Still from the documentary Koneline

Smithers drilling company stars in Koneline

Documentary on Tahltan territory screening in Smithers and Hazelton starting this weekend.

A documentary shot in the Tahltan Nation that features a local Smithers drilling company is playing at the Roi Theatre this weekend.

According to its director, Koneline is not a traditional documentary.

“We tried to create something that would break through all the noise which is happening right now around the huge debate about resource development,” said Nettie Wild. “And try to come up with something, that no matter who you were, whether you were a diamond driller or someone who protested against them, that you would still come and see the movie and wouldn’t be scared off.”

She said the objective was to find the poetry in every single person in front of the lens, try to find the relationship that person has to the land.

“The whole idea was to bring a curious lens, not a judgmental heart to the people being filmed.”

It took 250 hours of film to make, and four years with a concentration of shooting over one year to get all the seasons. The film crew follows a couple of different people but the central character isn’t a person, rather it is a landscape.

“On a basic human life, I’ve become overwhelmed with information and I’m tired of movies that tell you what to think. So I thought if I’m tired of this, our audiences might be too. Maybe I can bring something different, and that something different is art,” Wild said.

Wild said getting all the access she wanted wasn’t easy because the debate around resource development is so polarized, but she made inroads with the some Tahltan people and one drilling company.

Owner of Hy-Tech Drilling, Harvey Tremblay, said he allowed Wild to film his diamond drillers to teach more people about mining.

He said it is a little-understood industry and they need to make it more transparent.

“I feel good about the work we do,” he said. “We do a good job and we should be able to stand up to the scrutiny.”

Tremblay added he has seen the documentary and is glad he participated in it.

The film will play at 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 and 13 at the Rio Theatre.

It will be shown in various theatres across the country, but Wild said she is a “good kind of nervous” about it playing in Smithers and is looking forward to seeing how this film will resonate with residents.

“This is the heart of mining industry and full of people who are fighting for the environment and right in the heart of First Nations territories. It is playing for a very knowing audience,” she said.

The film will also play on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Hazelton at the Tri-town Theatre.

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