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“The Child Soldier” to be screened Saturday at Edmonton Short Film Festival

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THE CHILD SOLDIER
A short film by Eppo Eerkes
 
Two friends from a war ravaged North American village head out for school. Their journey is cut short when a band of child soldiers attack the school bus bringing their mothers greatest fears to reality. Based on true events. 

“The Child Soldier” is a short film which follows the story of Samuel, a boy living in a small village, plagued by famine, war, and economic devastation. The film’s setting mirrors the economic situation in northern Uganda. But this tale will not be told against the backdrop of the African plain. Our main character in fact, is a twelve year old Caucasian. He lives with his 
Director Statement
In 1997 I traveled to 7 countries in Africa including Uganda. It was an unforgettable 3 month journey where I was able to experience all the incredible offerings this continent had to offer including the wildlife, scenery and culture. In 2004 I discovered like much of the world that while i was in Southern Uganda in ’97 a horrific atrocity was taking place only 2 hours away in Northern Uganda. The Lords Resistance Army had been raiding their own communities in defiance of the Southern ruling government. The terrifying facts revealed that children from these communities as young as 7 were being forced to fight for the LRA. I was sickened to discover that these atrocities were taking place while i was there in Uganda. So I had to do something about it. I decided to travel to the war zone and interview child soldiers who were recently repatriated back to their country. My goal ultimately was to create a film taking their stories and giving them an innovative twist showing the world that child soldiers anywhere no matter what colour of skin is a complete travesty. This video below was produced using footage from that research trip.  
 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

In Eppo’s words

Let me introduce myself, I’m Eppo Eerkes… I also have another name, ‘Yinagha K’izzaa’, translated it means ‘Half Moon’.  Elder and Medicine Man ‘Spotted Eagle’ from the Tsuut’ina Nation gave me the First Nations’ name ‘Half Moon’ due to my keen eye for directing films as well as searching for ‘The Light’ in others. I represent the seekers, the risk-takers, the creative, free-spirited adventurers out there; the ones who want more forests and freeways; outback and oceans in their lives; those who push their own, personal boundaries.  I want to pursue films and story that represents this perspective and philosophy. 

Biography:

Eppo is an Internationally award-winning Director, frontiersman and explorer of cultures, His relentless curiosity has found him filming from the high arctic to east Africa. It’s taken him from the Ecuadorian Andes to the Congalese mountains; from the Alberta badlands to the Costa Rican jungle. If it’s the magic and ruggedness of an experience you want to capture, then Eppo is the name you need to remember.  Eppo has created, written and directed over 100 hours of network broadcast film and television. You can see his work on Discovery, History Channel USA, Animal Planet USA and National Geographic. Eppo is also an independent film director who has several upcoming and finished scripted shorts and features.

A passionate story-teller, much of Eppo’s content has focused 

“The Child Soldier” will be screened at the Edmonton Short Film Festival this Saturday.

Read more on Todayville.com.

 

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Alberta

Positive COVID-19 tests at world men's curling championship deemed “false positives”

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CALGARY — The four positive COVID-19 tests that interrupted the men’s world curling championship are considered “false positives” from potentially contaminated samples, according to the World Curling Federation.

The men’s championship concluded late Sunday night with Sweden’s Niklas Edin winning a record fifth world men’s title.

No games were played Saturday because four participants, including one from a playoff team, tested positive for the virus in “exit” tests before leaving Calgary’s curling bubble. 

None had symptoms of the illness.

All have tested negative in multiple re-tests since then, the WCF said Monday in a statement. All tests were conducted via PCR throat swabs.

“According to Alberta Health, PCR testing remains the gold standard for COVID-19 testing,” the WCF said. “Very rarely, there are occurrences through sampling or testing processes when samples may become contaminated and a false positive may result.

“Following an investigation over the weekend, it appears that this may have occurred in this case and follow-up testing was undertaken.”

All athletes and personnel considered close contacts of the four underwent testing Saturday with all results negative. 

Every playoff team member was tested before and after each game Sunday with those results also negative, the WCF said. Hotel staff were also tested Sunday and cleared.

“With the original four positive test results now deemed as false positives, the integrity of the Calgary bubble remains intact,” the WCF declared.

“The change also allows international athletes who were considered close contacts, and who would have had to remain in isolation in Calgary for 14 days, will now be able to depart Calgary.”

The fifth of seven events in Calgary’s curling hub, the Humpty’s Champions Cup, gets underway Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Pulling the plug: Edmonton Folk Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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EDMONTON — Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow summer events like the Calgary Stampede to go ahead, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival has been cancelled

The festival says in a statement that without full vaccination, people won’t be entirely safe from the spread of COVID-19. 

It says that with virus variants and an uncertain vaccine rollout, the impossibility of social distancing at the outdoor festival could lead to community spread.

Kenney has said that two-thirds of the population should have a vaccine shot by the end of June and things should begin to feel back-to-normal.

He says the Stampede, which is held in early July, along with sporting events and other festivals will be possible.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival says it will continue to offer online content and, if small gatherings are permitted, it hopes to add some community engagement.

“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival of our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner,” the statement said Monday.

“As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe this is the only safe way forward. The safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion.”

The annual four-day festival in the city’s Gallagher Park usually attracts thousands of music fans and boasts approximately 2,700 volunteers.

Alberta introduced new health rules last week, closing restaurants to in-person dining and further reducing customer capacity at retail stores in response to rising COVID-19 numbers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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