ShebaFilms combines the talents of Kelly Saxberg, who has over 30 years of experience in television and film production, and Ron Harpelle, who is an accomplished historian. Over the years they have won several awards for their work in film and have produced a large body of work.
Kelly Saxberg has a MA in History. She began her career working in the newsroom at a television station in Winnipeg, then trained as an editor at the National Film Board before becoming a freelance editor and eventually a producer/director/camera operator/editor of her own projects. Her production credits include several award-winning films that she edited prior to establishing ShebaFilms.
Ron Harpelle has a PhD in History, he has published numerous books and articles, and has both produced and directed several films and video projects as part of his work as academic. As a result, many of our films are complimented by books and larger academic projects on the same subject, making them ideal for the educational market and ensuring the quality of the research that goes into them. Our success as filmmakers is due to this combination of our expertise in research and film production.
Together we have travelled the world making films about politics, the environment, social justice and other related themes. Our background as historians also means that our work is often historical in focus or it contains significant historical elements. We are fluent in French, English and Spanish, we have filmed in 25 countries where we have often relied on local fixers and crew to facilitate access to locations, people and stories. As a result, Shebafilms has a global network of contacts and significant production experience in some of the most challenging situations.
ShebaFilms’ international work has dealt with subjects like the global banana trade, Black Panthers in solitary confinement and the globalization of the forest industry. At a more national level, ShebaFilms has made films on the problem of toxic waste at the Giant Mine in Yellowknife, the issue of Body Image among teenagers, and a film suicide among First Nations youth. Our company has also made several films that focus on the untold histories of Northwestern Ontario. These stories range from the immigration and settlement of Finnish socialists at the Lakehead, to the story of the woman who made Canada’s first independent feature-film, the life of Sheila Burnford, author of “The Incredible Journey.”
Our company is based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where we have access to production and post-production facilities. Thunder Bay is also home to Confederation College which offers two-year diploma programs in Film and New Media production. As a result, over the years ShebaFilms has helped train many of the graduates and a number of film professionals work in the local industry. Consequently, Shebafilms has the advantage of access to a full production crew for all of its productions.
Shebafilms’ expertise, experience and professional crews combine with our access to funding opportunities that are unique to Northern Ontario residents and academics. In addition to all of the other sources of funding available to filmmakers in Canada, we have benefited from funding from the Ontario Arts Council, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the City of Thunder Bay, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to produce our films.