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SUBJECT: Grenfell – Filmmaker to screen highly acclaimed seal hunt film at Grenfell College

DATE: Nov. 8

Filmmaker Anne Troake will screen her controversial film My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers at Grenfell College on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
            The one-hour screening, which will take place at 7 p.m. in AS375 of the Arts and Science Building, will be followed by a panel discussion. This presentation is open to the public and admission is free.
            My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers tells the story of Anne Troake’s outport sealing family and explores the role of the seal hunt in her relatives’ lives. It is an eloquent and evocative film which shows the seal hunt in the wider context of a lifestyle dependent on seasonally-available food.
“I remember years ago when the International Fund for Animal Welfare first launched its campaign against the hunt and Brigitte Bardot came to Newfoundland,” says Ms. Troake. “I knew many of the people that were being demonized – they were my uncles and my cousins – good people – so it hurt to see them portrayed in such an unfair and skewed manner.”
As the years have passed, she has observed the debate and taken an interest in the underlying issues.
“With this film, I try to tell their side of the story,” says Ms. Troake. “But I want the film to be more than a defensive reaction to the anti-hunt forces. I want it to contribute in a reflective and meaningful way to the debate on the hunt – and to talk about the complex relationship between culture and environment.”
Ms. Troake is a choreographer, filmmaker and visual artist. Her films have been seen at the Kennedy Centre, New York, Artist’s Television Access, San Francisco, the Goethe Institute and across Canada on CBC. Her short film, Pretty Big Dig, won the CGI Jury Prize at the Festival International du film sur l’Art in Montreal. From 1994 to 2001 she was the artistic director for Neighbourhood Dance Works. In 2007, the artist traveled to Ottawa and documented the Up the Anti rally on Parliament Hill. Born in Twillingate, she is currently living in St. John’s.
Ms. Troake is one of three Canadian artists involved in Shorelines, a new creative exchange project with Ireland which is inspired by and links the landscapes of the Port au Port Peninsula and Valencia Island, Ireland. The project is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, the Centre for Environmental Excellence and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
Ms. Troake’s visit is made possible by Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, the Division of Social Science, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and the Barry Group.

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For further information, please contact Pamela Gill, communications co-ordinator, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland, at (709) 637-6200 ext. 6134, or visit


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