“Raven People Rising” Documentary screens at VIFF gala

Ahh…. that time you write and direct a film on a wing and a prayer and, by some mysterious blend of luck and timing, it ends up screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival…

Throughout 2018, I worked on contract with RAVEN (https://raventrust.com) with a dream team (Alex Harris, Gary McNutt, Jeremy Williams) to direct a documentary with Heiltsuk Nation, a small but mighty community on B.C.’s central coast. I set out to make a ‘feel good movie about an oil spill’, and wound up with “Raven People Rising”: a chronicle of a Nation where, though it’s where the tug-barge Nathan E. Stewart sank, the Heiltsuk community are rising.

Many full circles later I sat as a guest in the Heiltsuk’s Big House for the first potlatch, held to open a grand hall festooned with murals and graced in all four directions by majestic totems. Over three days I watched as the community blanketed elders, young folk and allies in song, stories and love. A huge honour to be a tiny part of the story of resilience and triumph over adversity that speaks volumes about the strength of societies built and governed in tune with the natural world.


Check out the trailer for the RAVEN-produced film here: https://raventrust.com/heiltsuk/