A Nelson filmmaker premiered her latest documentary at an international environmental film festival in Toronto earlier this month.
Miriam Needoba’s 12-minute film Eyes in the Forest: The Portraiture of Jim Lawrence follows a Kaslo-based wildlife photographer as he captures pictures of bears in their natural habitat.
“We spent many hours and days out there watching and waiting, hoping to see a bear,” Needoba said of the filming process.
She followed the photographer through the Selkirk Mountains north of New Denver about 20 times over the course of a year, beginning in 2010. She filmed while he photographed the animals.
“Jim was incredibly generous with his time,” Needoba said. “For somebody who is naturally shy and likes to sit quietly behind the camera, he was really open to be watched an interviewed.”
Needoba shot the film on her Canon 7D SLR camera, which has been praised for its HD video recording capabilities and was used on feature films like The Avengers and Black Swan.
“I was able to carry everything I needed to shoot the film on my back and spend full days snowshoeing through the mountains with it,” Needoba said. “That’s something that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago.”
She edited the film in her home studio and started sending it out to festivals.
Because the film is both an artist’s profile with an environmental film, it can be entered in festivals for both themes. Next month Eyes in the Forest will be screened at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in England, and Needoba hopes it will be picked up by other festivals at well.
She also plans to screen the film in Nelson in the spring.
Needoba majored in film at at the Emily Carr University and worked for six years as a camera assistant in Vancouver, helping out on such films as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Scary Movie 3.
She moved to Nelson in 2009 and started her own production company called Small Town Films. She also teaches beginner filmmaking classes at Oxygen Arts Centre.
Currently, Needoba is working on a new documentary about plein air painter and art educator John Cooper, who lives in Queens Bay.