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About2019-08-11T20:10:41+00:00

About

Statement

Coming soonish.

Bio

Sarah Abbott is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in interdisciplinary social sciences at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.  Through public ethnographic inquiry and Indigenous research methodologies, her dissertation research and resulting film aim to understand and share knowledge of the sentient relationality of trees and environmental empathy with public and academic audiences.  Sarah received a Vanier Canada Scholarship to support her doctoral studies (2014-2017).

Sarah’s independent films, artist works, and community projects have focused on experiences of being, human rights, ethics and the environment for over twenty years.  Her film work in all genres (documentary, narrative, experimental, and dance) has received national and international attention through film festivals, television broadcasts, awards, and grants.  Sarah received the 2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning, and the 2009 Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Awards for Innovation in recognition of her filmmaking endeavours, innovative teaching, ability to bridge cultures, commitment to empowering people, and passion for communicating hard-hitting issues.  Her film work and community projects have largely focused on Indigenous issues and culture since her documentary Tide Marks (2004), which centers on the lives of four people, who fought apartheid at the grassroots level, ten years after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

At the University of Regina, Sarah is an associate professor in the Department of Film, Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (MAP).  She teaches film production and is developing the first MAP course in climate change for Winter 2020.  In 2006, she developed a teaching model wherein film production students work alongside film industry experts on a professionally-run set.  She produced two half-hour dramatic films through these classes: Out In The Cold (2008), inspired by the freezing deaths of Indigenous men, allegedly at the hands of Saskatoon police; and This Time Last Winter (2010), which explores violence in young relationships, interracial relationships, and the healing potential of talking circles.  Following the Saskatchewan premiere screenings of these films, Sarah held panel discussions on the topics of Indigenous/police relations and violence in young relationships with Regina and Saskatoon police chiefs and local experts participating.  From 2005 to 2010, Sarah was the thread of continuity that led to the establishment of mispon – A Celebration of Indigenous Filmmaking film festival and advocacy collective in Regina.  In 2013, she developed a media literacy course for Indigenous youth held at a Regina community centre, Engaging Media and Indigenous Youth.

Select CV

| Environment awareness, empathy and rights
| Climate crisis action
| Tree sentience
| Nonhuman cognition, rights and interrelations
| Indigenous cultures and issues
| Human rights
| Ethics
| Community engagement
| Ethnographic inquiry
| Experiences of being

Doctor of Social Sciences – in progress
Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia, expected graduation 2020
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2014-2017)

Master of Fine Arts
Media Arts, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, 2003
All-University Graduate Fellowship (2000-2003)

Bachelor of Arts Honours
Film Studies and Drama, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, 1991

2014 Vanier Canada Scholarship (2014-2017)

Royal Roads University Entrance Award

2013 Out In The Cold – Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association
2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning
2010 Out In The Cold – Best Special Effects Award, University of Toronto Film Festival

This Time Last Winter – Best Actress (Danna Henderson), Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival

2009 Out In The Cold – Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Award for Innovation in the Arts, for production and university class project in which students worked alongside local film professionals to make the film.

Out In The Cold – Nominations: Male Lead Performance x 2 (Gordon Tootoosis & Mathew Strongeagle); Editing (Sarah Abbott), Original Score (Ben Schubert), and Post-Production Special Effects (Jack Tunnicliffe), Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association Showcase Awards.

2008 Out In The Cold – Nomination: Best Live Action Short, American Indian Film Festival
2000 Syracuse University All-University Graduate Fellowship (2000-2003)

The Light in Our Lizard Bellies, Why I Hate Bees, Froglight – Honourable Mentions, Ann Arbor Film Festival

1999 Why I Hate Bees – Grand Prize: Cabbagetown Film Festival, Toronto
1998 Why I Hate Bees – Best Canadian Lesbian Short, Inside Out Film Festival, Toronto
1992 My Withered Tomato Friend – “One Star Award,” Canadian International Film Festival
2014 Vanier Canada Scholarship (2014-2017)

Royal Roads University Entrance Award

Independent Artists’ Media grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board (The Dewdney Project)

Humanities Research Institute Fellowship, University of Regina (The Dewdney Project & Phillip Vannini lecture)

Professional Development/Scholarly Activity Pool, Royal Roads University (Phillip Vannini, The Dewdney Project)

2012 Saskatchewan Arts Board, Creative Partnerships, Partnership Explorations Program Grant (Engaging Media and Indigenous Youth)
2011 Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative Post-Production Grant (Digging into Wounds)

Humanities Research Institute Assistance Award for Visiting Speakers, University of Regina (This Time Last Winter)

2010 Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative Production Grant (A Practice of Not Knowing)
2009 SSHRC/President’s General Research Grant, University of Regina (Recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup)

ACTRA Talent Development Fund financial support (This Time Last Winter)

National Film Board of Canada – Filmmakers Assistance Program Grant (This Time Last Winter)

Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) broadcast pre-license (This Time Last Winter)

2008 SSHRC/President’s General Research Grant, The University of Regina (This Time Last Winter)

SaskFilm financial support (This Time Last Winter)

Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association financial support (This Time Last Winter)

Humanities Research Institute Assistance Award for Visiting Speakers, University of Regina (Out In The Cold)

Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative Distribution Grant (Out In The Cold)

2007 Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund Production Grant (Out In The Cold)

National Film Board of Canada – Filmmakers Assistance Program Grant (Out In The Cold)

Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association financial support (Out In The Cold)

ACTRA Talent Development Fund financial support (Out In The Cold)

Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) broadcast pre-license (Out In The Cold)

Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative Distribution Grant (Tide Marks)

Humanities Research Institute Publication Grant, The University of Regina (Out In The Cold

2006 Mill Atelier Foundation Grant for Santa Fe Art Institute residency, New Mexico (The Ascension of Billy)

Humanities Research Institute Research Grant, The University of Regina (The Ascension of Billy)

2005 Humanities Research Institute Publication Grant, The University of Regina (Tide Marks)

Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts (Tide Marks)

2004 SSHRC/President’s General Research Fund Grant, The University of Regina (The Ascension of Billy)

Faculty of Fine Arts Research Fund, The University of Regina (The Ascension of Billy)

2002 College of Visual and Performing Arts Research/Creative Project Grant, Syracuse University (Tide Marks)
2001 Travel Grant, Department of Media Arts, Syracuse University (artist presentation, Cape Town, South Africa)
2000 Syracuse University Graduate Fellowship (2000-2003)

The Ontario Arts Council, Media Arts Production Grant (The Ascension of Billy)

Walter Phillips Gallery project support, The Banff Centre for the Arts (The Ascension of Billy)

1999 The Banff Centre for the Arts Residency Fellowship (Recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup)

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto Production Grant (Recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup)

1998 The National Film Board of Canada – Filmmakers Assistance Program Grant (The Light in our Lizard Bellies)

Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts (Froglight)

1996 The Canada Council for the Arts, First Projects, Media Arts Production Grant (Why I Hate Bees)

Produced, written, directed, filmed, and edited by Sarah Abbott (unless otherwise noted)

Engaging Media and Indigenous Youth
Documentary, HD, colour, stereo, 12:40, 2014
Cinematographer/Editor: Matt Yim

This Time Last Winter: The Making Of
Documentary, HD, colour, stereo, 13:30, 2013
Cinematographer: Mathew Howard
Editor: Matt Yim

In the Minds of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso of Tibet  
Documentary, HD, colour, stereo, 21:00, 2011
Producer: Jnanasukha (www.jnanasukha.org)
— Filmed on location in Central Tibet

Pam & Bryan’s Denman Garden 
Experimental, Super 8, separate sound, 3:00, 2010

This Time Last Winter
Drama, Red One Camera, colour, 5.1/stereo, 25:00, 2010
Award: Best Actress, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, 2010 (Danna Henderson)
Broadcast: Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) (2013–)
Producer & Co-writer: Sarah Abbott
Director & Co-writer: Ann Verrall
Cinematography: Mark Dobrescu, CSC
Editor: Jackie Dzuba
Music: Ramses Calderon, Marshall Burns, Rah Rah
Principle Cast: Danna Henderson, Ian Brodland, Cheryl Jack, Erroll Kinistino

Out In The Cold
Drama, Super 16mm production/ HD exhibition, colour, 5.1 / stereo, 30:00, 2008
Awards: Mayor’s Arts & Business Award for Innovation, City of Regina, 2009; Best Special Effects,
University of Toronto Film Festival, 2010; Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association, 2013

Nominations: Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association Showcase Awards (SMPIA), 2009 – Editing, (Sarah Abbott), Performance – Male Lead x 2, Original Score, Post-Production Special Effects; Best Live Action Short, American Indian Film Festival, 2008.

Broadcast: Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) (2011)

Producer & Editor: Sarah Abbott.

Director: Colleen Murphy. Writer: Cheryl Jack.

Cinematography: Ivan Gekoff, CSC. Cast: Gordon Tootoosis, Erroll Kinistino, Mathew Strongeagle

 

Tide Marks   digital video, colour, stereo, 97:00, 2004
• Shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Patching   digital video, colour, stereo, 21:00, 2002

 

knee level   digital video, colour, stereo, 7:00, 2002

In collaboration with Tanya Boggs

  • One camera placement, shot over three days with elaborate continuity planning.

 

here   mixed media, digital video, colour, stereo, 2002
12 minutes single channel; looped multiple screen installation

 

 

My Heart The Prophet and My Heart The Lunchbox  digital video, colour, stereo, 1.45 each, 2001. In collaboration with Jeremy Drummond.

 

looking back to see   digital video, colour, stereo, 19:30, 2001

rug   digital video, colour, stereo, 18:30, 2000

 

The Light in our Lizard Bellies   16mm, B&W, mono optical, 8:00, 1999
Award: Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000

  • Selected for Experimental Works for Educational Environments, DVD compilation published by

the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. 2005 Toronto.

  • Selected for Independent Short Film in Canada 1967 – 2002, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution

Centre’s 35th Anniversary Tour

  • Selected for Special Edition Compilation DVD published by The Journal of Film and Video.

University Film and Video Association. Volume 54, number 1. 2001. (juried selection)

Dance film with choreography, performance and sound design by Susanna Hood

Hand processed by Sarah Abbott

 

Why I Hate Bees   16mm, colour, mono optical, 4:00, 1997
Awards: Best Canadian Lesbian Short, Inside Out, Toronto, 1998; Grand Prize – Cabbagetown Film Festival, Toronto, 1999; Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000

Broadcast: Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) (1999-2000); The Knowledge Network, Vancouver (2000); Showcase Television, Canada (2002); Pride Vision, Toronto (2002); WYBE-TV, New York (2002); Independent Film Channel (2003)

 

Froglight   16mm, B&W, mono optical, 3:30, 1997
Award: Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000

Broadcast: Women’s Television Network (WTN) (1998–)

  • Hand processed by Sarah Abbott

 

my withered tomato friend   16mm, colour, mono optical, 9:00, 1991

In collaboration with Michelle Harrison.
Award: “One Star,” Canadian International Film Festival, 1992

PEER REVIEWED

Abbott, S. (forthcoming). Filming with Nonhumans. In Vannini, P. (Ed.), Handbook of ethnographic research. London: Routledge.

Vannini, P. & Abbott, S. (forthcoming). Academics writing for a broader public audience. In Leavy, P. (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship (pp. 603-622). New York: Oxford University Press.

Abbott, S. & Vannini, P. (2019). After the fine cut: Disseminating video-based research. In Kleinknecht, S., van den Scott, L., and Sanders, C. (Eds.), The Craft of Qualitative Research: A Handbook (pp. 358–364). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Vannini, P. & Abbott, S. (2018). Going public: The reach and impact of ethnographic research. In Leavy, P. (Ed.), Handbook of arts-based research (pp. 689-704). New York: Guilford Press.

NON PEER REVIEWED

Abbott, S. (2007, November). The last fish. At the MacKenzie. MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina.

Abbott, S. (2006, November). Heading south (vers le sud). Briarpatch Magazine, 35(7) [film review]

Abbott, S. & Wihak, M. (2003, March 15). Lives lived: Thomas David Berner. The Globe and Mail.

Abbott, S. (2003, May) Some physiological effects of film and digital video making.” Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto newsletter, 23(2).

Abbott, S. (2003). Notes for The Light in our Lizard Bellies. The Journal of Film and Video, 54(1). University Film and Video Association. [Special Edition Compilation DVD]

Abbott, S. (2001). Ear Stones. In Sandlos, K. & Hoolboom, M. (eds) Landscape with shipwreck: First person cinema and the films of Philip Hoffman. Toronto: Images Festival and Insomniac Press.

Abbott, S. (2001). Untitled article on how to cut your film negative. In Hill, H. (ed) Recipes for disaster: A handcrafted film cookbooklet. Louisiana: Helen Hill.

Abbott, S. (1997, June). Give the people what they want. Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto Newsletter, 17(3). [Inside Out Lesbian & Gay Film Festival review]

Abbott, S. (1996, June). So, are your parents coming? Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto Newsletter, 16(3). [Images Film & Video Festival review]

2014-2017 Vanier Canada Scholarship
2013 Engaging Media and Indigenous Youth, community-based 8-week teaching project developed by Sarah to engage Indigenous youth on issues of media literacy and Indigenous culture, and to develop knowledge and skills in media awareness and Indigenous filmmaking, communication and critical thinking.  Video about the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wwStVgPDD8

This Time Last Winter the Making Of (25:00, Canada). Behind the scenes on the production of This Time Last Winter, with commentary on the making of the film by key crew members and actors: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CSYTh-vbfM

2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning.
2011 In the Minds of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso of Tibet (21:00, Tibet/Canada/USA). Documentary about Yeshe Tsogyal, the first enlightened woman in Tibet; shot on location in Central Tibet. Directed, shot and edited by Sarah Abbott, written by Sarah Abbott & Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo.  View the film: https://vimeo.com/189511924
2010 This Time Last Winter (25:00, Canada). Narrative film about violence in young relationships, interracial relationships, and the healing potential of talking circles. Directed by Ann Verrall, written by Sarah Abbott and Ann Verrall, produced by Sarah Abbott. Award: Best Actress Danna Henderson), Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, 2010. Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYEhg6oZR8A&t=2s
2009 Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Award for Innovation in the Arts for production of Out In The Cold.
      • 2008 – Out In The Cold (30:00, Canada). Narrative film inspired by the freezing deaths of First Nations men in Saskatoon allegedly at the hands of police. Directed by Colleen Murphy, produced and edited by Sarah Abbott.  Award: Best Special Effects, University of Toronto Film Festival, 2010. Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association, 2013. Nominations: Best Live Action Short, American Indian Film Festival, 2008; Male Lead Performance (Gordon Tootoosis & Mathew Strongeagle), Editing, Original Score, and Post-Production Special Effects, Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association Showcase Awards, 2009.  For this work, Sarah was one of five URegina faculty featured in Realize, the university president’s 2009 report to the community.
      • 2008 – The Last Fish, guest curated exhibition at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Sarah’s artist engagement with the permanent collection resulted in an exhibition centered on an homage to the last fish alive in the face of ecological crisis due to human impact on the environment, and the notion we used to take for granted that the environment would be abundant, pristine, and forever available to us.
      • 2005-2010 – Co-founder and President of mispon: A Celebration of Indigenous Film festival, Regina
      • 2005-2006 – Co-coordinator of the Food Bank Lecture series, University of Regina and the Regina Food Bank. Lunchtime speaker series designed to bring food bank users and URegina faculty and students together for inspiring talks and lunch.
      • 2004 – Tide Marks (97:00, Canada/USA/South Africa). Feature-length documentary explores aspects of post-apartheid South Africa ten years after the first democratic elections, with a focus on the lives of four former freedom fighters.  Directed, written, produced, shot and edited by Sarah Abbott. Shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa.  View Excerpts from Tide Marks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-9_Yf-ZvWM&list=UUnA520UldjwDlv2qFHlf3Lw
      • 2000-2003 – Art video works produced through Master of Fine Arts degree. looking back to see (19:30, USA/Canada) was one of five video works selected by Lewis Kaye for his curated exhibition exploring archival issues, Hearing Video (Vtape, March 2018).
      • 1999 – The Light in our Lizard Bellies (8:00, Canada). Dance film featuring performance, choreography and vocal work of Susanna Hood. Directed, written, produced, edited and shot by Sarah Abbott. Award: Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000. Film included in DVD compilations released through the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, and the University Film and Video Association in the United States.
      • 1997 – Why I Hate Bees (4:00, Canada).  A comedic experimental reflection of a young girl’s memories of near death experiences, based on the short story by Nancy Jo Cullen. Directed, written, produced, edited and shot by Sarah Abbott. Awards: Grand Prize – Cabbagetown Film Festival, Toronto, 1999; Best Canadian Lesbian Short, Inside Out, Toronto, 1998; Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000.
      • 1997 – Froglight (3:30, Canada).  Experimental reflection on having faith in the unknown. Directed, written, produced, edited and shot by Sarah Abbott. Award: Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000.
      • 1991 – My Withered Tomato Friend (9:00, Canada). An experimental film questioning conventional ideologies of representation of women and the denial of domestic violence. Made in total  collaboration with Michelle Harrison. Award:“One Star,” Canadian International Film Festival, 1992.

2014-2017         Vanier Canada Scholarship

2013                    Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association (Out in the Cold)

2013Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association (Out in the Cold)

2014-2017 Vanier Canada Scholarship
2013 Honourable Mention, Fiction Short, University Film and Video Association (Out in the Cold)
2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning
2010 Best Special Effects Award, University of Toronto Film Festival (Out in the Cold)
Best Actress (Danna Henderson), Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (This Time Last Winter)
2009 Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Award for Innovation in the Arts for production and university class project of Out In The Cold.

Nominations: Male Lead Performance x 2 (Gordon Tootoosis & Mathew Strongeagle); Editing (Sarah Abbott), Original Score (Ben Schubert), and Post-Production Special Effects (Jack Tunnicliffe), Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association Showcase Awards.

2008 Nomination: Best Live Action Short, American Indian Film Festival (Out in the Cold)
2000-2003 Syracuse University All-University Graduate Fellowship
      • 1999 – The Light in our Lizard Bellies Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000.
      • 1997 – Why I Hate Bees (4:00, Canada).  A comedic experimental reflection of a young girl’s memories of near death experiences, based on the short story by Nancy Jo Cullen. Directed, written, produced, edited and shot by Sarah Abbott. Awards: Grand Prize – Cabbagetown Film Festival, Toronto, 1999; Best Canadian Lesbian Short, Inside Out, Toronto, 1998; Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000.
      • 1997 – Froglight (3:30, Canada).  Experimental reflection on having faith in the unknown. Directed, written, produced, edited and shot by Sarah Abbott. Award: Honourable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2000.
      • 1991 – My Withered Tomato Friend (9:00, Canada). An experimental film questioning conventional ideologies of representation of women and the denial of domestic violence. Made in total  collaboration with Michelle Harrison. Award:“One Star,” Canadian International Film Festival, 1992.

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