Weyburn student wins as ‘Best of Saskatchewan’ at film festival

Morgan Jones, graduate of the University of Regina Film Production program and current Weyburn resident, received the honour of Best of Saskatchewan at the Living Skies Student Film Festival in Regina on March 7.

Her film, For All We Know, was one of 41 films selected out of over 1,100 films that were submitted. The film, created for her Directing Experimental Film course in her final semester, combines digital scans of tattered 1920s grammar book with footage taken of the Saskatchewan landscape.

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The song “For All We Know” by Hal Kemp and His Orchestra was handwritten on the inside cover, and the song guides the film along, broken up by readings out of the grammar book.

“It was really exciting to win this award for this particular film,” Jones said. “In my second year of university, I won the Viewer’s Choice award for my first experimental film, Home Sewn, so it really felt like my work had come full circle in a way.”

Several of Jones’ films involve some sort of animation that is edited to match the old-fashioned songs in the films.

 “I find it really wonderful to be able to put so much Saskatchewan into my works,” Jones says. The landscape footage was filmed outside of Weyburn and on a trip with the Southern Prairie Railway in Ogema.

Two of Morgan’s other films, Home Sewn and Bright Idea were screened at the T. C. Douglas Center in 2018, and both films relied heavily on local talent and stories. Jones said that it’s important to her that the films have a connection to the prairies and the places in Saskatchewan because the province tends to be underrepresented in the film industry.

“I’ve had a lot of people say that they really appreciate the sense of voice in my films, and I think that’s exactly what Saskatchewan has: a voice.”

Home Sewnhas screened at several different festivals, including the, UWpg Film Fest (Best Overall Winner, 2017), Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards (Best Student Film Nominee, 2017) the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, as well as being featured on CBC Arts’ Exhibitionists television program.

“If you’ve never participated in a film event in Saskatchewan, I highly recommend it. Our community is small but mighty, and everyone is so welcoming,” Jones said. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Yorkton Film Festival this spring, as well as the Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards that occur every fall.