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Screenwriting award for BU prof

Darrell Racine

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Darrell Racine (SUBMITTED)

A Brandon University professor has won a national screenwriting award for his original dramatic film script about efforts to stop a hydro-electric project.

Darrell Racine, chair of the university's native studies department, captured the 2013 Praxis Feature Film Screenplay Competition, which is awarded annually to Canadian writers.

Racine’s story, Crow Nest, was one of eight selected by a jury of industry professionals. He is currently refining the script with American screenwriter Michael Miner, who wrote the 1987 sci-fi movie RoboCop.

"I learned to tell stories from my father, who was a trapper and hunter," says Racine, a Metis from the Turtle Mountains in southwestern Manitoba. "I have attempted to transfer the narrative structures from his stories into my writing."

Crow Nest chronicles a teenage Aboriginal girl returning to her northern reserve after the death of her father, where she takes up his fight to stop a hydro-electric development that threatens to flood their traditional lands. The screenplay employs Metis and Aboriginal storytelling styles.

"Narrative serves as a fundamental approach to the translation of knowledge, experience and understanding between generations and peoples, says Gervan Fearon, a BU vice-president. "At Brandon University, we help to tell the important stories and Darrell Racine’s work reflects this mission. We are all richer from these expressions."

Racine has also co-written the plays Misty Lake and Stretching Hide with University colleague Dale Lakevold, and recently began teaching an Aboriginal screenwriting course at BU.

Praxis winners have the opportunity to work with a range of writing advisers, from Hollywood screenwriters and directors to independent Canadian filmmakers including Atom Egoyan and Don McKellar. More than 30 Praxis scripts have been made into moves.

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