Monday, February 25, 2013

Manitoban Debuts "New Nortwest Passage" Film

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Photo Supplied by Cameron Dueck

In the summer of 2009 Cameron Dueck and the rest of the crew of the Silent Sound completed a journey made by fewer people than have climbed Mt. Everest; they sailed through the infamous Northwest Passage. These waters are normally locked in ice, but due to climate change it is now possible to sail there for a few short weeks each summer.
We asked Dueck about the adventure. "It was four guys in a forty foot boat. We spent four months and four days at sea. We started out from Victoria British Columbia, sailed up through the Bering Straight, into the arctic seas, crossed over the top of continental Canada, and then came back down into the northern Atlantic, and ended up in Halifax four months and four days later. It's equivalent of sailing across the north Atlantic three times. It was about 8,000 nautical miles, and that's like sailing from Halifax to England three times."
Dueck screened his documentary to the public for the first time last week at the Manitoba Real to Reel film festival, and he says it was a nervous time for him.
"The Arctic is visually very powerful, and there's people who love to read, and when you write a book you can go in depth explaining a lot of the background and the socioeconomic factors, but really to tell the story of sailing a boat through the Northwest Passage, to show the images of what we saw and kind of conveying some of the thrill of that, I'd always sort of hoped to put a documentary together, and once I had the book written I sat down and started putting the film together," said Dueck when asked about why he felt the trip should be portrayed on film.

Dueck shares his thoughts about the film, and how it differs from the book.

"It seemed like people were enjoying it. That's the nerve racking thing about showing your film in public for the first time, because when people read your book they are at home probably, and your probably not sitting in front of them and your not watching their reaction, and later on they will tell you what they thought of it. If they are watching your film, and you're sitting there, you're listening to see if they laugh when you expect them to laugh and gasp when you expect them to gasp. They did, more or less, react the way I was hoping they would react. Obviously it went well, because we won the class in the Festival, we were very happy with that," said Dueck.
He adds there are a few different film festivals in Manitoba which they are hoping they will have the chance in entering. At the moment there are currently no other dates when the film will play in Manitoba. He's hopeful the film gets used in schools, and public libraries, and is working on that at the moment.
Dueck is in the midst of writing another book and making a film of his latest trip which was a motorcycle ride from Southern Manitoba to the tip of South America. The book and film will be about driving a motorcycle through the Americas to discover Mennonite culture. On the trip he had the opportunity to visit nineteen different countries.


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