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.

Petie is also a graduate of Cap’s  
Indigenous Independent Digital Film-
making diploma and certificate.

View Petie’s story:  
CAPILANOU.CA/PETIE

BREAKING THE 

SILENCE

MOTION PICTURE ARTS

4 | CAPILANO UNIVERSITY VIEWBOOK 2017-2018