Filmmaker Keith Robertson cleans up at NWTPMA’s awards gala


Filmmaker Keith Robertson took home awards in all three categories he was nominated in at the NWT Professional Media Association’s film and media awards gala on Saturday evening.

There were ten awards handed out at the fourth annual awards ceremony, which recognizes excellence in the NWT’s film and media industry.

Robertson, who recently relocated to Montréal from Yellowknife, took home the award for the best commercial video for People of the Land, a video he produced for NWT Tourism; as well as the award for the best narrative short and best documentary short.

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In the commercial video category, he beat another video he had done for Jackpine Paddle and NWT Tourism, and a Fish’N in the Arctic video.

The narrative short Robertson produced with Bridget Rusk, Curlfriends, beat Jen Walden’s Transversal and Adrienne Cartwright and Jessica Davey-Quantick’s The After. Robertson’s documentary short, The High Road, beat out four other entries in that category (most categories only had between one and three entries shortlisted).

“It feels wonderful to be recognized in this way,” Robertson told Cabin Radio the day after his wins. “It’s been a minute since they’ve had the awards. The last one was in 2019, so I had many projects that I figured would have a chance of winning and so I submitted anything that was eligible.”

Winning the awards wasn’t his favourite part of the week though.

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“I was more excited to hear that the Yellowknife International Film Festival would be able to return to in-person screenings – that for me was super meaningful,” he said, noting it’s important to him as a filmmaker to have the opportunity to see a live audience react to his work.

“It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t able to say this in person [at the awards gala], but I feel like last night was a culmination – I was in Yellowknife for five years – of the community accepting and encouraging me as a filmmaker.”

In the best published photo category, Pat Kane’s The Last Trappers took home the award, beating Cabin Radio’s Folk on the Rocks 2022 coverage and Jamie Wetrade-Stevenson’s The Nomad photo.

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The Landlord’s Game, a CBC North story by Sidney Cohen and John Last, won best published word. Cabin Radio’s Should the NWT change its approach to Indigenous sentencing? by Emily Blake and Seeking data sovereignty, a First Nation introduces its own licence by Caitrin Pilkington were the other shortlisted entries in the category.

The remaining categories only had one shortlisted entry each, securing wins for the artists days ago when the shortlist was first announced.

These winners include Sadeé Walden for the youth in media award, Cabin Radio’s Lunchtime News for the best radio or podcast, Casey Koyczan and Sidii Media Inc.’s Ełeghàà; All at Once for the best VR/360/Interactive piece, while Artless Collective’s took home the industry impact award.