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Former Strathmorite earns grant for 'Moja Mama' film project

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Keena Herman's short film 'Moja Mama' is being filmed this summer, the former Strathmore resident won a $10,000 grant to produce it and was selected from about 300 applicants.

Keena Herman's short film 'Moja Mama' is being filmed this summer, the former Strathmore resident won a $10,000 grant to produce it and was selected from about 300 applicants.

A former Strathmore resident, film-maker Keena Herman, has won a $10,000 grant from Storyhive to create a short film called 'Moja Mama.'

 

The pitch for the film gives viewers a glimpse into the fictional work of an elderly woman who suddenly confesses a secret to her night nurse. She reveals the story of her life, living with a vampiric mother.

The story is based in the fictional city of Phoenix, Alberta, that has a small town feel. The community is based on an actual location of a former coal mining community in west-central Alberta.

“The reason it's a vampire story, what I want to explore with the symbol the vampire is the idea of de-humanization and demonization. The vampire character acts as a symbol of how we as humanity have a tendency to simplify and demonize things that we don't understand,” said Herman.

“In turn we end up hating the things that we demonize, but we are the creators of our own monsters,” she said.

When asked about how she feels begin selected as the recipient of the gran, Herman said, “It's obviously very exciting and I am very grateful to get the grant.” In terms of the process for receiving the grant, Herman's pitch was selected from 300 entries.

“Initially I didn't think that it would be funded,” she said. She explained in the process of submitting a pitch to Storyhive, creators make a pitch and try to spread the word about their project and garner votes from their community. “After that it's taken to a jury within Telus and they consider how many people voted for your film as well as consider the jury's vote on what films they prefer,” she said.

“Overall it's been a really exciting experience and I'm excited to finally film it and get the ball rolling and get it out there,” said Herman.

The crew and cast have now been hired and Herman anticipates filming with begin in the last week of June, or the start of July.

'Moja Mama's' pitch story was selected as one of the top 47 awards out of 300 entries from British Columbia and Alberta. Each winner will receive $10,000 in order to create their short film. The films will be available in the fall of 2018 on Telus Optic TV on Demand and on Storyhive.com.

Follow 'Moja Mama's' production team as they create the short film, on Facebook at 'Moja Mama Film' or Twitter.

'Moja Mama's' pitch video can be found online at https://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/3395.

 



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