ACHIMIST FILM INC.
Achimist Film Inc. is an Aboriginal production company specializing in films and videos about the Native experience. Films that deal with contemporary issues facing Canada's First Nations, their environment, activities, traditions and their struggle for economic and political autonomy. The company is headed by Paul M Rickard, independent Cree filmmaker and cameraman.
Achimist Film Inc. has a strong commitment in working with Aboriginal writers, directors and technical personnel. Over the years Achimist Film Inc. has developed positive relationships and a good reputation with many First Nations communities across Canada and into the United States. As well, Paul has been involved in other works through his other production company Mushkeg Media Inc. The two companies have also trained many up-and-coming First Nations directors, writers, editors, new media specialists, public relations personnel and production crews.
Paul M. Rickard – Director, Producer, Cameraman
Achimist Film’s president Paul M. Rickard is an Omuskego Cree from Moose Factory in Northern Ontario. For the past ten years, he has been working as a producer, director and cameraman in collaboration with independent production companies and organizations such as Nutaaq Media Inc., Wildheart Productions, Wawatay, CBC North and the National Film Board of Canada. Achimist is the original Cree family name of Paul’s grandfather, before it was changed to Rickard.
Paul studied radio and television production at the University of Western Ontario School of Journalism before joining Wawatay Native Communications Society as a television producer. At Wawatay, he shot, edited and produced a bi-weekly public affairs television show for 4 years, as well as a weekly youth program, Video Awashishak.
In 1994, he went south to Montreal to train as a camera operator with the National Film Board of Canada. In this capacity, Rickard did cinematography on several NFB documentary films for broadcast, including Multiple Choices (Alison Burns), First Nation Blue (Dan Prouty), Fennario: His World on Stage (Alex McLeod) and No Turning Back. He worked on a number of other independent productions, and in 1996-96 was producer/director of the CBC North TV series Maamuitauui.
In 1996, he wrote, shot and directed his first film through Achimist Film Inc, entitled Ayouwin: A Way of Life. This documentary about Rickard's father, a trapper in Moose Factory, Ontario, was produced by Wildheart Productions for broadcast on the TV Ontario Aboriginal series.
That same year, he directed Okimah at the National Film Board of Canada. This film focuses on the knowledge handed down by Cree hunting leaders, the okimah, and stresses the importance of the annual goose hunt to the survival of traditional Cree culture. Released in 35 mm, it premiered at the Vancouver Film Festival in 1998. That same year, the film went on to win the Best of the Fest award at the Yellowknife Far North Film Festival.
Okimah was broadcast on VISION TV in January 1999 and also recently screened at the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois in Montreal. In 1999, he directed and co-produced Finding My Talk: A Journey into Aborginal Languages, the pilot for the 13 part series entitled; Finding Our Talk (FOT), for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. The second season of FOT began in January 2003 on APTN with a second window on SCN beginning in June 2004.
In 2004, Paul was one of the executive producers for From Cherry English, a short dramatic film directed by Jeffrey Barnaby and produced by Nutaaq Media Inc. for CBC Zed. In 2005, Mushkeg Media Inc. released its first feature length documentary, Aboriginal Architecture - Living Architecture, produced in association with APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) and the National Film Board of Canada.
The Winter Chill is Paul’s first short drama that he directed, wrote and produced for Achimist Film Inc, which was nominated as Best Live Short at the 2005 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, as well as Best Aboriginal Short and Best Male Performance for Dakota House at the 2006 Yorkton Short Film Festival. The Winter Chill recently won Best Short, Best Actor and Best Director at the Cherokee International Film Festival, as well as Best Short and Best Director at the 2006 Music and Film in Motion, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Paul has also produced various documentaries through his other production company Mushkeg Media Inc., such as Kanien’keha:ka – Living the Language, Little Caughnawaga – To Brooklyn and Back, which premiered on APTN and on PBS in the USA in 2008 and Finding Our Talk Season 3.