Director – France Benoit is a policy advisor turned filmmaker who decided to become a vegetable farmer in Yellowknife. After a feature documentary, she switched to short films and recently completed her first short fiction. She has lived in Yellowknife for 26 years. She has been directing films for more than a decade. Her film, “Un pied dans la main / Hand to Toe “ was selected for Hot Docs in 2011, the first filmmaker from the Northwest Territories to be selected. In 2008, with Les Productions Rivard of Winnipeg, Radio-Canada and RDI, France wrote and directed “One River, Two Shores, reflections on the Mackenzie Gas Project”. The documentary discusses the environmental spiritual and socio-economic consequences of the proposed natural gas pipeline which would largely follow the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories. The film was selected to the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois in Montréal in 2009. Also in 2009, for the TVA show “Viens voir ici”, France completed a 30 minute episode on local food production in Yellowknife. France continues to live self-sufficiently in the boreal forest outside of Yellowknife, pumping her water from the lake, heating her home from wood and drawing her energy from the sun.
Camera/Producer – Kelly Saxberg is a film producer, director, editor and cinematographer who has worked on over 80 films. She works in English, French, Spanish and Finnish. Most recently she completed Pulp Friction directed by Ron Harpelle, which she produced, shot and edited about globalization and the forestry communities Terrace Bay, Ontario, Kemijärvi, Finland and Fray Bentos, Uruguay. She was the director/editor of The Big Blue a feature length documentary about Canadian writer Charlie Wilkins’ 52 day, 5000 kilometer row across the Atlantic Ocean. Kelly was the writer/director/ editor of Under The Red Star a feature length historical docu-drama shot on super 16 mm film in Finnish and English about the Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay. She was producer, camera and editor for Hard Time, a 40 minute documentary that tells the story of Robert King, the only freed member of the Angola 3. “Life is But a Dream” was another short film she directed and edited for the International Documentary Challenge. It was the only Canadian finalist of 12 to play at Hot Docs in 2010. “Citoyens du Monde” is a 6 hour French and English language documentary series she wrote and directed for broadcaster TFO and Les Productions Rivard. Shot in 15 countries, the series tackles Canada and international development from the point of view of researchers and scientists in the developing world. “Seeking Bimaadiziiwin” was her debut as a fiction director on a 30 minute drama that looks at depression and suicide among First Nations youth. It won Best Short film at the American Indian Film festival and several other awards. “Letters from Karelia,” was Kelly’s first feature length documentary about Canadians who moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930’s. It was also nominated for a Gemini for best history documentary in 2006. It won two Blizzards – Best Documentary and Kelly won Best Directing at the 2006 Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Awards. She won Best Director at Northern Character Film Festival in Murmansk, Russia. Her other films include “Dorothea Mitchell: A Reel Pioneer”, “Voyageurs Legacy: Our Story / Le printemps des voyageurs: La Genèse,” The award winning “Banana Split,” and the NFB production “Rosies of the North.”
Editor – Gabriel Harpelle
Executive Producer/Sound – Ron Harpelle is a documentary film producer and director in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has worked as a producer, director and sound recordist. Among his directing credits are “Pulp Friction,” (2014) a film about globalization and the pulp industry in Finland, Uruguay and Canada, “Hard Time,” (2012) a film about Angola 3 member Robert King, “In Security,” (2010) a film about barbed wire, people and spaces, and of “Banana Split,” (2002) an award winning documentary film about Canada’s favourite fruit. As a producer his credits “Guardians of Eternity” (2015), “The Big Blue,” (2012) “Under the Red Star,” (2011) “Dorothea Mitchell: A Reel Pioneer,” (2006) “The Fatal Flower,” (2000). He recently completed “Engaging the World” (www.engagingtheworld.ca) an inter-active website and non-linear documentary film using the Korsakow system and he co-produced www.lakeheadfinns.ca, a comprehensive website about Finnish immigration and settlement in Canada. Harpelle also publishes books and articles to accompany some of his films.
ShebaFilms is a Canadian film, video and new media production company with a difference. Shebafilms is led by Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle. Filmmakers who specialize in documentaries with historical and social justice themes. ShebaFilms often works with academics to produce award-winning films that both educate and entertain. You can watch many of these films on the Shebafilms Vimeo channels.