Favourite local filmmaker

Photo by Keeley Braunstein-Black

Favourite local filmmaker

1. Ryan Steel
2. Ian Bawa / Fabian Velasco (tie)

Ryan Steel has been making movies since he was in short pants. He attributes much of his learning to being enrolled in a Winnipeg Film Group camp for teens, where he was introduced to Winnipeg’s rich history of arthouse filmmaking and had his mind thoroughly blown. It was during this stint at film camp that he learned to hand-develop film and became captivated with the idea of becoming a filmmaker. 

When asked what makes analog filmmaking so captivating, Steel says “I like the textures of analog images. There’s so many different worlds that are accessible with discarded technology.” 

This love of discarded technology is present in Steel’s body of work, and it is specifically the textural elements created using film that make his work so visually interesting and lend it a recognizable style. 

Steel has worked with plenty of local luminaries from the music scene and says “If I had any musical talent, I would be doing that (making music) instead.” His love of music comes through strong in the exceptional and transcendent videos he has made for the likes of Urban Vacation and Begonia. 

Steel has navigated various sides of the filmmaking industry and says “I find a great sense of comfort in being independent and working on projects that I care about more than anything. I worked on a big union movie and quit after two weeks, because I was kinda having a nervous breakdown.” 

He feels that the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit ultimately gives “big American companies tax credits to exploit the labour of Manitobans” and “would like to see more low-budget films being funded by the Province.”

Ultimately, Steel says “the artists of Manitoba’s filmmaking world will always triumph.”

Published in Volume 75, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 3, 2020)

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