Elian Mikkola of Regina among the winners in Sask. Independent cinema award


The Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards were held at an online event in Regina this weekend.

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The best in the province were recognized at the 8th Annual Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards (SIGA), which took place last weekend at a live online event in Regina.

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

Best short film


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

Torch Narrows – Saskatoon director Simon Garez’s drama 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).


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 (by 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 self-esteem.

The other nominees were: Dirty Laundry (directed by Florence Hwang); Needlework (done by Jillian Bader); Night terrors (directed by Bella Rosa Zubot Petrovitch); and, La Petite Maison (directed by Hayden Schutz).

Best performance

Bernadette mullen – The Weyburn product received the award for its 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 (The Ghosts of Yesterday).

Technical realization

Nathan Douglas – The Vancouver product won the award for its photography on Torch Narrows.

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

People’s Choice

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


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