Shin-chi’s Canoe

‘Shin-chi’s Canoe’ is the moving story of how a seven year-old child survives his first year at an Indian Residential School

The short film is screening at the Whistler Film Festival on December 5

On a rainy fall morning, a stranger arrives at their home and Shin-chi and his sister are loaded on the back of flat-bed truck to spend the next ten months at St. Mary’s Indian Residential School.

Like thousands of other Indigenous children, the law demands that Shin-chi attend a church-run residential school. However, because of his father’s gift of a secret and tiny hand-carved cedar canoe, Shin-chi discovers the strength and resilience to endure his first ten months at the school.

This story unfolds in the poignant film circuit gem Shin-chi’s Canoe, which screens at the Whistler Film Festivalon December 5, 2019 at 10:45 a.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

Based on the book by Nicola Campbell, Shin-chi’s Canoe, the film stars Canadian musician Inez Jasper and is set in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley on the traditional land of the Stó:lō people. Part of the film features characters speaking the Halq’eméylemlanguage.

The fourteen-minute long film, which was selected by Telefilm Canada to be part of the Cannes Short Film Corner, was especially moving for director Allan W. Hopkins, who had a close connection to the story – and the set. Both of Hopkins’ grandparents attended the same residential school (Saint Mary’s, located in Mission, BC), where the project was filmed.  

Produced by Kate Kroll, written by Hopkins and Kroll, and adapted from Nicola Campbell’s book, the team behind the film felt the project essential to share because there is still so much pain, anguish and misunderstanding about the Indian Residential School era. This film is part of a much larger effort to heighten awareness about the residential school era and to further reconciliation.  

Distributed by Moving Images, the film is being shared with our future generations in classrooms across the country.

Allan W. Hopkins, Director/Co-Writer:

Allan W. Hopkins is a writer/director and member of the N’quatqua First Nation. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University and is currently studying screenwriting and short fiction in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at UBC. Allan has won numerous awards including the 2014 Jack Webster award for Best Television News Feature, the 2013 Radio and Television News Director’s Award, the Adrian Clarkson Diversity Award in 2008, and many more. Allan’s short film “Shin-chi’s Canoe” has played at film festivals internationally, including at the Marché Du Film Festival De Cannes in 2019 . Allan’s first feature film, a comedy called “Indian Road Trip,” is about to be completed and will be broadcast on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network in 2020.  Allan lives in Vancouver British Columbia. 

Kate Kroll, Producer/Co-Writer

Kate Kroll is a highly regarded, producer, writer, director and performer.  She has a strong passion for both documentary and scripted filmmaking. Through her company, Black Moon Media, Kate is committed to presenting to the world the most vivid, pertinent, edgy and visually stunning stories in the most creative ways possible.  Kate’s work has screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, ImagineNative and has been broadcast on Bravo, Super Channel, Knowledge Network, Vision TV, APTN and Air Canada.

Allan and Kate are available for interviews upon request. For more information, film stills, or to set up an interview, please contact:

Lesley Diana The Promotion People

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