In the world of filmmaking, sometimes the most extraordinary stories are the ones that come together unexpectedly. One such story is the documentary 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE, a film that not only explores a critical historical moment but also has deep ties to British Columbia. We sat down with Victoria-based film professional, Chris Vautour, who played a pivotal role in this documentary’s creation, to learn more about the film and its fascinating local connections.
Unearthing a Hidden Truth
1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE is an independent feature documentary directed by Sharon “Rocky” Roggio. The documentary navigates the intricate web of theology, history, culture, and politics that culminated in a pivotal Biblical mistranslation. It unravels the story of the individual who valiantly sought to prevent this error and the fervent academic pursuit undertaken by the LGBTQIA+ Christian community in their quest to uncover the truth.
The documentary’s narrative takes an intriguing turn as it follows a scholar and educator on a quest to unearth hidden truths. This scholar uncovers letters from Reverend David S. Fearon, revealing that the word “homosexuality” was, in fact, a mistranslation. The film raises thought-provoking questions about how this particular word found its way into the Bible and what its inclusion has meant for various communities.
Local Connections: British Columbia’s Role
The film’s production was significantly shaped by a chance encounter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris met director Rocky Roggio in an online LGBTQIA+ support group that connected people from around the world during the pandemic. When the search for an individual crucial to the film’s narrative, Reverend David, led the filmmakers to discover he now lived on Vancouver Island, Rocky (who lives in the U.S. and was unable to travel due to pandemic restrictions) reached out to Chris for assistance. Chris took on the responsibility of organizing a second unit to capture essential interviews with Reverend David, a vital step in documenting the story.
With COVID precautions in place, Chris used her own resources and hired a Vancouver Island-based camera man, Greg Samborski, to help capture all the shots needed. This two-person crew worked miracles to get the key interviews conducted. If it wasn’t for Chris, the film might not have been able to interview Reverend David as he has sadly passed since the filming occurred.
A Glimpse into Chris’s Future
In our conversation with Chris, we also learned about her ongoing projects and contributions to the world of film. Currently working on a Canada Council Grant funded short documentary in Ontario called “Robin’s Nest,” Chris serves as a Director’s Guild location scout on narrative projects as well as a field producer for unscripted projects and commercials. She also teaches location scouting at Camosun College, in collaboration with the Vancouver Island South Film Commission, further enriching the local film community.
A Thriving Film Community on Vancouver Island
What stands out about Chris’s journey and the documentary’s creation is the thriving film industry on Vancouver Island. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and writer’s strike, the island has become a hub for unscripted TV and narrative work, and the past decade has seen a surge in industry professionals moving to the island.
The Power of Community Support
1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE is a testament to the power of community support. The documentary was funded entirely by the public, and its success can be attributed to a dedicated and passionate team.
The film has already received 22 jury and audience awards, premiered at DOC NYC, and became the most-watched film in the history of the festival. Furthermore, a sold-out screening of over 700 people at the Queer Film Festival in Vancouver highlighted the documentary’s impact and relevance.
Coming to a Theatre Near You
As Chris shared with us, the B.C. team behind 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE committed to the project because of their belief in the story. Their unwavering dedication and commitment are reflected in their pursuit of distribution and an upcoming theatrical release.
1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE is more than just a documentary; it’s a testament to the power of storytelling and the strength of community connections. Its impact has resonated not only on the global stage but also within the heart of British Columbia.
As the documentary continues its journey, it has just been announced the film will be released in theatres on December 1st, 2023 in Los Angeles (NOHO Laemmie from Dec 1 – Dec 7th) followed by London (The historic Prince Charles Cinema December 3rd – December 9th) and then New York City (specific dates TBA).