Home News imagineNATIVE Announces 2019 Lineup


imagineNATIVE Announces 2019 Lineup


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One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, image,
Image from One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk courtesy of Isuma TV.

imagineNATIVE Announces 2019. Lineup

by Staff



(October 2, 2019 – Toronto, ON) As previously announced, Zacharias Kunuk’s latest feature One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk has been given the honour of opening the 20th anniversary edition of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

The opening night gala at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema kicks off the festival on Tuesday, October 22. It closes five days later on Sunday, October 27 with The Sun Above Me Never Sets by first time feature film director Lyubov Borisova at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

 Between the two galas there is so much more to see.

For example, the Festival will screen a dynamic selection of feature films including The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn; Red Snow, an Indigenous military drama directed by Marie Clements; the world premiere of Fukry, directed by Blackhorse Lowe; the Toronto premiere of Top End Wedding by Wayne Blair; The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw (pictured below), directed by Shelley Niro; the world premiere of Ruthless Souls directed by Madison Thomas; and the Toronto premiere of Rustic Oracle, by Sonia Boileau.

The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, image,
MorningStar Angeline stars in The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw.

The Toronto premiere of Vai, is a highly anticipated film written and directed by a sisterhood of Pacific filmmakers, and shot on location in seven Pacific countries is also on the schedule. From the producers of Waru (2017), Vai explores themes of womanhood, tradition, and empowerment through the story Vai, who is portrayed at various stages in her life from the age of seven to eighty by eight different actresses.

Dark Place is a collection of shorts films from five Indigneous filmmakers from Australia, and will have its Canadian premiere at imagineNATIVE. Dark Place is a horror program full of revenge, insomnia, supernatural forces, water zombies, land zombies and of course, comedy.

Speaking of shorts, imagineNATIVE will present 12 shorts programmes including: Tribulations, a collection of dramatic shorts; Imprint, stories about the connection to home from the viewpoint of youth; Indi Love Stories, short films about family, love and LGBT2S+ experiences; Deviations, a series of experimental shorts; Translations, featuring shorts from around the globe; Metamorphosis, with international shorts from the youth point of view; and Fight or Flight, a series of short films about women.

imagineNATIVE is proud to honour Michelle Thrush with the 2019 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. Michelle Thrush has worked professionally in film, television and theatre for more than 25 years with over 40 professional credits in the entertainment industry and numerous awards and special recognitions throughout. The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was launched in partnership with Joan Karasevich Schellenberg to honour her late husband, the legendary actor August (Augie) Schellenberg, and the spirit of his work. Michelle Thrush will receive the Augie at the imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation on October 27 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, image,
Still image from nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up courtesy of NFB. Photo: © Jon Montes

There are six Special Presentations on the schedule including: a screening of MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, followed by an extended Q&A with Chelsea Winstanley and Alanis Obomsawin; an Artist Spotlight screening and extended Q&A with Elder Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr.; an exclusive preview of Jeff Barnaby’s latest film Blood Quantum, which will be in theatres in early 2020 distributed by Elevation Pictures; a screening of nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (pictured above), a powerful, game-changing documentary, followed by a moderated conversation with director Tasha Hubbard and members of Colton Bushie’s family; a screening of Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, the latest documentary from legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, followed by an extended Q+A; and the Barb Cranmer Tribute screening, in honour of the late Kwakwaka’wakw filmmaker.

Last but not least Audio Works at imagineNATIVE will feature 14 radio, podcast, and sound pieces including: Coffee with My Ma, a podcast by Kaniehtiio Horn where her activist mother Kahentinetha Horn tells stories of her very adventurous life; episodes from Warrior Life, a podcast by Mi’kmaw lawyer, professor, author, and social justice activist Dr. Pam Palmater; and Tsi tkaronhya ke – In the Sky, a sound narrative featuring digital compositions by Haida/Cree musician Kristi Lane Sinclair and Inuit DJ Mad Eskimo aka Geronimo Inutiq, produced by Mohawk sound and radio artist Janet Rogers.

Tickets for imagineNATIVE 20 are now on sale and there is more information online.