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imagineNATIVE Wraps with Awards

The imagineNATIVE Wraps with Awards.
Publicity still for the 2017 film Sweet Country.

(October 23, 2017 – Toronto, ON) The 2017 imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival wrapped in Toronto yesterday with its Awards Presentation where Canadian and international Indigenous artists were winners in over a dozen categories with over $42,500 in cash prizes and in-kind services.

The recipient of the Best Dramatic Feature Award was the Australian film Sweet Country (pictured above) by Warwick Thornton. The film centres on Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, who works for a preacher in the outback of Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter war veteran, moves into a neighbouring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defence.

Sam, now a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man, is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down. But as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.

The Best Dramatic Feature Award carries a $2,000 cash award presented by Bell Media.

Following is a list of all the winners announced yesterday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox:

The Ellen Monague Award for Best Youth Work
RAE Directed by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
$500 cash award presented by imagineNATIVE
Best Audio Work
Elcrys by Michael Wilson
$500 cash award presented imagineNATIVE

Jane Glassco Award for Emerging Talent
Morit Elena Morit Directed by Inga-Wiktoria Påve & Anders Sunna
$2,000 cash award presented by The CJ Foundation

Cynthia Lickers-Sage Award for Short Work
I Will Always Love You Kingen Directed by Amanda Kernell
$500 cash award presented by V-Tape

The Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary Work (Long-Form)
Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier Directed by Shane Belcourt & Lisa Jackson
$2,000 cash award presented by TVO

Best Documentary Short
Lelum’ Directed Asia Youngman
$1,000 cash award by CBC Docs

The Kent Monkman Award for Best Experimental Work
Three Thousand by Asinnajaq
$1,000 cash award presented by imagineNATIVE & Kent Monkman

Best Digital Media Work
Thunderbird Strike by Elizabeth LaPensée
$500 cash award presented imagineNATIVE

Best Indigenous Language Work
Bowhead Whale Hunting With My Ancestors Directed by Carol Kunnuk and Zacharias Kunuk
$1,000 cash award presented by Indigenous Media Initiatives

Special Jury Prize – Sun Jury
Sunday Fun Day Directed by Dianna Fuemana

Special Jury Prize – Moon Jury
Birth of a Family Directed by Tasha Hubbard

The Web Series Live Pitch Competition
Spectrum by Darcy Waite and Madison Thomas
$30,000 in cash and in kind prizes presented by APTN

As previously announced The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was given to Tina Keeper. It carries a $1,500 cash award presented by ACTRA National, ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society, and generous individual donations.

The Audience Choice Award, with a $1,000 cash award presented by Air Canada, will be announced later this week.