Jessica Swainson of Red Deer is one of three local filmmakers who benefited from $20,000 of project funding from TELUS Storyhive. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).

Jessica Swainson of Red Deer is one of three local filmmakers who benefited from $20,000 of project funding from TELUS Storyhive. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).

Three Red Deer filmmakers each receive $20,000 to spotlight local heroes

Adam Jasper, Linda Pidhirney and Jessica Swainson received funding

Three Red Deer filmmakers have each been awarded $20,000 to tell the stories of everyday heroes.

The recipients of TELUS Storyhive’s Local Heroes Documentary Edition funding are Adam Jasper, Linda Pidhirney and Jessica Swainson.

Jasper will be spotlight the life of Jan Underwood, a Red Deer resident who has helped ease the transition of grief-stricken refugees to a new beginning in Central Alberta through Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E).

His film A Refugee’s Refuge – C.A.R.E will follows Jan as she navigates her own grief after the death of her husband of 42 years while continuing to support refugees through their own difficulties.

Director Pidhirney is producing Anonymous Heroes, a documentary that follows residents across central Alberta as they share their experiences falling to desperate circumstances. In the midst of intense struggles, these residents will talk about getting help from an anonymous hero who brought them hope.

Swainson is making Jason and Me, a documentary about a friend that everyone should have. Jason Steele is a Red Deer resident who helped Swainson find a publisher for her first book and with many other projects. “Jason brings a smile to everyone’s face,” said Swainson, who believes this is a true definition of hero.

These funded documentaries are expected to be produced over the next six months.

The three films are among 40 projects selected out of 171 applications to receive, not only $20,000 in funding, but also mentorship, customized career training and distribution from TELUS Storyhive.

Storyhive’s 19th edition aims to highlight “how Canadian neighbourhoods adapt, change and strengthen connections in the face of distance and difficulty,” said Rebecca Peng, Marketing Manager, TELUS Storyhive.

She added these projects will “speak to the impact and importance of supporting local creators as they tell community stories—particularly during this unique and uncertain time we are all living through.”



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