NAIT grad’s film odyssey

by | Oct 12, 2018 | Uncategorized

Braden Rooke was born and raised in Morinville, Alberta. It wasn’t until after graduating from Morinville Community High School and taking a year off that Rooke decided to attend NAIT, after attending a NAIT information session.

Rooke took the Digital Cinema Production program at NAIT in 2013 and graduated in 2015.

In this program, he had the chance to work with a diverse group of people, Rooke says that throughout the program he always had a “good team to work with.” Rooke was able to learn and enhance his skills and in his third semester, he got to produce a short film. It was just before his fourth semester when Rooke’s instructor, Michael Jorgensen, gave him the opportunity to produce a documentary about famous singer/songwriter Alfie Zappacosta.

Rooke produced the documentary, originally titled Long Road Home, with a team of his fellow classmates that followed the life of Zappacosta. Long Road Home w o n m u l t i p l e awards, including Best Alberta Documentary Over 30 Minutes at Northwestfest and Best Canadian Documentary at ReelHeART International Film Festival. Rooke attended the Banff World Media festival, and after talking and emailing with some new connections he was able to get Long Road Home to be aired on CBC’s documentary channel. The film was re-titled No Avoiding Clichés, due to the original name being too overused. It premiered on Aug. 12, 2018.

Rooke now works at Leven Creative 4K Production House in Edmonton and has worked on numerous projects. He is currently working on two different documentaries, one of which will follow Mable Tooke, more popularly known as Spider-Mable. Back in 2015 the six year-old cancer survivor saved Edmonton Oilers Captain Andrew Ference, who had been kidnapped and held captive by an evil villain. Rooke is excited to be working primarily as the associate producer but is also doing other jobs for this project as well.

Another project currently underway is a documentary titled MS’ed With the Wrong Girl. This documentary will follow Patrycia, a bubbly woman living with multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed back in 2012 after losing sight in her left eye but continues to partake in as many fundraisers as she can and is also one of Edmonton’s most active spokespersons for the MS Society. This documentary has received a $50,000 grant from Story Hive, which is a company that funds, distributes and supports aspiring filmmakers with the help of Telus. The release dates for both of these productions are currently not available.

Rooke is now continuing to build his career as a producer and feels as though his current position is good for now. However, in the future he hopes to one day solely produce his own documentaries.

– Bridgette Boyko

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