BRANTFORD — On Wednesday, January 15, the screening of “Her Water Drum” in partnership with Wilfred Laurier University and the Friends & Neighbours of Save the Evidence, took place at the Wilfred Laurier University Campus.
Over 200 visitors packed into the auditorium to see the 15 minutes short film and experience the Q&A with filmmaker Jon Elliott shortly thereafter. The emotionality of the topic was something that was warranted as the
“Went to see Her Water Drum at Laurier tonight. The first 2 min had me wanting to leave the room I got so emotional. It’s a 15min short film directed by Jon Elliott – see it if you get the chance,” posted Nicole Bouchard on Facebook on January 15.
And there has never been a better time for indigenous people to tell their own stories which is a sentiment that Tuscarora filmmaker Jonathan Elliott understood well when he ventured to capture a film he titled Her Water Drum.
The film deals with the topic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, highlighting the impact that it has on individual families and their communities, something Elliott strove for.
“Using film, as not only an educational tool but as something to tell stories through is so important,” said Elliott, as he began to explain the topic of his film.
“It’s pretty hard to avoid the topic off Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and it is something that has been on my mind for a while because there’s so much stuff that you see in travelling around.”
As Sonia Bonspille-Boileau told the RDC in 2018: “Storytelling is an important way of keeping the culture alive. There have been oral storytelling in Indigenous cultures for centuries, so it’s in the very fabric of our identity. But I feel like film is the ultimate storytelling vehicle, it encompasses all forms of transmission (visual, oral) making it a pretty powerful way to share culture and express different points of view.” And with the response from viewers, Elliott’s words of thanks were well deserved.
“I couldn’t be happier with how the screening of Her Water Drum put on by the Woodland Cultural Centre and Friends & Neighbours of Save The Evidence last night in Brantford,” wrote Elliott to Facebook.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of community support from Six Nations, Brantford and Hamilton we received as we had a packed house of nearly 250 people in attendance.”
“There was a very thorough Q+A afterward and it was amazing to see people’s responses and connection to the piece as a film but also an extension to the important conversations about the issue of MMIWG. It means so much to me that this support was there and people really connected to the project and learned from it.
Can’t give enough thanks to the organizers Layla Black and Carley Gallant-Jenkins for inviting us out and to the amazing cast and crew who brought the film to life. I was so happy to have Nadia George and Michael Riley there to receive the deserved praise from the audience and be able to talk about the film as well,” finished Elliott to Facebook after the screening.
Elliott told audiences to “stay tuned” for further screenings of the film close to home in Six Nations and Brantford.