Queen's Film and Media student returns from Alaska after shooting documentary

Queen's Film and Media student returns from Alaska after shooting documentary

October 1, 2013



Sarah Robert (left), Jenny Miller (middle) and Charu Jaiswal (right) in Anchorage
prior to boarding a flight to Sitka, Alaska.

By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer

Instead of spending her summer behind a desk, Sarah Robert, a fourth year student in the Department of Film and Media, spent her summer planning and shooting a documentary in Alaska.

Ms. Robert was one of three members of the Young Alaskan Hunters and Gatherers team who recently completed filming for a documentary about the importance of subsistence hunting and gathering to food security and traditional knowledge transfer in Alaska.

The team collaborated with each other from different parts of North America for 3 months prior to their trip to put together funding applications, and won the support of the National Geographic Young Explorers program and Fulbright Canada.

The grant from Fulbright was offered under the Killam Community Action Initiative.

The Young Alaskan Hunters and Gatherers team also included Charu Jaiswal, at biology student at York University and Jenny Miller, a recent Photomedia and American Indian studies graduate from the University of Washington in Seattle, who worked alongside Ms. Robert.

“The project is a result of a conversation between Jenny and Charu about Jenny’s art making, which had recently begun to focus more and more on food,” says Ms. Robert. “The project was a natural extension of that. I was invited on later as they needed another member and knew I was a film student, and the three of us finalized the details together and wrote the grant applications.”

Shooting for the team wrapped up in early September and now they have begun to edit the more than 20 hours of footage they compiled during their trip. Ms. Robert hopes to complete the documentary by the time she graduates. The team will use a cloud editing program so they can collaborate from different locations.

“We interviewed a wide range of people for the project, from a fourteen-year-old hunter to the CEO of the first native American games studio in North America,” says Ms. Robert. “Meeting all these people was great, and I think the diversity of interviewees and ideas about food security and knowledge transfer is the best part about this project.”