Winnipeg-born Coleen Rajotte is a Cree and Métis award winning director/producer with a passion for telling the stories of her people. A former CBC television reporter, she rose to national prominence as a journalist who covered some of Canada’s biggest stories in the 1990s. She embarked on a new career as an independent filmmaker in 1999. Her award winning documentaries include Jaynelle: It’s Never Easy to Escape the Past, Back to Pikangikum, and Confronting the Past. She was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her work as an Aboriginal filmmaker and journalist and is the founder/artistic director of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival.
Major Arts Grant Project: Jaynelle: The Real Story
Jaynelle: It’s Never Easy to Escape the Past was Coleen Rajotte’s first film as an independent producer. The documentary, which followed Jaynelle over a two-year period, caught national attention and inspired audiences to consider the heartbreaking challenges facing a young aboriginal person trying to make it in an urban environment. In response to her now strong personal relationship with her subject and frequently being asked, “What happened to Jaynelle?”, she will create a 48-minute sequel titled Jaynelle: The Real Story documenting Jaynelle’s life from 2003 to 2014.