Interview with Filmmaker Sarah Samash 2018 Winning Short Documentary


I'm so thrilled and honoured to receive this award.

Thank you!

Please see my answers bellow.

Best wishes,


1.     What was your first conscious memory you’d be making films at some point in your life? I worked in a movie theatre as an adolescent and I used to watch a lot of movies and do a lot of  still photography with 35mm film. When digital took over the photography market, the idea of the still image didn't make sense to me any more and the moving image was the natural transition I made at that time. I guess the possibility of making movies came with access to portable digital technologies (Hi8) in my early twenties and I applied to the local university film program.   
2.     Why did you want to tell this particular story? I came into contact with Alert Bay and the history of soccer on the island in my early twenties, long before I had the idea to do this project. I went to this remote community, sort of accidentally, with a couple friends, one of whom was doing research up there. We all ended up partying with the local women's soccer team and I realized how powerful and important soccer was in the community. It reminded me of the importance of Latin American, Brazilian soccer culture I had grown up with from my dad. And the impact of experiencing this other side of Canada that was unknown to me, a remote First Nations reserve on a small island, north of Vancouver island, stayed with me until I had the opportunity to pursue this project many years later. 
3.     Where was it made? The film was entirely shot in Alert Bay, British Columbia, over the course of several years. Alert Bay is on an island which is traditional Kwakwaka'wakw terr itory. All of the post production was completed in Vancouver, where I live.
4.     Who contributed the most to the success of your film? I think the most important contributor to the film is the community of Alert Bay, especially Shannon Alfred, Diane Alfred and their families, who were key in making this film possible. I was always consulting with Shannon, the coach of the Thunderettes soccer team at that time, about the decisions I was making in the film and I remember Diane (Honey), was also telling, "you should interview this person." So they were really the ones helping to lead the action of the film in a loosely verité style.
5.     If you could give advice to a filmmaker hesitating on picking up a camera to tell their story, what would it be? I guess, they need to be asking why they are hesitating. Is it because they are unsure of themselves, their filmmaking abilities, their access to resources, the story they want to tell? I think it's important to question ourselves and our reasons for making a filmic work, especially documentary. Once we have answered those questions and we can continue with true conviction then we can tell better stories. I won't lie, it's not easy. You need conviction to carry you through the whole process and journey of making a film. 
6.     What films or filmmakers most influenced your work? A lot of the Latin American "Third Cinema" filmmakers from the 60-70s (Glauber Rocha, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Sara Gomez, Marta Rodriguez, Fernando Solanas), some of the Chicana filmmakers, (Lourdes Portillo, Sylvia Morales), Alanis Obomsawin, here in Canada as well as a lot of experimental filmmakers and their DIY approach to the film medium. And of course, a lot of film history movements and films from Italian neo-realism, the french new-wave, third cinema and fourth cinema. 
7.     What’s your next project going to be? I am currently developing an interactive art project that reflects on recent migration waves to Canada and the Global refugee crisis. It's still in a very nascent stage so I can't say too much. 
8.     Your acceptance speech for this film, what would you like to let people know about the film, about you, or about those who helped you in your journey? I am grateful and honoured to accept this award for this work that is very DIY, very personal in the way that I made it, over a long period of time, through various events in my life including my son's birth. A big part of the making of this project is about relating to a community of physically, culturally, and spiritually powerful women. I wanted to show that strength in the film while also contextualizing the history of soccer on the island which connects to Canada's colonial past. The community of Alert Bay, and our friends there like Shannon, Honey, and Sharon were very supportive and welcomed me into their lives. My partner and family have been a huge support and I am grateful for them.   
9.  What camera and editing system did you make this film with? I used several camera's from Super 8 to Standard Definition to HD Video and it was mostly edited on Final Cut 7 with a bit on Premiere Pro at the very end. 
I haven't actually ever heard of Pinnacle products or FilmHub so I will have to do my research. 

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