Regina’s Elian Mikkola among the winners in Saskatchewan. Independent Film Award


The Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards took place at an online event in Regina over the weekend.

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The province’s best were recognized at the 8th annual Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards (SIGA), held this past weekend at a live online event in Regina.

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Six major prizes were awarded after the screenings by a jury of filmmakers from across Western Canada: Larry Bauman of Saskatoon (producer/director), David Geiss of Victoria (general manager of CineVic) and Chehala Leonard of Edmonton (producer of the National Film Board).

Best Short Film


By Karelia — Elian Mikkola’s project traces a lost identity hidden in the forests of an abandoned war zone. The Regina-based filmmaker searches for their Finnish grandmother’s childhood home in a village in former Karelia, now part of Russia.

Torch Narrows — The drama from Saskatoon director Simon Garez tells the story of a nighttime fishing trip on the Saskatchewan River, where two friends revisit a wound they can’t heal.

The other nominees were: By Faith, Denis (directed by Jeremy Ratzlaff); Far From Me (directed by Levi Mierau); and, Hard Reset… (directed by Scott Daniel Johnson).

Best music video

Ready to be brave (music by Jeffery Straker of Regina, directed by Dylan Hryciuk of Saskatoon) — The narrative music video tells the story of a farmer’s son and his journey in search of love and acceptance.

The other nominees were: Chew Quietly/Clean Slate (music by Megan Nash, directed by Amy Mantyka); Constance (from Spiritbox, directed by Dylan Hryciuk); Crack in the Mirror (from Flash Back, directed by Wyatt Heiberg); and She’s like the Swallow (by Dara Schindelka, directed by Colin Hubick).

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Best Student Film

Look for me (directed by Adrienne Kaye of the University of Regina) – This multi-format short film captures the internal struggles an Indigenous woman faces on a daily basis and how these struggles affect her sense of self-esteem.

The other nominees were: Dirty Laundry (directed by Florence Hwang); Needlework (done by Jillian Bader); Night Terrors (directed by Bella Rosa Zubot Petrovich); and, The Little House (directed by Hayden Schutz).

Better performance

Bernadette Mullen — Product Weyburn received the award for his role in Far From Me, directed by Levi Mierau.

The other nominees were: Kody Farrow (Ready to Be Brave); Sierra Haynes (By Faith, Denis); Georgina Lightning (Ghosts of Yesterday); and, Madeline Setzer (Ghosts of Yesterday).

technical achievement

Nathan Douglas — The Vancouver product won the award for its cinematography on Torch Narrows.

The other nominees were: Hard Reset (editing, Scott Johnson); Lift, Spur (cinematic, Kristin Catherwood); Ready To Be Brave (production design, Hannah Crease-MacLean); and, Sled Week (director, Mike Maekelburger).

People’s choice

By Faith, Denis – directed by Moose Jaw’s Jeremy Ratzlaff – was selected by members of the public who watched the event live.


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