November 2020 I had a meeting with Cinematographer Tamarra Lessard regarding my project The Inner Ring and during the meeting she described an upcoming project called, The Sash Maker. As she spoke about this special stage performance that she and Metis Dancer Rebecca Sadowski were going to bring to the screen I silently wished to be involved. Well, Tamarra answered my silent wish and granted it there on the spot: she was asking me to be her First Assistant Director. I accepted gleefully before she could explain more.
A collaboration of Métis and contemporary dance, Cree and English translated poetry, and traditional finger-weaving, The Sash Maker promotes the healing of long-standing cultural wounds. The work communicates a collective yearning for family, understanding, and peace. By reflecting on our past, together we can move forward as people woven from diverse strands and circumstances.- Rebecca Sadowski,
“The Sash Maker is an adaptation from stage to screen, and is still a work in progress. Thanks to Native Earth for the platform to share my work and thanks to all of my collaborators who have worked so hard to make this piece come alive in a brand new way."
We shot The Sash Maker the weekend after shooting The Inner Ring and it was disorienting to be on set two weekends in a row after months and months of pandemic isolation. Rebecca got access to an incredible location, The Edmonton Artifact and Restoration Centre, and it was the perfect setting for this story about lost culture and search for connection. Being First Assistant Director to Rebecca and Tamarra was a dream, I loved supporting their creative vision, and I am grateful for the opportunities they provided me. The set was collaborative and inspiring as Rebecca and Tamarra filled many of the crew roles with some of Edmonton’s best technicians as well as mentees to learn from and contribute to the success of the production.
List of credits for The Sash Maker:
Produced by Rebecca Sadowski & Tamarra Lessard with support from Native Earth Performing Arts, Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta, CANU Productions.
Co-directors Rebecca Sadowski & Tamarra Lessard
Choreography Rebecca Sadowski
Director of Photography Tamarra Lessard
Poetry Naomi McIlwraith
Editor Sarah Taylor Bao
Composer Dmitri Bandet
otapihkew Rebecca Sadowski
okâwîmâw Christine Frederick
ohkomimâw Naomi McIlwraith
First Assistant Director Sylvia Douglas
Key Grip Thaimu Turay
Grip LX Mentee Anish Sweeney
First Camera Assistant Bob L’Heureux
Training Assistant Director Maria Buffalo
Camera Mentee Elise Leske
Camera Mentee Amelie Lang-Muller
Behind the Scenes Photography Amanda Bladon
Craft Services Dan Sadowski & Hannah Devereux
DIT Greg deJong
Location Manager Heather Kerr
Native Earth Contact & Support Victoria Wang, Sue Balint
Special Thanks to Heather Kerr, Greg deJong, Sheldon Elter, Edmonton Artifacts & Restoration Centre, Good Women Dance Collective, Matthew MacKenzie.