Documentary film-maker Tasha Hubbard will receive the prestigious Canada Award at the 2005 Geminis for her film Two Worlds Colliding, the National Film Board (NFB) has announced.
The Canada Award, created and sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage, is given for excellence in mainstream television programming that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Canada. Hubbard and the NFB will receive the award on Nov. 17.
Two Worlds Colliding is a 49-minute documentary written and directed by Hubbard and produced by Bonnie Thompson of the NFB. The film is Hubbard's directorial debut and part of the NFB's Aboriginal Filmmaking Programming.
"This award was a complete surprise," said Hubbard. "For the film to be recognized in this way is a tremendous honour. This is a testament to the courage of the families and other participants who felt able to speak about the painful reality of racism in our communities."
The documentary chronicles the story of Saskatoon's infamous "freezing deaths," and the racial divide between the Aboriginal community and the police force.
Hubard is an English graduate student at the University Saskatchewan. The filmmaking process has inspired Hubbard's new research. In January, she will speak at a conference in Australia on the idea of "testimony" in film and her thesis project is going to link the literary and the visual, building on her experience with the documentary.
These themes were brought to light for Hubbard in her interviews with Darrell Night, an Aboriginal man who was driven beyond the city limits by police officers and dropped off in sub-zero weather to walk back to Saskatoon. An investigation resulted in the conviction of the two Saskatoon Police Service 0fficers for unlawful confinement.
"I am interested in video as a medium and what it means for Indigenous peoples-its different manifestations, its way of expressing history, and giving creative expression and testimony," Hubbard said.
"I'm pleased the film and its content have been recognized in this way. Police-Aboriginal relations continue to need work and I hope the film can contribute to dialogue in this area."