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First Nations elders and leaders gather in Sudbury for film premiere

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Having grown up in Montreal filmmaker Michael Zelniker says his love of the Boreal forest made him want to know more.

That curiosity sparked inspiration for his latest film, The Issue with Tissue-A Boreal Love Story, which made its world premiere at Cinefest in Greater Sudbury on Sunday afternoon.

“As we travelled across the boreal over 42 days 16,000 trip, we met with more than 50 First Nations elders, leaders, scientists, conservationists. What began as a story about trees and toilet paper evolved and emerged into a story that runs from trees to toilet paper to treaties from carbon to climate change to colonization,” Zelniker told CTV News.

Told in the words and voices of First Nations elders and leaders, along with leading scientists and activists, the film aims to bring awareness to the issues surrounding clear cutting of the Boreal for the manufacturing of toilet paper and what everyone can do to make a difference.

“Basically when you look at the Boreal forest it’s an ecosystem, but all they’re interested in is fibre. Two trees make fibres spruce and jack pine but Boreal’s made up of hundreds of different species. It’s an ecosystem that relies on everything. The song birds are disappearing. The moose are disappearing at a remarkable rate and just to bring awareness to people. We need more allies than foe,” Chief Keeter Corston of Chapleau Cree First Nation said.

The documentary shown Sunday at Cinefest is only a two hour snippet of a five-and-a-half hour planned docu-series that Zelniker hopes will be picked up by a broadcaster or streaming service soon.

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