Niki Little Steps Down
by Staff Editors
(November 2, 2021 – Toronto, ON) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has announced that Artistic Director Niki Little has stepped down to pursue new opportunities, and to be closer to home and family in Manitoba. She had been with the organization for three years.
“In 2019 Niki and I started with imagineNATIVE, she as Artistic Director, and myself as Associate Director,” said Naomi Johnson, Executive Director. “In 2020 we both took on the roles as the organization’s Artistic and Administrative leads, planning for programming, events, and a Festival during a global pandemic. In that time, Niki has demonstrated perseverance, adaptability, and creativity with what imagineNATIVE could be and do in one of the most challenging years for us all. In 2021, Niki demonstrated these attributes once again admirably, helping to foster a team dynamic that saw us through another primarily digital offering of the Festival, as well as some unique and special in-person screenings. On behalf of the Board and Staff of imagineNATIVE, we wish her the very best with her future endeavours.”
Niki Little, pictured above, is of Anishininew and English descent from Kistiganwacheeng in Northern Manitoba. She is a founding member of Winnipeg-based artistic group The Ephemerals.
“My late uncle Stanley Monias was an artist. He painted in the woodland style from our territory, Garden Hill, Island Lake,” said Niki Little. “I was fascinated by his use of line, movement, and X-ray perspectives that converged numerous narratives within a single moment. From that point, I knew I wanted to work within the creative arts. I view my role as community work making connections and amplifying the work of Indigenous artists. I am deeply appreciative that I got to collaborate with Indigenous artists who continue to assert their stories undeniably impacting cultural and political spheres with their forward-thinking. They’ve expanded my knowledge of the constellation of Indigenous worldviews that took me on unexpected journeys in the most innovative and stunning ways. Indigenous creators bring the vision to the story and the heart to the telling. Chi-miigwech to the Team at imagineNATIVE, especially co-conspirators Naomi Johnson and the Programming Team who leaned into curiosity and vulnerability to continue the incredible work imagineNATIVE does. To the artists, miikwehc for trusting us/me with your work. It has been a true honour to work alongside you all, and I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the organization.”
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio, and digital + interactive media made by Indigenous screen-content creators. The Festival presents compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and dynamism of Indigenous arts, perspectives, and cultures in contemporary media.
This year’s festival ran from October 19 to 24 and wrapped with an awards ceremony with 18 categories and $56,500 in cash prizes and in-kind services. Two of the key awards went to Caroline Monnet for the Dramatic Feature Award for her film Bootlegger, and Landon Dyksterhouse was given the Documentary Feature Award for Warrior Spirit.