Coleen Rajotte, Director/Producer
Coleen Rajotte is a former award-winning CBC Television Reporter. She embarked on a new career as an independent filmmaker several years ago.
Jaynelle: Itís Never Easy To Escape The Past was Coleenís first film as an independent producer. The award winning film was broadcast on the Aboriginal Peopleís Television Network, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Saskatchewan Communications Network. It has won four awards to date and has been screened at numerous festivals in North America. It recently screened at the Smithsonianís 2003 Festival of the American Indian, in New York City.
The response to the film has been overwhelming, with hundreds of phone calls to the networks and tons of email to Coleen and Jaynelle. ďThere is something about the Jaynelle story that touches people, they have a better understanding of what itís like to be a young single aboriginal mother on welfare,Ē says Rajotte.
In addition to other awards that the Jaynelle film has won, Coleen was recently awarded the Queenís Jubilee Medal. The Medal from her Majesty the Queen was for her work as an aboriginal role model.
Over the years, Coleen has built her reputation covering social issues. Past topics have included aboriginal gangs and the legacy of residential schools and how itís affecting youth. Her work has won awards at the New York Film Festival and the Columbus International Film Festival.
Coleenís recent film about aboriginal youth suicide, Back to Pikangikum, released early in 2004. It is being broadcast on APTN and on Maori TV in New Zealand. She has just completed a film about aboriginal adoption, Confronting The Past, which is now being released.
Ms. Rajotte is also the co-founder/Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival, a highly successful event entering itís third year in 2004.