Barefoot hits the film fest circuit

Published in Windspeaker | September 27, 2012 | Circulation: 145,000

Barefoot filmmaker Danis Goulet in Toronto. Photo by David P. Ball

A touching intergenerational moment becomes bittersweet in Danis Goulet’s new film, Barefoot. Sixteen-year-old Alyssa’s kookum [grandmother] celebrates her granddaughter’s pregnancy, offering her a beaded baby carrier.

In La Ronge–the northern Saskatchewan reserve where the award-winning filmmaker and former ImagiNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival executive director grew up–so many young teenagers are having babies that Alyssa (played by Emily Roberts) just desperately wants to fit in with her peers (Cole Ballantyne and Kassie Svendsen).

When Goulet–who currently works with the Ontario Arts Counci –premiered her short film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 12, her hope was to add nuance to the simplistic stigma around teenage pregnancy, but also to honour and explore how youth gain control over oppressive circumstances on-reserve.

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