Noirfoot Narrative Labs: Fort McMurray - A Digital Filmmaking Workshop Series

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Multiple dates from Thursday, August 15th to Sunday, August 18th

Event Summary

Presented by Telus Storyhive and the Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society.

Noirfoot Narrative Labs is a crash course filmmaking program designed to give participants a dynamic range of experiences and skills relevant to today’s standards around digital filmmaking.

Building on the success of the Telus Storyhive Noirfoot Narrative Labs: Penticton, Grande Prairie, Vernon, Red Deer, Prince George, and Lethbridge, this new workshop model continues to be designed as an inclusive, dynamic, practical approach to filmmaking, all while being relevant to industry standards. Our target participants are youth and adults from diverse backgrounds from the Fort McMurray, AB region, with an emphasis on Indigenous youth, people of colour, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. Our aim is to teach provide hands-on experience in a wide range of filmmaking and digital media practices, while inspiring a new generation of filmmakers and digital storytellers.  

The Noirfoot Narrative Labs: Fort McMurray, AB, will be a catalyst for new filmmakers to identify an interest in filmmaking and potentially pursue a career in the growing film industry. For emerging filmmakers and digital media artists, it will be a rare opportunity to benefit from direct access to mentorship from established industry professionals in small group settings.  

For mid career and established filmmakers and digital media artists, it will be an opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and share new and innovative filmmaking techniques.

Day 1 is Orientation and intro to filmmaking 101. We will also have a cultural circle and prayer to begin our work for the week, under the auspices of Nitsitapii protocol. Our mandate at the “Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society’ is to provide a cultural exchange from our Blackfoot/Niitstitapi cultural world view. We observe that many non-Indigenous production companies are not reciprocating the cultural offerings of Indigenous people from regions in which they produce their respective “works.” We want the communities we visit to know how much we appreciate their time and collaboration.

Day 1 will also consist of a series of fundamental workshops including screenwriting, cinematography, location sound recording, camera operation, acting for screen, set etiquette, intro to the film industry, and post-production editing. Students will be mandated to take certain workshops vital to their fundamental development. The final block will be optional; participants will have the option to take 1 of 4 workshops offered in specialized areas i.e. the “Acting for Screen Class.”

At the end of day the full group will be divided into teams, and will be given “Narrative Lab Assignments.” These assignments will require each group to create a short film that executes the use of a specific genre, prop, theme, scenario, filmmaking style and line of dialogue from a famous movie. Participants will be given 72-hours to produce a film ready for presentation at the community gathering on July 21, 2019.

The intention is to have fun and learn about all of the possible careers the film industry has to offer. Hands-on experience making a narrative film will inform a students desire to pursue further training and education in the field.  

On Sunday, August 18, 2019, the completed films will be screened at a public event for the greater Fort McMurray area. Awards will also be given out for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Acting, Best Execution of Lab Assignments, Best Editing, & a Team Spirit Award for the group who best exemplified team work, respect and creativity.  

Local First Nations youth groups will be contacted and will be our priority invitees. We will also be seeking partnerships with the local First Nations organizations for participant recruitment. Noirfoot Narrative Labs is open to everyone! It is our mission to help Fort McMurray develop new filmmakers and media content producers.  

For any inquiries, please email us at 


Fort McMurray, AB
Fort McMurray, AB
Fort McMurray, AB

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The event runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm on the following dates.
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