Source: Vancouver Sun

By Dana Gee

Sometimes, summer jobs can really pay off.

That is certainly the case for Vancouver’s Kate Bond, who drew on several years spent working as a tree planter in northern B.C., a historical tour guide in the Yukon, and a wildfire lookout in Alberta to craft her first screenplay, Trapline, which has been awarded the $25,000 Daryl Duke Prize.

The award honours an unproduced, long-form dramatic film that tells a fictional story. It is given in the memory of the late Daryl Duke, an Emmy Award-winning film and television creator from Vancouver.

“I fell in love. (The wilderness) got its hooks in me and I miss it every day,” said Bond, who wrote most of her screenplay while travelling on the bus to and from her eastside home to work downtown. “I would say writing this screenplay was a direct expression of missing the north and missing a cabin in the woods.”

Set in the wilderness of the Yukon, Trapline is the story of a teen girl named Scarlett who takes over her deceased grandfather’s abandoned trapline. Things get complicated when her foster brother shows up.

“I think Scarlett is someone like me who found herself fully self-realized in nature, in the wilderness. But is braver and tougher than I am in most meaningful respects,” said Bond, a former litigator for the federal Department of Justice.

Since her youth, Bond, who also has an English degree from UBC, has written eight novels (none published). She turned to screenplays as a writing exercise, but soon discovered she had a story she wanted to tell.

“I was working in litigation, so dealing with a lot of high-conflict cases about how land is used and how that affects people’s real lives, and it all sort of coalesced into this idea about writing about a conflict over a trapline,” said Bond, who currently splits her time between being a mother, writing and working as a part-time research lawyer.

The award’s prize money is intended to support the winner so they can complete a new draft of their work and move the project closer to actual production.

“I keep forgetting about the money. I was so overwhelmed by the award itself,” said Bond, who found out about the award a few weeks ago. “I’m hoping to take an official trapper’s course to make sure I have crossed all my t’s in the details of trapping. And I get to travel up to the north to do that.”

© Vancouver Sun