Motion Picture Arts student Petie Chalifoux is a born storyteller. A hoop dancer since her teen years, the Woodland Cree filmmaker says the progression from telling stories through dance to telling stories on screen was a natural one.

Chalifoux entered Capilano University’s Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts program originally hoping the degree would help her get work in on-set visual effects. However, the screenwriting courses she took grabbed her storyteller’s heart.

“With everything I’ve learned at Capilano, I asked myself what I could do here, today, that could make a shift in the perception of Indigenous people,” she says.

Realizing she has important stories to tell, Chalifoux applied for and won Telefilm Canada’s prestigious $120,000 Micro-Budget Production Program grant to make her first feature film, River of Silence. Drawn from her own family’s experience of losing her grandmother, the film explores the difficult issue of murdered and missing women in Canada.

“I would like to, in a sense, turn the tables and take the children of non-Indigenous people and change their mindset. And what’s the best way you can do that today? TV and film,” says Chalifoux.

Submitted by Communications & Marketing

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Interested in a career in the film and television industry? Come to Capilano University’s Bosa Centre for Film and Animation Open House on Saturday, November 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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