Local Author Wins Film Award

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After several years of work, author, Laura Robinson, who wrote the controversial Frontrunners play, has seen her work rewarded.

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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