Idaho-made documentary receives honors in Cannes

The story of Nell Shipman, a silent film pioneer with strong ties to Idaho, is now global. The Idaho-made won Best Documentary at the Artisan Festival International: Cannes World Cinema. It’s a program run by the World Peace Initiative and held concurrent with the Cannes International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world.

Boise filmmaker Karen Day traveled with the film to Cannes, France and attended the screening during the official Marche du Film before an international audience.

“Girl from God’s Country” uses the life and career of silent film star and filmmaker Nell Shipman as a jumping off point to examine the state of women in film and media culture today. In the 1920s, Shipman retreated to Priest Lake to work outside the brutal Hollywood studio system. She filmed one of the first nude scenes and was one of the only filmmakers at the time treating her animals humanely. The film pays tribute to Shipman and other women who pioneered the film industry, and explores the challenges today’s women filmmakers continue to face.

Day also took her film to the Sun Valley Film Festival, New York International Film Festival and the Geena Davis’ new Bentonville Film Festival.

Day also is nearing a distribution deal for the project, that she hopes will have an educational component, she says.

Check out the trailer: