Student filmmaker wins 3 awards for recent film
- Jeanelle Mandes | April 15, 2015
Candy Fox was sitting down with no expectations of winning any awards when she attended this year’s Living Skies Student Film Festival held at the University of Regina.
“It was really cool and surprising. I wasn’t expecting to win three awards,” an excited Fox says.
Fox had barely sat down after winning Best Documentary award for her film Backroads and she was about to post a Facebook status about her win when she heard her name again. She won the Best of Saskatchewan and Audience Choice awards.
“It’s very humbling that my colleagues and my school are honoring me in this way. It’s a nice time to end my here,” she says.
The 30-year-old film student from Piapot First Nation grew up in Regina and was raised by her grandmother, Gloria Fox.
Fox’s career began when she was 18-years-old and joined a joined a theatre group with her friends in North Central. That inspired her to audition for Moccasin Flats, a Canadian drama that ran on Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network (APTN) and later picked up by Showcase and SCN.
“That’s when I started to realize that I wanted to do filmmaking. Doing acting made me realize desire to do filmmaking and be behind the camera,” she adds.
It was after the television series ended that Fox enrolled at the university and started on her journey to obtain a film degree.
She took the Indian Communication Arts (INCA) 6-Week Summer Institute at the First Nations University of Canada where she learned hands-on training in different mediums of journalism including being behind the camera.
“It given me a grasp on what my specific talents are,” says Fox.
Fox also took intensive theatre programs with the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company located in Saskatoon and Nightwind theatre located in Regina.
Through her adventures and accomplishments, she says important people have helped her along the way. Fox’s biggest mentor is the woman who raised her.
“She’s one of the strongest people I know because she’s been through so much and has overcome a lot of obstacles and life’s challenges,” explains Fox. “But she just keeps going and she’s still strong. That’s one of my biggest influences.”
Fox also looks up to Laura Milliken and Jennifer Podemski, who started up their own production company called Big Soul Productions. Another one of her mentors and friends was Michele Sereda, one of five people killed in a car crash last month north of Regina on Highway 6.
“She had such a big impact on everybody who had met her,” she adds.
U of R film professors also mentor Fox and encourage her when she produces a film.
Sarah Abbott, associate professor in the Department of Film at the University of Regina knew Fox for almost four years when she enrolled at the university. Abbott says she is happy for Fox’s latest win.
“It’s fantastic that her work is being well-received on many levels. As a filmmaker to have that acknowledgment early is great and important,” says Abbott.
The professor says the latest recognition will help Fox in her career and also have people responding positively to important and sensitive subject matters. She says it also doesn’t hurt that Fox has worked on both sides of the camera.
“She did well in front of the camera she wanted to know more about how to make work and tell the stories that are important to tell and she made an effort to learn how to do that in a university setting,” adds Abbott.
The film production major will be completing her Fine Arts degree this Spring. Her future plans are to make more films including a feature film. Fox also won Best Documentary for another film she made a few years ago called Being Two-Spirited at the Living Skies Student Film Festival.
Related story: FNUniv student's film makes it to TIFF
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