Burnaby filmmaker earns grant to explore Indigenous hip hop in Canada

A Burnaby resident has earned a $20,000 STORYHIVE grant in its first-ever Indigenous Storyteller Edition.

Diana Hellson is one of 30 grant recipients chosen from more than 150 applicants in Alberta and B.C. Along with money to produce a short film, she’ll also get support, mentorship and training.

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Hellson’s film, The Foundation: Indigenous Hip Hop in Canada, will look at the connections between Indigenous and hip hop cultures and explore the Indigenous hip hop scene in Canada. The documentary will feature Interviews with Ostwelve, Drezus, Kinnie Star, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, T-Rhyme and more, as well as narration and lessons by JB The First Lady.

A press release from TELUS STORYHIVE notes that this marks the first time an all-Indigenous jury has chosen grant recipients from all-Indigenous-led projects. Submissions include a wide range of styles and subjects – comedy, animation, web series, documentary – and were required to be between three and 10 minutes in length.

“Today’s announcement of a $600,000 investment in the careers of Indigenous creators marks the beginning of a commitment to help drive real social change in the screen-based production industry in Western Canada,” says a press announcement.

Hellson is also a hip hop artist herself, performing as MamaRudeGyal. Find out more about her at @MamaRudeGyal on Facebook.

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