The Weengushk Film Institute, located on Manitoulin Island, (ON) has the following vision statement:
Our vision enables the engagement and cultural advancement of underserved communities in Canada and abroad, particularly Aboriginal Youth and students of culturally diverse origins. We strive to create an environment of understanding and respect for traditions, culture, stories and societal changes of a specific group.
In addition to the cultural aims, it is also an educational institute where students learn many aspects of film and media including, production, and editing using the computer technology.
Promoting the institute has been a challenge. There has been some turnover with Executive Directors . A new posting has recently been released. It is interesting to note in the qualifications section the following statement. “Experience working within the Aboriginal culture and community coupled with an understanding of the film and television industry will be an asset” . Management, organization, fundraising, and other “ business” skills are strongly emphasized.
I’m not sure if this is a reflection of some of the challenges involved in sustaining these ventures. There seems to be an inherent challenge in producing works that are viable vs. those that convey focused cultural messages to the intended (local) audience.
From a review of the web-site it appears that a more pan-cultural approach is taken in order to highlight important issues that affect indigenous group both nationally and internationally.
The following is a trailer for a Weengushk produced film.