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Canyon War: The Untold Story is the winner of two awards from prestigious international independent film festivals. This ground-breaking documentary took honours at both the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) and Worldfest 2010 (the Houston International Film Festival).
“It’s absolutely thrilling to receive two top awards from two top international independent film festivals,” said Director Eva Wunderman. “It’s a tribute to the fine team we had who told an amazing story.”
Canyon War won Wunderman the award for Best International Director of a Documentary at the NYIIFVF, one of the largest independent film festivals in the world. The documentary was shown at the festival’s Los Angeles event in February and has also been chosen for a special showing at the NYIIFVF’s New York event in July.
The documentary was shot on location in the Fraser Canyon in 2008 — 150 Years after the war it depicts took place. It was made possible by a partnership between the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Heritage Canada, CN and BC150 working in association with the New Pathways to Gold Society. The NPTGS is a community-based organization dedicated to continued reconciliation with First Nations, investment in B.C. heritage and economic development
The documentary about the First Nations-miner conflict in the Fraser Canyon during the 1858 gold rush is also the winner of a “Remi” award from the Houston International Film Festival. WorldFest is the oldest Independent film and video festival in the world and has helped to launch the careers of such famous directors as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and David Lynch.
“I’m certain that these awards will help raise the documentary’s profile as we approach another air date, this one on APTN,” said Wunderman. “They reflect the incredible quality of the work of everyone involved.”
Canyon War aired in January on Knowledge and will make its Canadian national broadcast debut on APTN later this spring.
The documentary is vividly brought to life by co-hosts Kevin Loring (a Governor General Award-winning playwright and actor from the Lytton First Nation) and Dr. Dan Marshall of the University of Victoria. Loring’s descendants resisted the thirty to forty thousand gold seekers who flooded into the Fraser River in 1858 while Marshall’s ancestors were among the gold-seekers.
Wunderman said the Canyon War team is already at work developing several new documentaries on B.C. First Nations’ stories.