Local filmmakers hope to shed light on trials and tribulations of Shtuka family's journey - InfoNews

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Local filmmakers hope to shed light on trials and tribulations of Shtuka family's journey

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikimedia Commons and B.C. RCMP
September 10, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - It's been nearly seven months since 20-year-old Ryan Shtuka went missing in the resort town of Sun Peaks, and now three local filmmakers will produce a documentary telling the story.

Jared Featherstone is the co-producer and co-director of "Peaks and Valleys," which was granted $50,000 by Telus's Storyhive competition last week. Featherstone is one of three Kamloops men who are producing the film, which will focus on Shtuka's disappearance, and the trails and tribulations his family has faced since Feb. 17, when Shtuka never made it home from a party on Burfield Drive in Sun Peaks.

Featherstone says he and co-director Russ Walton were immediately impacted by Shtuka's story, noting they had both made the same walk he did countless times.

"It's been a real honour so far to be selected and now the real work begins," Featherstone says. "Ryan's story is something that kind of grabbed both of our attention. Being born and raised in Kamloops we spend a lot of time in Sun Peaks."

It would be great if the film could turn over some new stones in the search for Shtuka, he says, but the aim of the documentary is to raise awareness that he is still missing and there's been no trace of him.

"Get to know the people involved with the search, and watch a community pull together to try and help solve the mystery," the documentary's synopsis reads. "As it seems more and more likely that someone knows more than they are telling, these mountains have plenty of stones left to turn, and the valley holds a community still willing to turn them."

While the crew is still in the pre-production phase of the documentary, they've already started planning out what questions they'll want answered, and the trips they'll take. Featherstone says the group is planning on meeting with the Shtuka family when they return to Sun Peaks later this week. They also plan to explore Sun Peaks and visit Beaumont, Alta. where Shtuka is originally from.

"Hopefully by the mid-May deadline we'll have something the whole community can be proud of," he says. "There will be less on answers, and more about family’s search for their child, what their trials and tribulations entail, hardships, ups and downs, and the giant rollercoaster of different emotions they go through.”

Shtuka's mother Heather has been at the forefront of the search since the day he went missing, and has kept her son's name and face top of mind for many people in the community.

When she found out the local filmmakers were interested in covering her son's story, it was something she wasn't expecting.

"I was surprised, certainly, I didn’t think it garnered any outside interest that someone would want to do that," Heather says.

The documentary was one of 30 selected to receive the Storyhive funding.

You can follow updates and behind-the-scenes looks at the documentary at @peaksandvalleys2018 on Instagram.

Find past stories on the search for Ryan Shtuka here.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
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