After several years of work, author, Laura Robinson, who
wrote the controversial Frontrunners play, has seen her work
The film was chosen, as one of the few in North America, to be
screened at the 33rd Annual American Indian Film Festival in San
Francisco in November, 2008. Directed by Canadian, Lori Lewis,
the film received the best Live Action Short Film Award. "It was
an absolute thrill," says Robinson. "This was a result of the
dedication and commitment of a lot of people, from those willing
to share their stories to those who worked and participated in
the play and film."
The film, produced and being distributed by the National Film
Board (NFB), centers around the lives of young aboriginal
children who were removed from their homes and placed in
government Residential Schools run by churches. It specifically
focuses on 10 young Indian men, known as the 'Frontrunners', who
were chosen to run for Canada in the Pan-Am Games in 1967 but,
at the last moment, were shut out of the opening ceremonies
because of their origin.
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Robinson, a former Olympic athlete, and her husband,
John, have a history of working with First Nation children and,
currently work with the Nawash children of Cape Croker, teaching Nordic
skiing and cycling. Several of their students have gone on to
competitive racing in their sports.
"It's been amazing," adds Robinson. "The play has lead to live
performances overseas and now is being included in lectures at
Universities." Robinson, herself, has been invited to give a reading in
New York city in the spring for a group of major authors.
Today, the play, Frontrunners, can be obtained in hard copy from
Brucedale Press in Port Elgin, Saugeen Shores and is being distributed
world wide by the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada.
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