Ken Matheson wins best documentary in short film

His film “Little Moccasins” won Best Documentary at the Vancouver Short Film Festival.

Clearwater film maker Ken Matheson

Clearwater film maker Ken Matheson

On Nov. 16th, the documentary film “Little Moccasins” won Best Documentary at the Vancouver Short Film Festival. Written, directed, edited and produced by Clearwater film maker Ken Matheson. It was also selected as a finalist at the Canberra International Short Film Festival in Australia. The film is also under consideration by several other international film festivals around the world.

Vancouver Short Film Festival information

VSFF showcases and celebrates British Columbia’s most talented film makers.

The criteria for selection is that the film can be shot anywhere in the world, but either the director or producer has to be from British Columbia. Twenty films were selected as finalists and were screened over three days.

“I was able to attend the last two days of screenings and was blown away by the quality of the films that have been directed and produced by BC Film makers.  It is becoming one of the most popular film festivals in the province.  The film was shown along with four other finalists and I was up against some big name and well known award winning film makers.  It was an intimidating weekend to be competing against such talent,” said Matheson.

Little Moccasins synopsis

In a windswept grasslands grave yard, elementary students of the Strathcona Tweedsmuir school gather to honor First Nations children that between 1889 and 1924 died while attending the Dunbow Indian Industrial School near Calgary. Subjected to neglect, malnutrition, disease and abuse, many were buried in unmarked graves on the school grounds and largely forgotten.

Struggling to come to terms with the dark history of the residential schools in Canada, the students embark on an emotional journey to honor, give voice and an identity to those First Nations children that were buried and forgotten there long ago.

An American filmmaker from New York that watched the film said, “Little Moccasins shines a much needed light on the sins of the past, yet opens the door to making amends for the future. The journey that these modern day students take to honor the nameless native children brims with so much heart and integrity. This is a great short doc and a compelling argument for making it a feature. Bravo!”

Matheson is working on organizing a small short film festival  for Clearwater sometime in February. Anyone interested should contact Ken at 250-674-8159 or email