Documentaries focusing on keeping stories alive

A Kamloops filmmaker has secured a $20,000 grant to produce a documentary on musician and at-risk youth worker K.A.S.P.

Two Kamloops filmmakers have received grants of $20,000 each to create documentary films with a local focus.

The grants are provided by TELUS as part of its Storyhive program, which funds film projects in communities across B.C. and Alberta.

As part of the program's most recent edition, documenting local heroes, Kamloops filmmakers Cjay Boisclair and Bev Sellars have received $20,000 each.

Sellars' project, called The Swimmers, will examine the relationship between the salmon and various Indigenous groups and communities.

Boisclair's project will focus on Paul "Rob" Sawan, who goes by his moniker K.A.S.P., which stands for Keeping Stories Alive in People.

That's something Boisclair has set out to do, as well, hoping to tell the tale of how Sawan went from a rough East Vancouver upbringing to helping at-risk youth get back on the right track.

"A lot of it has to do with our pasts. We have very similar pasts. I was homeless as a youth and went down the wrong road, myself," Boisclair said.

Boisclair's similar path during her teen years also led to work with those at-risk once she entered adulthood.

"We have that same passion for seeing people turn their lives around, and that's really what's driving me to bond with the story," she said.

Boisclair has until July 14 to complete the documentary and Telus plans on airing documentaries produced under the Storyhive program some time in August.

With a relatively low $23,000 budget, which includes $3,000 from Creative BC, Boisclair has her work cut out for her, especially during a pandemic.

"It will be tricky, but we'll follow all of the protocols that Bonnie Henry has brought in," she said.

Boisclair also made some smart choices when it comes to staffing the production, bringing on her husband, who also works in the entertainment industry, as producer and cinematographer, and her son, who will also aid in camera work and sound.

"Just the three of us, when we need to travel, can share a hotel room and won't have to worry about cross-contamination," she said.

K.A.S.P, The Road To H.O.P.E. and other films will be available online via YouTube and on Telus' Optik service.

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