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this river wins Canadian Screen Award for Best Short Documentary

For this trio of superlative women, even they doubted that their documentary "this river" would win the Canadian Screen Award for Best Short Documentary.

Katherena Vermette, Alicia Smith and co-director Erika MacPherson for the documentary that looked at the Drag the Red effort and the stories of those involved.

MacPherson said, "I really did not believe that we would win. We were competing against other amazing film makers."

However, when "this river" did win, MacPherson said it was more than just mere excitement at winning because it was a "really beautiful thing to win." 

During the interview, there are pauses so everyone can catch their collective breath from the laughter. Vermette jokes that it's the Neechi way (an informal way to say "our people" in Annishnabe).

Vermette takes a moment to talk about two brothers featured in the film who are taking part in the efforts because of their personal connection to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

"Kelvin and Kyle are hilarious. Through that observing of them, because we spent a day or two just observing them, I wish... it was hard to blend all these things that we wanted to in one film," said Vermette. "I am glad we included some of Kelvin's and Kyle's amazing humour because through all this crazy work they are doing. Really just like sweating in this heat wave and doing all this heart wrenching work. They're crazy funny." Smith said there's a moment in the film when Kyle refers to themselves as "Neechi CSI."

Vermette said it speaks to the Indigenous people's resiliency and beauty in the face of tragedy. 

Filming the movie proved challenging due to the heat wave that had set in during the shooting process of the documentary. Vermette, Smith and MacPherson spent six days on and by the Red River.

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