An image of Kevin Littlelight
Kevin Littlelight | Photo courtesy of Kevin Littlelight

Kevin Littlelight

Filmmaker takes a big leap in order to create his own opportunities

Cherie McMaster and Sable Sweetgrass

A film director and writer, Kevin Littlelight is a member of the Tsuut’ina Nation with proud Tsuut’ina and Blackfoot heritage. He was instrumental in the creation of the Tsuut’ina Office of the Arts and now holds a seat on Calgary Arts Development’s Board of Directors. With the support of his family, Littlelight took time away from home and left a prestigious career behind to head to film school in New York and kick-start his creative path as a filmmaker.

“The film atmosphere in Alberta in the 2000s… there weren’t the supports we have today,” he says. “There wasn’t too much inclusion… Everyone would always tell me there’s a lot of funding opportunities for Indigenous filmmakers back then, but there was really none that I could capitalize on….

“I knew I had the talent, I knew I could tell stories really well, and I knew I was pretty good knowing cameras and lenses and a little bit of lighting, but I don’t think I was taken seriously, so I knew I would have to do something really drastic to be taken seriously as a filmmaker — and that would be moving to a bigger city.”

Littlelight also acknowledges the need of an artist to express their creativity. “As an artist you really have a deep drive in yourself to express your art or to get everything out of you and that doesn’t happen really in an office environment, it doesn’t happen in an administration environment. Artists, if they can’t do art, then they implode.”

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more about Littlelight’s creative journey and experiences, and the sacrifices he made in order to realize his dream.

About The Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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