A documentary that takes an intimate look at a First Nation community’s 200-kilometer horse-drawn wagon trip from their home in the Nemiah Valley to the Williams Lake Stampede made its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)
Award-winning filmmakers Trevor Mack and Asia Youngman’s new short documentary, In the Valley of Wild Horses, premiered Monday.
“I’m feeling great,” Mack said.
“I feel very honored that it’s playing at such a prestigious international film festival. Any chance there’s an opportunity to showcase the best of the Tsilhqot’in people to the world it’s always a great time, and that’s what I want to do with my filmmaking and try to strive for is showing the best of my people, the best of where I grew up, and how I grew up.”
In the Valley of Wild Horses was shot over the eight days of the wagon trip this year led by Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua. Monday’s world premiere that was attended by a community delegation from Xeni Gwet’in will be followed by a second screening Wednesday.
“I think it was important to make it into a documentary because first and foremost the more positive things that we try to showcase indigenous people doing is always a good thing especially in rural areas; there are positive ventures and activities that are trying to change the consciousness to be back to where it used to be before colonization,” Mack said.
“I think this wagon trip is one of those things-that reclamation if you will. For me, I grew up in Tl’etinqox (Anaham) and my mother always took me to Xeni Gwet’in when I was younger, and I was able to get a liking of the area and meet all of the locals.”
“Upon hearing it, when it started again in 2008 I instantly thought that it would be a great documentary and now getting the opportunity to do it with the right equipment, with the right crew, with the right people on the wagon trip, I think it was perfect timing and it came out to be a pretty amazing project.”
As for what’s next, Mack says he has currently started working on his first feature film that he will be shooting next summer at Tl’etinqox.
“I can’t really say what it’s about, but I think you’ll hear more soon,” Mack said.
“I’ve always dreamt about this and hoped I could be making movies for a living. For things to start to fall in place after a bumpy ride, I couldn’t ask for anything more especially when I get to showcase my people and where I came from on the big screen and hopefully show the world what it’s really like and who we really are.”