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World premiere for Edmonton filmmakers Kurt Spenrath and Frederick Kroetsch’s Open Sky Pictures/NFB short doc Snow Warrior at 32nd Edmonton International Film Festival. Snow Warrior joins NFB shorts by Slave Lake-born filmmaker Jay Cardinal Villeneuve and Oscar winner Torill Kove.


August 28, 2018 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada

Ready for another Edmonton winter? Kurt Spenrath and Frederick Kroetsch are helping Edmontonians get in the spirit as the short doc Snow Warrior (Open Sky Pictures/NFB) makes its world premiere at the 32nd Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF), talking place September 27 through October 6.

Snow Warrior is part of a National Film Board of Canada short film selection that also includes another title with Alberta ties— Slave Lake-born artist Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s award-winning Holy Angels, a powerful, impressionistic look at the more than 150,000 Indigenous children who were removed from their families and sent to residential school.

Also featured at EIFF is Threads (Mikrofilm AS/NFB), the latest from Montreal-based animator Torill Kove, director of the Academy Award-winning The Danish Poet (2006).

Snow Warrior (8 min.), World premiere

Written by Kurt Spenrath and directed by Frederick Kroetsch and Kurt Spenrath, Snow Warrior is a love letter to winter, revelling in the embrace of the ghostly white shroud that defines the character of the people of the North. In the midst of an Edmonton deep-freeze, a bike courier challenges herself to prove her mettle as she navigates the beautiful, yet dangerous, ice-covered landscape. We follow Mariah through a typical midwinter day as she dives into her work, racing through snow and traffic to reach her clients across the city. Returning home in the dark, she still loves her job.

Snow Warrior is produced by Frederick Kroetsch (Open Sky Pictures) and Bonnie Thompson (NFB), and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio in Edmonton.

Open Sky Pictures is an Edmonton production company co-founded by Frederick Kroetsch, a reporter, camera operator, host, director and producer of Alberta TV for the past 18 years, and Kurt Spenrath, a writer, director, story editor, consultant and performer.

Holy Angels (14 min.), Alberta premiere

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s Holy Angels powerfully recaptures Canada’s colonialist history through impressionistic images and the fragmented language of a child. In 1963, Lena Wandering Spirit was one of the more than 150,000 Indigenous children who were removed from their families and sent to residential school. Villeneuve met Lena through his work as a videographer with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and brings her recollections to vivid life through the performance of five-year-old Phoenix Alec.

Holy Angels has garnered three awards to date, including the Founder’s Award and Indigenous Award at the Yorkton Film Festival. The film is produced by Selwyn Jacob, with Shirley Vercruysse as executive producer for the NFB’s B.C. and Yukon Studio in Vancouver.

Threads (8 min.), Alberta premiere

Torill Kove’s latest Mikrofilm AS/NFB co-production Threads explores the beauty and complexity of parental love and the bonds that we form. A film without words, Threads speaks volumes about the attachments we crave and sometimes grieve as we evolve in ways that can leave us feeling lonely or left behind—in a work that features Kove’s signature style of minimalistic characters and simple line drawings.

Named one of Canada’s top ten films of the year by TIFF, Threads is the fourth NFB-co-produced animated short for Kove, winner of the Academy Award for The Danish Poet (2006) and an Oscar nominee for My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts (1999) and Me and My Moulton (2014). Threads is produced by Lise Fearnley and Tonje Skar Reiersen for Mikrofilm AS and Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English Animation Studio.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Holy angels | Threads

Associated Links

Open Sky Pictures
Edmonton International Film Festival
Mikrofilm AS

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.