-Indigenous people and change their mindset. And what’s the best way you can do that today? TV and film.”
Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts undergraduate
Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking diploma
Cutting edge studios
Students in Capilano’s
School of Motion Picture Arts study their craft in the state-of-the-art Bosa Centre for Film and Animation, which includes an 8,000 square foot sound stage with green screen, high-definition 3D theatre, and professional studios and post-production facilities. The Centre brings together students who are studying everything from visual effects and animation to filmmaking and costuming. The benefit of so many creative minds in one place? Creative collaboration abounds.