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LOUIS VUITTON JOURNEYS AWARD

As I continue the editing journey on my documentary “She Has a Name: Highway of Tears”, I find myself watching many short films and documentaries by other filmmakers around the world. I love watching what other artists are creating and discover new cultures through art, whether it be painting, music or film. What I love about silent films, is that the written word is not needed. We all see images that the filmmakers have chosen for us and for the most part, those images affect us, whether it be in a positive light, or a negative one.

Matt Smiley with Louis Wilson (Ramona Wilson's brother)
Matt Smiley with Louis Wilson (Ramona Wilson’s brother) on Highway 16 in Smithers for the Annual Ramona Wilson walk.

This film, “Closer to me” by Singapore filmmaker, Pang Yoong Hui was beautiful to watch. It felt like a dream and we all know that sometimes dreams cannot be explained. As I spent a greater part of my day watching footage of families speaking about their loved ones going missing or being murdered, I felt this short film captured the essence of their emotions.

We’ve all lost someone in our lives that we’ve been close to. It’s part of life. From what I can remember, in those first moments of discovery, time seems to almost come to a halt. It is an unexplainable feeling, a form a adrenalin that kicks in before a wave of emotion hits us.

For this reason, I thought it would be nice to share Pang Yoong Hui’s film “Closer to me” with you. I find it wonderful that LVMH and Louis Vuitton go to great lengths to support artists in all fields. They are one of the biggest patrons in the world of arts. I’m looking forward to seeing which talented filmmakers win the Journeys Award in 38 days.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Matt

CLOSER TO ME
Directed by: Pang Yoong Hui (Singapore) “Louis Vuitton: Journeys Award”

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Acts of Violence

In late April, I made a commitment to myself and a few close friends that I would produce a documentary about the missing and murdered women in northern British Columbia. We started shooting in May and the stories of loss and sorrow began to pour in. I felt like a sponge on certain days. A sponge soaking up all the hardship the families and communities have had to endure following the loss and disappearance of their loved ones. Oftentimes, I found myself wondering how it could be possible to inflict such heinous acts of violence upon another human being?

Now, we find ourselves in another moment in history where communities worldwide are coming together to morn the loss of the victims in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire on a innocent group of moviegoers, eager to see “The Dark Knight Rises”. The scary thought is that any one of us could have been in that movie theater.

In my quest to uncover a mystery behind the missing and murdered women in northern Canada, I discovered that there is not one single person to blame. We are all sometimes guilty of not paying enough attention to the early signs of violence within our communities, no matter where we find ourselves in the world.

My heart goes out to the people affected by the shooting last night. It saddens me to think that someone could inflict such pain on people. I feel a great respect and honor was displayed to the victims when the filmmakers of “The Dark Knight Rises” canceled their Paris premiere following the news reports of the shooting. It shows the world that we cannot turn a blind eye from tragedies, no matter what part of the world we live in. We are all interconnected.

"In my Life" John Lennon
“In my Life” lyrics by John Lennon
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Prince George Citizen article: “Filmmaker Focuses on the Highway of Tears”

Dear Friends,

Please find this article “Filmmaker Focuses on the Highway of Tears” written by Mark Nielsen of the Prince George Citizen about our project “She Has a Name”. While the headline reads Highway of Tears, the film will deal with some larger issues we discovered during our travels. Personally, I find it difficult to include the missing and murdered women into one specific group. Each young woman is an individual that was loved by their families and friends. Each were special to those they knew in their short lifetime. I sincerely hope our team achieves its goal in building awareness on the subject and that we can sustain the interest over a long period to ensure we never stop searching for the victims, not to mention, catch the person(s) responsible for these heartless acts. And in the case of those young women still missing, our hearts go out to their families in hopes their find their loves ones.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Matt

 

Dreamcatcher in the woods with Matt Smiley
Dreamcatcher in the woods with Matt Smiley

 

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Art Show & Rituals: Foster the People

Hello Folks!

I’m getting excited to head to Toronto next week for my art show. All my pieces have been packaged and are ready to be shipped out.

It was nice to see a rough assembly of the Foster the People shoot. There’s some amazing footage that fans will love.

Tomorrow is around the clock meetings for my film. Everything is coming together.

Don’t party too hard tonight.

Best,

 

Matt