Better Together

Community in the Yukon is small. For filmmakers, it’s even smaller. That sometimes causes competition between people in the territory who try to make it in the industry. But, filmmakers can’t be islands. That’s what filmmaker Naomi Mark thinks — it should be about collaboration; bringing a small group of people together to push projects to the next level. “You need people around you who you can trust, who can support you.”

As well as making films, Mark is the executive director of the Screen Production Yukon Association, called SPYA. She has teamed up with Andrew Gilbutowicz, who’s from the Yukon Film Society, to organize a Yukon Filmmakers’ Roundtable on September 22.

The roundtable is meant to be led by filmmakers — they’ll chose what to talk about. It is a place for people to come to meet other people in the industry, to share stories, ideas, and skills. The idea is to “gather people together to share their knowledge based on their experience so far,” according to Mark.

The film landscape in the territory has changed over the past five years. There used to be an environment of commercials productions from the south coming to the Yukon to make feature films or commercials. The Yukon government bought film equipment, and formed the screen production association — SPYA is a non-profit industry association that receives support through the department of economic development. According to Mark, there’s been a shift; less productions come north. Now, Mark says there’s a push for local filmmakers to fill the vacuum. The is intent is to create big production within the territory, so the services offered by SPYA are used.    

There are two industry organizations in the territory, SPYA and the film society, and Mark says there shouldn’t be a divide between them. The roundtable is meant to create a stronger community — “Strong collaborations make better films,” says Mark.

Everyone interested in film production should come to the roundtable. It’s being held on September 22 in the SPYA office – 204D Strickland St. That’s on the third floor. It goes from 7 pm – 9 pm.

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