The assignment was straightforward: Bring together Winnipeggers from all walks of life to send a love letter to their fellow citizens during the global coronavirus pandemic.
So in early spring 2020, CBC’s Creator Network Manitoba — which engages storytellers across Manitoba to share unique perspectives and Canadian stories — enlisted filmmakers Jim Agapito, Ryan Nash, Aleksandra Osipova, Matt Purchase and Paul Stabell to capture the mood of the city as we hunkered down in isolation.
It was the height of the first wave of COVID-19. Coronavirus information flooded our news feeds and social media. We were fearful. Life was uncertain. We stayed home. We kept to ourselves.
We also saw an outpouring of support for front-line workers. There were many random acts of kindness. Neighbours helped neighbours. We came together in our isolation.
Practising physical distancing, the filmmakers captured special moments across the city with a Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancer, a graffiti artist, a polar bear artist, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s maestro, leaders in business and philanthropy, nurses, firefighters, and many other citizens.
Winnipeg-based musician Ryan Nash created an original score for the project.
Meet the filmmakers
Jim Agapito is an award-winning filmmaker who grew up in Winnipeg’s ’90s music scene. Through this time, Jim learned to channel his energy and enthusiasm into a DIY work ethic that has served him throughout his life.
Jim has been creating films for over 15 years, making videos for a variety of clients around the world. Transitioning to more scripted narrative projects, Jim is intent on integrating his two great passions — culture and music.
Ryan Nash has spent nearly a decade as an international touring musician and has written and performed music and film scores for dance/ballet, theatre, film and television. During his time at Exchange District Studio, he worked with Grammy-, Juno- and WCMA-winning artists, engineers and musicians.
Since 2016, Ryan has been working as a freelancer on projects for CBC, CBC Arts, the Canada Arts Council, Global Television, Bravo Network, the National Film Board and other independent productions.
Continuing his passion for music, Ryan is a member of such local projects as Agassiz, Agapito, and Union Stockyards.
Aleksandra (Sasha) Osipova specializes in social media and marketing (content creation strategy, public relations, rebranding).
She has extensive experience in public relations, community organization, project management and production co-ordination. Her passions, however, are for rebranding, crisis management and financial literacy.
Sasha is heavily involved in community events, art functions and fundraising. She is also a production assistant on local film productions.
Matt Purchase is an artist and filmmaker based in Winnipeg. As a youth, Matt’s involvement in various subcultures has shaped a passion and understanding for the lesser known parts of the city and peoples who are often unrecognized. Matt graduated with a BA (Adv.) in film studies from the University of Manitoba.
During his career as a student, Matt experimented with and produced stop-motion films that would catch the attention of his mentor, Jim Agapito.
Matt’s catalogue of work is vast. He has shot commercials, educational videos, web series and music videos. In addition to working behind the camera, he is no stranger to post-production, having edited long- and short-form dramas, documentaries and television.
Paul D. Stabell is a cinematographer, colourist and scriptwriter. He has worked as a freelancing videographer for over 10 years, most recently working for CBC and CBC Arts on short human-interest pieces.
Paul’s experience has been extensive, his filmography including weddings, music videos, short films, short docs and feature films. With a BA in film studies from the University of Manitoba and as a winner of the Rose Toles award for writing, Paul’s enthusiasm for film saturates every area of his life.
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