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Arthritis Awareness

September is Arthritis Awareness Month and this fall the Arthritis Society will offer free education [ ... ]

PEI Artist Grants open September 26

The fall round of PEI Artist Grants opens applications on September 26 at noon and closes October 24 [ ... ]

Island Imagemakers
by Dave Stewart

Mille ClarkesMille (pronounced Mill-ah) Clarkes helps other filmmakers get their projects done. And if there’s a film festival or screening happening on PEI, it’s generally a safe bet to assume that Mille is involved. She’s a smart, thoughtful person who’s deeply interested in telling stories. Here’s part of her’s:

Dave: What lead you to filmmaking?

Mille: Happenstance and serendipity. A confluence of forces. One day I made a super-8 experimental film, and ten years later I call myself a filmmaker.

Dave: And what lead you to PEI?

Mille: Being only 11, I had no choice but to follow my father when he moved here. The streets of Toronto are mean to a pre-teen.

Dave: What attracts you to documentary filmmaking?

Mille: I was thinking about that the other day. It’s amazing how many forces work upon your life and only looking back can you see how they accumulated to shape your world. When I was a teenager I worried about my tendencies to be an “observer.” At the time this seemed like a shortcoming; being an “observer” meant I wasn’t an “act-er.” Now it’s that very same passion for observing that informs my practice. I was also a great lover of “other people’s worlds.” As a child I used to stay with friends and their families for days on end, absorbing their familial culture, smelling their smells, feeling their rhythms… I always loved entering in and out of worlds. I think these two factors (and a million more) have drawn me to documentary as a form of expression.

Dave: How would you describe your filmmaking style?

Mille: Organic. Filmmaking is a difficult medium, there are so many elements that go into each moment on screen that unless you have a million dollars and a highly professional crew willing to work for your vision, it can be a challenge to convey what is exactly in your head. Since I’m working independently and with modest budgets, I try to pare things down to the basics. There is a great communicative strength in attempting to convey something within the limitations you are given. I think meaning comes from the tension between elements. Many of the amazing new technological tools at our disposal today actually detract, rather than add to a filmic expression. Some of the best moments on film come from what is left out, what is suggested rather than revealed.

Dave: Which of your projects should people see to get a sense of you as a filmmaker?

Mille: Stalking Love was my first major work. It is a documentary about love and it will always be my quintessential film (See it at Ed). Also short experimental works like If My Silence and Crows and Branches (playing at this year’s Atlantic Film Festival—Ed).

Dave: What’s next for you?

Mille: I’m deep into the production of a new feature documentary and web series entitled The Telling. It is a portrait of a place and its people. That place is Prince Edward Island. It should be out in Spring 2011. Being a filmmaker on PEI at this juncture is a good thing indeed. Our media arts community is strong and strikingly prolific. I feel like there is a critical mass… amassing; I’m happy to be a part of it.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

The Thank You Canada Tour

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan and more in Summerside November 15
Credit Union Place Canada [ ... ]

ACT to present Rainbow Valley—An Island ...

November 8–10 & 15–17
The Guild ACT (a community theatre) has announced a family musical, Ra [ ... ]

George Canyon tour comes to S’side

November 3
Harbourfront Theatre Canadian country star George Canyon is taking his new album, Southsi [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]