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Becoming Labrador

Rohan Fernando, Tamara Segura, Justin Simms
2018 | 70 min

Selections and Awards

  • Official SelectionSt. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador (2019)


Q&A with the filmmakers

Trailer

Clip #1

Clip #2

Clip #3

Images

Photo credit: John Gaudi © 2018 NFB. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: John Gaudi © 2018 NFB. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Tamara Segura © 2018 NFB. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Andrew MacCormack © 2018 NFB. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Tamara Segura © 2018 NFB. All rights reserved.

Documentary Subjects


Epitacia Bruce
Documentary Subject
Biography
Photo
Photo : John Gaudi


Epitacia Bruce

Aunty Pitt was the very first Filipino migrant worker to come to Labrador, taking a teaching position at a school near Goose Bay in 1966. She knew nothing about Labrador before she arrived, but eventually fell in love with the land and its people. On several occasions over the years, Aunty Pitt left to teach elsewhere in Canada, and each time the call of Labrador brought her back to the place that has been her home for most of her adult life. She has nurtured generations of Labradorians in the classroom, and has been a role model and inspiration to the hundreds of Filipinos that have come to Goose Bay in recent years. Now retired, she spends her time nurturing a houseful of tropical plants in North West River and singing with her dog, JB.


Kukai Hunter
Documentary Subject
Biography
Photo
Photo : John Gaudi


Kukai Hunter

Kukai was born in Lagunas, Philippines, the daughter of a migrant-worker mother who was absent for much of her childhood. She went abroad as a Foreign Worker herself at the age of 15, taking jobs in Japan and Taiwan, before coming to Labrador in 2012. A year later she married Renatus Hunter, an Inuit from Hopedale, located on the Labrador coast. In 2014, she gave birth to a daughter, Kelaiah, whom they refer to as a “Fil-nuit”—Filipino-Inuit. Raising a child has challenged Kukai to reassess her relationship with her own mother, as well as her ideas of family and home.


Edeta Verzosa
Documentary Subject
Biography
Photo
Photo : John Gaudi


Edeta Verzosa

Edeta came to Goose Bay as the main bread winner for her mother and younger siblings. Growing up in a single-parent home where she experienced periods of desperate poverty, she was determined to escape those conditions and do all she could to look after her family. In addition to bringing her husband and son to Labrador, Edeta’s dream was to offer her mother a new life as a reward for her years of sacrifice, planning to send for her as soon as she had saved enough to cover the cost. But less than a year after her arrival in Canada, her mother and a younger brother died unexpectedly, a devastating loss that called into question her faith and her hopes for the future.


Rey Villanueva
Documentary Subject
Biography
Photo
Photo : John Gaudi


Rey Villanueva

Rey left a young family in the Philippines when he came to work in Goose Bay. He expected his wife and children to join him within 18 months, but he has spent almost four years waiting for the necessary paperwork. The indefinite separation has been profoundly difficult. During the few hours per week when he isn’t working at the airport coffee shop, he spends time with his family on Skype, most often watching his children as they sleep. In his Labrador apartment, Rey has filled the room that would be theirs with the toys, dolls, games and action figures he has collected as he waits for a permanent resident visa from the Canadian government.

Promotional Materials

Team


Rohan Fernando
Director and Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : NFB


Rohan Fernando

Rohan Fernando’s first documentary, Cecil’s Journey, won Best Film at the Atlantic International Film Festival and was nominated for a Gemini Award. His other feature documentaries include Trudeau’s Other Children, Blood and Water, and The Chocolate Farmer, which had its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and enjoyed a highly successful festival run worldwide. Snow marked Fernando’s feature drama debut. It premiered at Cinequest and opened the 2011 Reelworld Film Festival. Fernando was most recently the creative producer for the NFB’s Space School with Canadian superstar astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield and now serves as a producer for the Quebec and Atlantic Studio.


Tamara Segura
Director
Biography
Photo
Photo : Rohan Fernando


Tamara Segura

Tamara Segura graduated with honours in film directing from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba. Later she specialized in screenwriting at the International Film and Television School in San Antonio de los Baños, an acclaimed institution founded by Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez to help diversify the global cinematic landscape. Segura’s films have won awards in Spain, Costa Rica, Cuba, Canada, and Mexico.

Based in Newfoundland since 2012, Segura was awarded the 2013 RBC Michelle Jackson award for emerging female filmmakers. Her second Canadian short film, Song for Cuba, was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. In 2016, Segura was invited to be a panellist at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Higher Learning program as part of a discussion about diasporic Cuban cinema.


Justin Simms
Director
Biography
Photo
Photo : John Gaudi


Justin Simms

One of the most prolific and acclaimed filmmakers in Eastern Canada, Justin Simms is especially focused on sharing the Newfoundland experience with a wide range of audiences. In 2009, Simms wrote and directed his debut feature film, Down to the Dirt, starring Joel Thomas Hynes, Robert Joy, and Hugh Dillon (distributed by Mongrel Media). In 2013, he directed his second feature, Hold Fast, starring Molly Parker (distributed by eOne Entertainment). For the National Film Board of Canada, Simms has directed the award-winning docudrama Hard Light, based on the stories of bestselling author Michael Crummey, and Danny, a feature doc about Newfoundland’s irascible former premier, Danny Williams. The film was nominated for the Donald Brittain award at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards. 2016 will see the premiere of his third feature film, Away from Everywhere, starring Shawn Doyle and Jason Priestley (and recently selected for Telefilm’s Perspective Canada series at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival), as well as his sprawling six-episode anthology series, Sex in Cars.


Michael Crummey
Writer
Biography
Photo


Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey has published several books of poetry and fiction and has written for television and film. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize and the Winterset Award. His novel Galore won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), and it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Crummey’s novel Sweetland was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and the Winterset Award. His fiction has been published in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Poland, and Italy.

Crummey’s screenwriting work includes the NFB animated short 54 Hours and a feature-length doc for the CBC on the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, titled Newfoundland at Armageddon. Crummey’s latest book, Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems, was published by House of Anansi Press in the spring of 2016. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


Annette Clarke
Producer (NFB)
Biography
Photo
Photo : NFB


Annette Clarke

An accomplished producer committed to collaborating with artists to craft transformative stories,  Annette’s select producer credits include The Boxing Girls of Kabul (2011, IDFA and CSA for best documentary short), Hard Light (2012, FIFA Jury Award), Danny (2014, Hot Docs Big Ideas series), 54 Hours (2014, Yorkton Founder’s Award), Gun Runners (2015, Hot Docs), Theater of Life (2016, Berlin), Hand. Line. Cod. (2016, TIFF), Love, Scott (2018, Hot Docs, BFI Flare, Inside Out, One World) and Assholes, a theory (CPHDOX). In addition to Conviction, her current productions reflect on the human condition through the eyes of a twelve year old Yazidi boy arriving in Canada, and inside the lives of resilient women along the Brazilian Amazon. As executive producer for NFB’s Quebec Atlantic studio, Annette envisions a potent and ambitious slate of short form and feature documentaries, animation, and interactive story telling across a rich and large territory.

Credits

FEATURING
Epitacia Bruce
The Hunter Family
The Verzosa Family
The Villanueva Family

WRITTEN BY
Michael Crummey

DIRECTED BY
Rohan Fernando
Tamara Segura
Justin Simms

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Justin Simms

ANIMATION BY
Astroplastique

LEAD ANIMATOR
Fred Casia

ANIMATORS
Eva Cvijanovic
Hyun Jin Park
Elise Simard

EDITOR
Hannele Halm

SOUND DESIGN
Mélanie Gauthier

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Asif Illyas

PRODUCED BY
Annette Clarke
Rohan Fernando

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Alfred Asuncion
Jacob Barker
Rohan Fernando
John Gaudi

SOUND RECORDING
Jhomar Ignacio
Mark Neary
James Rillie

STILLS PHOTOGRAPHY
John Gaudi

PRODUCTION MANAGER
Tamara Segura

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
Mylène Augustin
Marilyn Kukai Hunter

PHILIPPINES FIXER
Alfred Asuncion

RESEARCHERS
John Gaudi
Navarana Igloliorte
Wanda Nolan

TRANSLATION
Jean Casia

TRANSCRIPTION
Lisa Clarke
Tamara Segura

VOICE PERFORMER
Ameurfina Casia

NARRATION RECORDING
Geoffrey Mitchell

FOLEY
Francis La Haye

FOLEY RECORDING
Luc Léger

ASSISTANT SOUND EDITOR
Sandy Pinteus

MUSIC PRODUCED AND PERFORMED BY
Asif & Shehab Illyas
at The SHIRE Film Scoring, Halifax, Canada
Filipino Kulintang gongs, Rhodes, Orchestration, guitars and keyboards – Asif Illyas
Programming, additional percussion – Shehab Illyas
Viola – Kirsty Money
Throat Singers – Echo Henoche, Althaya Solomon

“Wanted Dead or Alive Since ’75”
Written by Asif Illyas
Performed by The SHIRE & Ian Sherwood
© 2017Asifmusic (SOCAN)

“Love Lifted Me”
Written by James Rowe (1912, public domain)
Performed by Edeta Verzosa and the Northern Cross Community Church Worship Team

VISUAL ARCHIVES
Bird’s Eye Inc.
Michelle Baikie
NFB Archives

THANK YOU
Epitacia Bruce
Marilyn Kukai Hunter
Renatus Hunter
Kelaiah Hunter
Reynaldo Villanueva
Ruby Villanueva
Geremy Villanueva
Gabriel Villanueva
Grethel Villanueva
Edeta Verzosa
Leandro Verzosa
Abiel Verzosa
Ariusto Abuyen
Precious Ann
Eunice Ariate
Joey Ayade
Rowena Ayade
Jonathan Beers
Alban Bruce
Lisa Gepulla
Beatrice Hunter
Renata Hunter
Ofelia Caranoo Gonzales
Oliver Gonzales
Janice Goudie
Paula Kelly
Nathan and Maricel Macalagay
Andrew MacCormack
April Rose Manalang-Ferraren
Lea Marin
Xavionne Montemayor
Jon Montes
Erma Reinoso Nardon
Wanda Nolan
Erwin Ponce
Chinee Quimzon
Ricky Rodriquez
Jimmy Tabing
Irene & Wayne Thornhill and family
Baby Tinay de la Cruz
Jacqueline Zygmunt
Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Filipino Community of Goose Bay

 

PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
Roz Power

TECHNICAL COORDINATORS
Daniel Lord
Christopher MacIntosh

ASSISTANT EDITOR
John Feron

ONLINE EDITOR
Serge Verreault

TITLE DESIGN
Jacques Bertrand Simard

RE-RECORDING
Jean-Paul Vialard

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Cheryl Murgatroyd

STUDIO ADMINISTRATORS
Camila Blos
Leslie Anne Poyntz

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Kelly Davis

MARKETING MANAGER
Charles Pease

PUBLICIST
Patricia Dillon-Moore

LEGAL COUNSEL
Dominique Aubry

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Annette Clarke

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENGLISH PROGRAM
Michelle van Beusekom

 

 

© 2018 The National Film Board of Canada



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