Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:08

Brooks documentary preview is Oct. 22

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By Rose Sanchez — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Residents of Brooks and area will have a chance to see a new documentary about their community.

Brooks — The City of 100 Hellos is set to premiere in Brooks in October.

Brandy Yanchyk, with Brandy Y Productions Inc., filmed the documentary last year with a focus on how immigration changes and challenges a cowboy town.

Yanchyk spent seven months gathering footage in Brooks from March 2010 until September.

She had moved from England where she worked for the BBC and was looking for stories to tell which included African people living in Alberta.

She had heard a lot of these immigrants had move to the Brooks area so she visited the small city.

“I realized there was a documentary to be told,” she says.

She received funding to do just that, and the backing of OMNI Television. Her work began as she searched out people who would want to be included in the project. Those people weren’t hard to find.

“A lot of these people wanted to share their experiences and their lives.”

The focus of her film began to take shape as she realized that Brooks is a “cowboy” town that is changing because of immigration, but that this isn’t the first time this has happened. This may be a new wave of immigrants to Brooks, but immigration has taken place for years.

The documentary gives viewers a chance to look in to people’s lives, their living rooms and kitchens, which they’d never get otherwise.

“It’s a wonderful blend of these cultures colliding. How they are integrating? Are they integrating? These are the big questions,” says Yanchyk.

“Viewers will gain insight into the lives and hardships of some of these new immigrants. People in Brooks go to school with these people, drive next to them, but don’t know anything about them ... how hard they work. What kinds of things they went through.”

Also the cowboy culture is celebrated and how people want to live there and preserve that lifestyle.

Yanchyk also makes a point of using local people to help produce the documentary wherever possible.

Most of the photographs were taken by Rachel Boekel Photography of Brooks and Mark Zagorsky, also of Brooks, is the composer on the film.

The documentary is set to air nationwide on OMNI Television this fall.

The Brooks film will be shown free to the public on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Griffin Park Auditorium, 805, 4th Ave. West.

A question and answer period with Yanchyk will follow each showing.

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