July 3, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - A Saint John filmmaker, Greg Hemmings, won first prize in this year's Commonwealth Vision Awards, presented recently at the Commonwealth Club in London.
"I am proud to see a New Brunswick production being rightfully acknowledged for its excellence on the international stage by a panel of industry experts," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. "We are pleased to have many young, talented filmmakers in New Brunswick, and I congratulate Greg on the realization of this project."
Hemmings's entry, Papikatuk, examines the effects of climate change and cultural transformation in a small community in the northeastern Quebec region known as Nunavik. It is narrated by a young Inuit boy named Papikatuk. Hemmings has been producing documentaries for more than 10 years in many parts of the world
"I have never been so proud to represent New Brunswick," Hemmings said. "I am honoured to share the story of our Inuit neighbours to the globe by way of the Vision Commonwealth Award. This recognition proves that the New Brunswick film industry has an international impact."
This year's prize was presented by Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Lord David Puttnam.
"This innovative award encourages talent across the Commonwealth, with themes that provoke and stimulate creative films, and to date, they have helped convey the Commonwealth message in an exciting and imaginative way," Puttnam said.
The awards, launched in 2001, are jointly organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. The awards are open to filmmakers under 35 across the 53 member states in the Commonwealth.
"Greg Hemmings's film is a poignant and beautiful account of how rapidly the world is changing, climatically and culturally, for communities around the world," said Danny Sriskandarajah, director of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
"Greg had stiff competition. This year's entries showcase the best of filmmaking around the Commonwealth, but they also highlight the inspiring ways that young people across the Commonwealth are addressing the many challenges that face them."
MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle Phillips, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.