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The Cave: Tsilhqot’in Language Sci-Fi Short Film in TIFF’s Top Ten Selection

by Rugged Media

Vancouver, BC, December 8, 2009

—"The Cave," by award-winning Tsilhqot’in native director Helen Haig-Brown, is in Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) top ten Canadian short films this year. The film, along with other winning selections, will be showcased at the TIFF Cinémathèque from January 14 - 21, 2010.

“The Cave is the first-ever indigenous science fiction film shot in Tsilhqot’in, my native language. This recognition means a lot to me and my community,” says Haig-Brown.

The film, which follows the journey of a bear hunter who accidentally discovers a portal to the afterlife, was inspired by a true Tsilhqot’in tale first audio recorded by Haig-Brown’s great uncle.

“It was a challenge to follow protocol as much as possible to properly honour my community’s traditions of oral story-telling. We wanted the story told in the most authentic way so we used my great uncle’s original audio recording of the story in the film,” says Haig-Brown.

Actors, crew and volunteers from the villages of the Tsilhqot’in Nation provided overwhelming support. The film, produced by Rugged Media, was shot in the Nemiah Valley located two hours outside of Williams Lake, B.C.

“It is certainly an honour to be part of such a unique project. Everyone involved in this film is honoured by TIFF’s decision,” says producer Adrian Cox, who recalls the logistical challenges the crew faced during filming in the remote location.

“We are extremely grateful for the amount of support we received for this film thus far. It was amazing to see the Tsilhqot’in community come together to make this film possible,” says producer Natalia Tudge.

The Cave premiered last October at the 2009 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto as part of the Embargo Collective, a group of seven indigenous filmmakers from across the world, commissioned by the festival to direct a short film. 

About the Director

Helen Haig-Brown is an award-winning Tsilhqot’in director, director of photography and teacher who is in love with experimental documentary filmmaking. Helen grew up between the city of Vancouver, and her current home in her traditional lands in the interior of British Columbia.  Her film “Su Naa” (My Big Brother) won Best Experimental at the 2005 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. Helen recently worked as the cinematographer for “Nikamowin”, which was screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was also named TOP TEN of 2008.  She is a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Production Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC. "?E?anx - The Cave" is her first dramatic film.

About Rugged Media

Rugged Media is a Vancouver-based production company that produces and develops dramatic, documentary, lifestyle and children’s television programming for the domestic and international markets. Rugged Media has a busy 2010 schedule with projects in development with Movie Central, BC film, Telefilm, Canada Council, BC Arts Council and NFB.

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