Skip to content

Film directed by Banchi Hanuse garners 5 Leo Awards

Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun premiered early this year
Bella Coola film director Banchi Hanuse, right, with Logan Red Crow during the making of new feature documentary Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun. (Taxam Films photo)

A new film directed by Banchi Hanuse has won five Leo Awards.

Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun took home Best Feature Documentary, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Scriptwriting.

Produced by Taxam Films and directed by Hanuse, the film follows a young Siksika woman and her journey into the harrowing world of bareback horse riding and one of the most dangerous horse races in the world.

“As to be expected, we are beyond thrilled with the outcome of the Leo awards,” said executive producers Izzy Pullen and Carey Newman in a joint emailed statement. “It’s such an honour for our film to be recognised in such a light, by such a highly regarded institution.”

Giving the credit to lead actress Logan Red Crow, her family and her horses, they said none of the film would have been possible without them.

“We remain in eternal gratitude to Logan, the Red Crow and Big Snake family, for allowing us to experience their world for the summer, allowing us into their home and onto their land.”

They also praised Hanuse for her dedicated vision and the “instinctual” decision to pursue Logan’s story, which made the film what it is today.

“We were so happy to have such a talented team around us, to support her vision and create this special film. We are thrilled that our brilliant team was recognized for their incredible efforts in bringing Logan’s world to the screen. It was with collective feeling, that the summer spent filming with Logan and her family on their ranch in Siksika Nation, was an experience that touched us all and will be a memory treasured for a lifetime.”

Producer Mike Wavrecan also shared excitement about the film receiving the Leo Awards.

“Banchi Hanuse has done an amazing job telling Logan’s story. Her unique and thoughtful approach has garnered a lot of well deserved attention and we couldn’t be more proud of what she brought to life.”

Wavrecan praised the entire team as “incredible” to work with, adding it was very nice to see them being recognized.

“We would also like to thank Logan, the Red Crow and Bigsnake families as well as the Siksika Nation for allowing us into their homes and onto their territory to share this story. The film wouldn’t be here without the support of Christina Willings / Telus Originals, the Indigenous Screen Office, and Creative BC, we’re very thankful for their continued support of this film.”

The Leo Awards celebrate B.C. film, television, web and streaming media, and have been for 25 years as a project of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of B.C.

“We would like to extend a special thank you to all of our jurors – many of whom spent upwards of eight weeks screening and adjudicating over 1,300 eligible entries in 16 different program categories. They exemplify the spirit of community service and we are grateful for their care and consideration while deliberating,” noted Walter Daroshin, president, on the Leo Awards website.

READ MORE: Moosemeat & Marmalade episodes filmed in Bella Coola showing on APTN

READ MORE: Films from two Bella Coola directors part of Hot Docs Festival 2023 lineup in Toronto

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
Read more