Yellowknife musician, writer and now filmmaker Miranda Currie’s 10-minute documentary Tails on Ice was featured in last week’s 2021 Cannes Short Film Festival.
Currie applied for her film to be featured back in May on an app called Film Freeway. She was scrolling though the app, noticed the festival and remembered her sister always saying, “You miss 100 per cent of the opportunities you don’t take.”
Three months after she applied, “I honestly forgot about it,” Currie admitted.
Then one morning in July, she woke up to an email that her film was going to be featured.
“I was like yeah, OK, that’s cool,” she said. “I’m obviously thrilled. It’s pretty awesome. I didn’t expect it.”
Tails on Ice is Currie’s first ever film released to the public.
The project was made possible with support from the National Screen Institute’s IndigiDocs training program. She thought this program would be a great way to help her gain the skills to learn how to make a quality film.
Currie applied in August 2019 but didn’t hear back until four months later. For two weeks in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she travelled to Winnipeg to participate in the two-week IndigiDocs program boot camp. Out of four people, Currie’s concept was chosen to receive $26,000 to proceed to the filming stage.
Then she dove right into creating a film during a virus fraught 2020.
Out on Yellowknife Bay, “We started filming in a pandemic right at the beginning of COVID-19, which was crazy,” she recalled.
Her location was right outside her backyard, and she filmed out on the lake for three days with three sled dogs.
“They say don’t film children or animals and they are probably right.” Currie quipped. “It was probably easier because they’re my dogs… I spend a lot of time with them. They’re used to me. They know their commands.”
Currie said to make and finalize the documentary took her and a team about a year.
Even though it is a 10-minute film, “it was really difficult piece to make,” she said. “The filming was probably the easiest part… It was really difficult to sit in-person with people during COVID-19 and you couldn’t really travel.
“So that was just a really difficult part about making the film, but we persevered and I’m just really stoked that my perseverance was able to make a film that was worthy of such a selection as well.”
Having her film screened during such a high-profile event in France can help build her reputation, she said.
“I think the most significant thing about having my film in the official collective of the Cannes Short Film Festivals, is that it lends me some credibility as a filmmaker,” she said. “For me, that’s a really important stepping stone in my career as a filmmaker.”
Currie’s future goals include the creation of a Northern Indigenous children’s television show.
“That’s one of the reason’s why I wanted to gain the experience in filmmaking so that going into a television series, I have some experience behind me,” she said.
Even though the 2021 Cannes Short Film Festival is over, “I’m keeping my figures crossed that it [Tails on Ice] might be a selection at the Yellowknife Film Festival as well.” That event runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 7.