(October 3, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The truly unique imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival previewed its complete 15th Anniversary season this week when Executive DirectorJason Ryle was introduced by CameronBailey at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Ryle, in turn, invited Manager Daniel Northway-Frank to the stage and as they took turns detailing this year`s offerings they became giddy and slightly overwhelmed by the embarrasment of riches this year`s festival offers.
The15thAnnual imagineNATIVEopens on October 22 and runs until the 26th. By the numbers it looks like this: 130 films and videos; nine Radio Works; seven multi-platform New Media works; four art exhibitions featuring 19 media artists; 11 industry panels and public workshops; and 17 commissions.What all this means is 175 artists representing over 70 distinct Indigenous nations from 12 countries.
Rylealso announced the premiere ofStoryteller Screenings, a cinema-meets-storytelling experience, on Saturday, October 25 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.Storyteller Screeningswill combine a new screen-based video work and a live reading. This yearJoseph Boyden, one of Canada’s true literary stars, will present a new work with master of animation, Terril Calder.Following next, legendary author, artist and activistMaria Campbellwill share a new short story created in collaboration withShane Belcourt, a leading filmmaker in Canadian Indigenous cinema. Together these artists–each from a Métis or mixed culture–combine craft, transcend media and explore new territory to tell a story unlike any other.
AsimagineNATIVEcelebrates 15 years, they will also honour the 10th anniversary ofWapikoniwith a special program curated byCaroline Monnet, presented entirely in French on Thursday, October 23.Wapikoniis the world’s largest producer of short films made by francophone Indigenous artists, many of whom are young and up and coming artists. imagineNATIVEhas a long history withWapikoniwho has contributed a vital and significant body of work to international Indigenous cinema.
The National Film Board is well represented again this year. Legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin and rising digital artist Jordan Bennett will be at the Festival with new documentary and interactive works from the NFB.
A member of the Abenaki nation and one of Canada’s most distinguished artists, Alanis Obomsawin will be on hand to screen her latest film, Trick or Treaty?, documenting the current-day discussions around a controversial 1905 land rights agreement, set against the backdrop of the Idle No More movement. Trick or Treaty? screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Saturday, October 25 at 5:30 p.m. Prior to the screening, Ms. Obomsawin will participate in a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Indigenous Social Justice Docs,” taking place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Founder’s Lounge from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Recently named the BMO Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, artist Jordan Bennett debuts his immersive installation Ice Fishing, in which virtual ice fishing holes turn the gallery floor into a rich fishing ground for stories and time-honoured customs. Bennett, of Mi’kmaq heritage, explores Qualipu Mi’kmaq culture at a time when this Indigenous nation is re-examining itself under its recently acquired official status, with the Qualipu First Nation legally recognized in 2011. Ice Fishing’s main exhibition opens to the public on October 22 at Trinity Square Video, and is also featured during imagineNATIVE’s Art Crawl on October 24, with Bennett speaking at 6:30 p.m. There are also satellite elements of Ice Fishing in the lobbies of TIFF Bell Lightbox