Shane Snook, a former student at MUN, has brought his roots to the big screen. His short animated film The Story of Two Wolves played at the fifteenth annual ImagineNative film festival in Toronto that ran from October 22-26.

The mandate of the festival is to provide Indigenous filmmakers, media artists, and curators with professional development opportunities and to disseminate and export Indigenous works.

Snook’s tale, The Story of Two Wolves, is an old one.

The original story is about a grandfather speaking to his grandson about looking at the positives in life. Snook took the approach of focusing on that grandson grown up and telling the same story to his daughter.

“It’s one that’s been around the aboriginal scene for some time now. The take I’ve taken on is a bit more of updated one,” said Snook.

Snook made the short animated film entirely on his own; however, he did have his six-year-old daughter help out with the voice acting.

“It was really fun,” said Snook who coached her through lines and had her actually act out certain scenes to get the right sound bites.

Snook says that it was a very challenging experience for himself as well, as this was his first time animating and learning to use the software for doing so. He started the project back in the Spring.

Snook has always had an interest in teaching. Before moving on to other career paths Snook studied physics here at MUN with the intention of becoming an engaging teacher for youth. He is considering making a series of short films based on the seven sacred teachings in the future.

“Filmmaking or animating seems like a really good way to help bridge the gap between old and new and help bring the important lessons that have been skipped over to the newer generations. That’s why I tried to go for an updated look and feel to the story,” said Snook.

Snook notes that in a changing world it is especially important to retain indigenous stories and teachings.

“Traditionally it was always through an oral history. But times have changed. Oral history doesn’t always cut it anymore, I suppose. Now that we have the power of technology at our fingertips it’s just as well we use it. And especially if we want to get the youth involved… If something isn’t in the right media then they might not even give it a second glance,” said Snook.

“So I think it’s important for us to stay true to our roots, but to update.”

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