While Drumheller continues to be popular for the film industry, one recent project set to debut in the valley could not have been shot in any other place.
For three years, Dennis Envoldsen has been working on a documentary on the Drumheller valley and the stories of those who built the mining industry. He is finally ready to debut his film, and he has selected the annual Miner Memorial this April 30.
“I guess it comes to a point you have to let it go, and this has become the first iteration of a larger body of work,” said Envoldsen, “this is kind of the first offering.”
He explains that working on the film he collected a vast amount of material.
“When I sat down to piece together everything, the stories were so connected, there is such a universality to it, but they are all very individual stories, I felt like trying to put them all together diluted it,” he said. “So this film has a sort of a tone to it and trying to get a whole picture of Drumheller off the top and then move onto the more specific stories.”
Envoldsen has roots in the mining history of Drumheller, so the project was close to his heart. It was also a great learning process of how to make a film, the documentary process, and all of it on a shoestring budget. It was a solitary process for Envoldsen.
“I was just really exploring how to tell this story because Drumheller is a special place. I grew up in Drumheller and my family lives there. I wanted to explore style and personal storytelling,” he said.
He is looking forward to the screening.
“I want to share it with the community and a lot of people who were involved in the process of making the film …this is kind of full circle for them,” he said.
He hopes to get in front of a larger audience.
“Beyond this screening, I would like to get to some festivals to see if they would be interested in playing it or looking at other ways of distributing the film. This is the first step in a process, this is the first iteration in a larger body of work.”
Within the last year, Drumheller has been the site of a number of film debuts with local roots including She Has a Name and the Northlander.