Dene filmmaker Kelvin Redvers announced this week the launch of a new production company called IndigiFilm.
The Indigenous community has “a lot of creators, but there really aren’t a lot of Indigenous-owned production companies,” Redvers, of Hay River, told Cabin Radio Thursday.
“If Indigenous creatives want to get their projects off the ground, they often have to partner with non-Indigenous production companies.
IndigiFilm will be based in Vancouver and will focus on Indigenous stories while making room to tell compelling stories from all backgrounds.
“Of course, we’re going to be creating some really great Indigenous content, but it won’t be exclusively,” Redvers said. “I come from a mixed background – my mother is Dene and my father is non-Indigenous – so we will also tell great stories, whatever the subject.”
Redvers is thrilled to partner with industry veterans Mark Miller, co-founder of Great Pacific Media, and Neil Thomas, co-creator of the Discovery Highway Thru Hell series, on his latest venture.
“The feeling was that it was a good mix, where I’m on the younger side, sort of a young emerging producer, paired with seasoned veterans who have a lot of business experience,” he said. .
“We have what it takes to create something that can be substantial and have an impact on the Canadian media market, but also on the world.
Redvers said in some ways the project has been in the works for years.
“When I was a teenager in Hay River, my dad helped me start a video production business, so I was making little videos for local businesses and for First Nations,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I’m enjoying this process and doing things this way.
“For most of my life, I also produced all the things I did myself, like all of my shorts. It was a really good insight into how much I love the business side of things.
Redvers said the best part about starting his own production company is the creative freedom that comes with it.
“It’s nice to have that sense of empowerment…that we didn’t have to sell the idea to a non-Aboriginal production company to get it done.
“We’d also like to work on mentoring and nurturing some Indigenous talent, to be a place where Indigenous creatives can feel comfortable contributing their ideas, that they’ll really be heard, and if we accept them, that they’ll be said with respect.
“And yes, on the road, the Oscars and the Emmys, of course.”
The next film features Hay River
Redvers’ announcement follows his rejection of a Cannes Film Festival screening in May for wearing loafers with his tuxedo. He said at the time that the festival organizers had apologized.
The first production to come out of IndigiFilm will be Redvers’ existing feature film project, Cold Road, shot partly in Hay River.
“It was a dream to be able to shoot my first feature film in my hometown. Often indie features on a low budget are a labor of love and to make them happen you have to rely on a lot of support,” Redvers said.
“It wasn’t until we made the decision to move to Hay River that everything fell into place.
Redvers fondly remembers working with high school students and other locals to bring his vision to life.
“It was just a joy because when I was 15 or 16 I started doing basically the exact same thing: pulling people from high school to be in my silly little shorts at school. era.”
Redvers said he looks forward to sharing IndigiFilm’s feature debut in winter 2023.
“It’s going to mean a lot to see that logo at the start of the movie.”