filmmaker statement

This funky film began in 2011 at a family reunion around a pool party with an audio recorder in one hand and a hamburger in the other. It ended years later with my fingers placing frozen corn kernels around an illustration of my Mémère, drawn by Diana Thorneycroft, ready for Rhayne Vermette to photograph with the Oxberry camera.

With the absolute and continued support of the Manitoba Arts Council since 2011, I was afforded the immense privilege to explore and develop new (to me) forms of visual storytelling, and the pleasure to do so with outstanding Manitoban artists: Freya Olafson, Brian Rougeau, Diana Thorneycroft, Peter Graham, Rhayne Vermette, Stephanein Boulet, Dany Joyal and many others.

The support of the Canada Council for The Arts as well as the Winnipeg Arts Council is keenly appreciated, and was essential in the making of this film. This film employed 30 Manitobans and enticed 28 volunteers to assist us.

To my family of aunts and uncles, cousins, cousins’ kids, my own kids and their friends, who all pitched in to tell their story, or help to tell it by taking on the role of trucker or waitress, or props assistant – merci! Finally, a very warm thank you to my mom, Rachel DeGagné, whose non-fiction short story “Epitaph For El Toro”, inspired the making of this smorgasbord.


Danielle Sturk