The Yorkton Film Festival held something of an unofficial kick-off on May 23 with a screening of the film Rigger.
“Our festival has always focused on celebrating and recognizing local talent, so it’s always a pleasure when we’re able to showcase some of the work that is happening here within Saskatchewan,” said YFF Executive Director Randy Goulden in a release announcing the screening. “The pre-festival screening, for the last few years, has always focused on highlighting these local productions, so it’s become something of a Saskatchewan Showcase and an unofficial kick-off for festival week.”
This year’s pre-festival screening marked a new partnership between YFF and Pattison Agriculture; as the screening took place at the educational theatre located within Pattison Agriculture.
Rigger is a documentary that tells the story of Guy Ouellette, the filmmaker’s brother, who fell to his death in a service rig accident ten days before Christmas in 2009. The film is a journey through grief as she remembers her brother through his family and friends.
For more than seven years, Dianne Ouellette has been working on a personal POV feature-length documentary that will tell his story.
Guy Ouellette was a rigger, he worked on a rig drilling for oil. On a December day in 2009, with the wind pushing the temperature below minus-40 the rig he was working on collapsed and Ouellette fell to his death. He left a wife, a son, a daughter, others in his family and a list of friends to deal with the loss, a process his sister captures in her film.
Diane Ouellette said it was a film that took her some thought to pursue initially questioning “was it worth it,” to pursue wondering “who would care,” admitting her brother “wasn’t a celebrity or a superstar.”
The filmmaker also noted “in the beginning I was very angry” following her brother’s death, but over time the film evolved to be more about the man that died than the anger she felt.
In the film it was noted Guy’s death “was one of those situations you can’t change,” and that in the end it was a “senseless and avoidable accident.”
And that is the underlying message of the film, that workers have “the right to refuse work if it’s dangerous. Your job is not worth your life.”
Ouellette, who is a former Melville, SK. resident is an Independent Métis film/video-maker who holds both a BFA in Film and Video and a BA in Theatre from the University of Regina, detailed her online bio. She is presently pursuing her MFA in Media Production while working full time at the University of Regina, and has completed a diversity of film and video projects over many years. She has worked in a variety of positions in the film industry as a producer, writer, director, cinematographer, videographer, photographer, narrator and editor.
Ouellette has been making films and videos for over 20 years. She has completed many short experimental, dramatic, and documentary films.
Ouellette has won numerous awards for her work, such as a Golden Sheaf Award for Best of Saskatchewan at the Yorkton International Short Film Festival 2000 for her short 35mm film Daisy, and Best Experimental Film in 2006 for her short 16mm film Ashes.