Press quotes about the movie

We were thrilled to pack the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the world premiere of Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes! Here’s what some of the press had to say about the movie…

“Long Goodbyes was charming, funny & oozed a loving warmth. Would definitely see again!”
Emily Claire Afan, Writer / Contributor, Village Gamer and Orange Paperclip

“Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes is a family friendly film that uses a creative and enhanced form of stop motion animation to tell the story of two kids whose father has accepted a political position that will mean relocating to the big city – and their ever more complicated attempts to prolong and pospone their farewells. While it has all of the hallmarks of the kind of well meaning children’s TV programming that the characters and storyline originally come from, including a ‘good citizen’ message, the clever script also features a few jokes just for the parents. The animation is seamless and slickly produced, with elaborately constructed sets.”
Anya Wassenberg, Writer / Reviewer, Arts & Culture Blog

“Wapos Bay has enjoyed six seasons of broadcast as an animated series. It has been a very positive experience for young aboriginal people to have themselves represented in television, as one audience member stated in the Q&A following the [world premiere at imagineNATIVE]. A child being able to self-identify with characters in the media is very important in identitying development and helps reaffirm self-worth. Many parents expressed their gratitude to the creators, cast and crew of the series.”
Tyler Hagan, Arts Correspondent, CBC

Wapos Bay Q&A at ImagineNATIVE 2011

Check out the video from ImagineNATIVE 2011, including the intros & welcome and Q & A from the Closing Night Gala, and interviews with Andrea Menard, and Dennis, Melanie & Eric Jackson!

And check out the official trailer!

Sneak Peek: Long Goodbyes

Here are a couple photos from Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes. Make sure you catch the one time free livestream this Sunday – click here for more details!

Is sky diving on your bucket list?

And check out this Canada AM clip from today when producers Dennis and Melanie Jackson visited the studio to talk with Beverly Thomson and Seamus O’Regan about the end of Wapos Bay. Click here to watch!

Lorne Cardinal & Dennis Jackson

Beverly Thomson, Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson & Seamus O’Regan

Long Goodbyes Premiere & Livestream

The World Premiere & Stream

Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes, based on the Gemini award-winning TV series, will have its world premiere at the prestigious imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto at its Closing Night Gala presented by Global Toronto. A co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, the movie was selected for the closing night of the Festival’s 12th edition.

If you will be in the area or are interested in attending…
Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7:00pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W)

Tickets for the world premiere / imagineNATIVE are available in-person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox or Phoenix Concert Theatre, by calling the TIFF Box Office at 416-599-8433, or online at www.imaginenative.org.

Fans from around the world will also have the opportunity to be part of the premiere via the Closing Night Technical Partner IsumaTV and a free live streaming at www.isuma.tv/nfb. Creator / producers Dennis & Melanie Jackson, actors Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil, Moccasin Flats) and Eric Jackson will be available for the Q & A following the screening, moderated by imagineNATIVE executive director Jason Ryle who will be taking questions from the floor and via Skype for the online viewers.

“It is humbling to have our Wapos Bay finale movie screened at imagineNATIVE because it is one of the premiere indigenous film festivals in the world,” said Dennis Jackson. “It is always an honour to be recognized by your peers whether other indigenous people, animators, filmmakers or friends. This screening will be a unique experience because fans can log in online and they don’t necessarily have to be here in Toronto to watch the premiere.”

The night will feature a special tribute to Wapos Bay cast member, the late Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall). Announcements of the future of Wapos Bay will also be made on the night, including the launch of several digital media properties. Led by Brooke Burgess (writer, director & producer of Broken Saints), properties include a Mario kart racer – style video game, eBooks and episode downloads.

Other Festivals

The movie has also been selected to screen at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oct. 29), American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco (Nov. 5) and LA Skins Festival in Los Angeles (Nov. 16-20).

Broadcast Premiere on APTN

The national broadcast premiere for Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes is Saturday, Dec. 3 on APTN (8 p.m. ET on APTN HD and APTN East, 8 p.m. MT on APTN West, 8 p.m. CT on APTN North).

Coming Soon!

Make sure to watch for the eBooks, video game and episode downloads coming this fall.. And check out waposbay.com and waposbay.com/blog for all the latest news and updates from Wapos Bay!


Pixar Master Class Partly Sponsored by Wapos Bay Productions

Wapos Bay Productions is sponsoring Pixar artists Andrew Gordon’s and Matthew Luhn’s world class Animation & Story Master Class with a private screening and reception to be held on September 16 and 17th in convocation hall at the U of S.

This Master Class is a two-day seminar for industry professionals, students and enthusiasts. Demos and lectures organized with visuals, live-action and animated clips to give attendees the tools needed to create their own stories and quality animations.

At the end of Day 1, attendees will head to the Broadway Theatre for a private screening of the Wapos Bay movie: Long Goodbyes followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and a reception.

Tickets are $450 ($250 for students). Click here to register!

imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival 2011

By Pam Fossen from Toronto Film Scene · AUGUST 17, 2011

It seems strange to be making announcements for this year’s imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival which doesn’t start its run until October. However, passes go on sale today and some parts of the line up have already been confirmed, so really, it’s never too early to get excited about film programming! Running from October 19th to 23rd, this international festival celebrates the work of Indigenous peoples from around the globe.

The big name announcement for the 12th annual imagineNATIVE festival is legendary artist Buffy Sainte-Marie. She’s set to participate in a panel called “In Discussion with Buffy” at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, October 21st at 7:00 pm. Sainte-Marie will also be headlining “The Beat” music night, a program of international music videos and performance, at the Phoenix Concert Hall on Saturday, October 23rd at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and will be available online starting October 3rd. For more information, check out the full details here.

The other recent announcement was on opening and closing night films. On October 19th at 7:00 pm is the Canadian premiere of On the Ice from director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq). The film tells the story of two teenagers living in an isolated Alaskan community. Their cover up of a tragic accident during a seal hunt sows the seeds of suspicion and the two must figure a way out of it. This “character-driven thriller” has already received acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

The closing night film, on October 23rd at 7:00 pm, is the world premiere of Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes, a stop motion animated feature  which portrays life on a Saskatchewan First Nation. The film was directed, written and produced by Dennis Jackson (Cree) and produced and co-written by Melanie Jackson (Métis/Saulteaux), and is based on the couple’s award-winning TV series.

Opening and closing night films all take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W). Early bird festival passes go on sale today at the imagineNATIVE website or in person at TIFF box office. For all the details and upcoming festival programming announcements, keep watch right here at Toronto Film Scene, or go directly to imagineNATIVE.

Read the original article here!

On The Ice, Wapos Bay bookend ImagineNative fest

August 12th, 2011 by Emily Claire Afan at Playback Magazine

Writer/director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq) will open the ImagineNative Film & Media Arts Festival this fall with the Canadian premiere of dramatic feature On The Ice, while the world premiere of stop-motion feature Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes from Saskatchewan’s Dennis and Melanie Jackson will cap it off.

MacLean’s feature, starring Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan, is based on his short film Sukimi, which revolves around two best friends who become involved in a tragic accident.

Long Goodbyes, meanwhile, is based on the stop-motion APTN series Wapos Bay (pictured) featuring voice work by Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall), Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas). The closing night screening for this film will be presented in memory of Tootoosis, who passed away this July at age 69.

The ImagineNative fest will take place in Toronto from Oct. 19 to 23.

Read the article here!

Spotlight on NSI Alumni Dennis & Melanie Jackson

By Liz Hover, NSI

2011 marks the National Screen Institute’s 25th birthday. We’ve been training writers, directors and producers how to be storytellers since 1986.

In our latest alumni spotlight we’re proud to feature husband and wife team Dennis and Melanie Jackson.

Between them they’ve been students in four of our training programs. Not only are they the clever folks behind the award-winning TV series Wapos Bay (developed through NSI Totally Television) but they also find time to give back as associate faculty members of NSI’s New Voices program. Together they run Dark Thunder Productions Inc.

Spotlight on Dennis and Melanie Jackson

Dennis says: “NSI training gave me a confidence in the pitching process by teaching me the dos and don’ts when approaching a potential broadcaster. They’ve structured this by streamlining your project to its essence so that you know exactly what the broadcaster needs to know about you and your show.

Dennis is a graduate of NSI Totally Television (2002-03), the Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative (2004) and Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program (2009).

He began his career in elementary school watching 16mm prints of animation on aboriginal creation tales. Dennis remembers sitting at the back of the class as the teacher explained animation with the individual frames. Dennis has since received Gemini nominations for both his writing and directing of Wapos Bay. This animated series has received four Gemini awards of excellence.

Melanie Jackson says: “NSI training gave me confidence in the co-production process by teaching me the dos and don’ts when approaching a potential partner.  [The program] allowed me to participate in learning the process and what’s available in the international industry.”

Melanie is a graduate of NSI Storytellers (2005) and Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program (2009).

Melanie is a producer with over 14 years proven experience in development and programming of many hours of original drama and documentaries across several channels.

She has led creative professionals and built effective teams responsible for the delivery of quality programs. She brings a fresh perspective to the type of film, TV and digital media productions that can be successful in the marketplace and what skills are needed to create them.

Her ability to work with the leaders in our industry will help develop the most innovative, relevant and uniquely positioned in providing quality indigenous storytelling, high production values with excellence in stop-motion animation personnel and facilities.

Their successful TV series Wapos Bay is wrapping up with a movie called Long Goodbyes which will premiere in the fall on APTN with a limited advance theatrical release.

Read the official article here!

Wapos Bay Lives on in Digital World

By Emily Claire Afan, Playback Daily

Wapos Bay the series may be coming to an end on the small screen this fall, but the Saskatchewan team behind the children’s stop-motion animated series has plans for the franchise to live on in the digital media world.

Producers Dennis and Melanie Jackson, and Anand Ramayya recently wrapped production on the final episode, which will air as a feature-length MOW on APTN called Long Goodbyes.

Marrying the traditional art of stop-motion animation with the new interactive side was no easy task, but the team was intent on keeping the same look of the series across the board.

According to Hulomedia transmedia producer Ryan Lockwood, WaposBay.com is a “very close translation” of the series that plays on the exploration and adventure themes that have drawn kids to the series for the last five seasons on APTN. (The site received CMF funding.)

WaposBay.com launched last fall, and this coming fall, the interactive offering is Wapos Racerz! (pictured), a Mario Kart-esque style casual racing game from Toronto independent game company Phantom Compass.

“It was a challenge to do the game in stop-motion,” show creator Dennis Jackson tells Playback Daily, echoing Lockwood’s thoughts on keeping the stop-motion look consistent across Wapos products. “It would probably be easier to do it in Flash, but we were adamant to have it look like the show.”

Lockwood worked with fellow Hulo producer Brooke Burgess on the game as well, noting that animators on the MOW also contributed to the creation of Racerz!

Digital extensions of the brand slated for this fall include an interactive storybook series for mobile and tablet platforms that allows readers to flip between Cree, French and Inuktitut languages, as well as linking to videos on its YouTubechannel. On top of that, Wapos Bay episodes will soon be available for downloading on iTunes, streaming rentals and for sale on DVD on Amazon.com, IndieFlix and Netflix.

On tap next for Hulo and WBP is another stop-motion sci-fi project called Guardians, a project which Melanie Jackson says is already locked into coproduction deals with Australia and New Zealand.

Wapos Bay Feature on MBC Radio

Check out this great piece from April’s studio open house courtesy of MBC Radio. It includes an exclusive interview with Dennis Jackson (creator/writer/director/producer), as well as, Melanie Jackson (producer), Ryan Lockwood (transmedia producer) and actress Andrea Menard!

Listen here! Wapos Bay – MBC Radio

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