s-yéwyáw / Awaken


92 minutes – Documentary
Language: English
Festival Release date: October 13, 2023 – Planet In Focus (World Premiere)
Release date: November 25, 2023 – Vancouver
Production company: Elder’s Film Inc.
Canadian distributor:

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall, s-yéwyáw / Awaken features stories of hope and homecoming as Indigenous multimedia changemakers learn and document the teachings of their Elders. This character-driven documentary connects the transformative stories of artist, musician and medicine woman Ecko Aleck of the Nlaka’pamux Nation (Lytton, BC), filmmaker and Traditional Wellness Coordinator Alfonso Salinas of the shíshálh Nation (Sunshine Coast, BC) and storyteller and impact producer Charlene SanJenko of Splatsin of the Secwépemc Nation (Shuswap, BC) as they learn and document the traditional cultural teachings and legacies of their Elders, including the impacts of Canada’s Residential School system. Infused with Indigenous ceremony, s-yéwyáw / Awaken walks alongside the process of intergenerational healing and calls the audience’s attention to the filmmaking process of narrative collaboration between an Indigenous and settler team.

s-yéwyáw / Awaken was filmed respectfully on the unceded homelands of the shíshálh and sḵwx̱wú7mesh Peoples, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm and səlilwətaɬ Territories, Splatsin te Secwepemcul’ecw, Qualicum First Nation, Nlaka’pamux Territory. It was produced with the support of Telus, Developed with the participation of Creative BC, Produced in Association with Hollywood Suite and Knowledge Network, Funded in part by the province of BC Film Incentive BC and the Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit.

s-yéwyáw / Awaken, movie, documentary, poster,



Ecko Aleck
Liz Marshall
Alfonso Salinas
Charlene SanJenko

Executive Producer:

Liz Marshall

Associate Producer:

Özgün Gündüz

Line Producer:

Patti Poskitt


Liz Marshall


Ecko Aleck
Liz Marshall
Alfonso Salinas
Charlene SanJenko


Eva Anandi Brownstein
Liz Marshall
Inder Nirwan
Diana Parry
Michael Bourquin (Additional Cinematography)
Tamar Kozlov (Additional Cinematography)


Eddie O.


Ecko Aleck

Production Designer:

Paul Shoebridge

Cast: Roles:

Sen7kiyap, Terry Coyote Aleck
Wenecwtsin, Wayne Christian
hiwus, Calvin Craigan
x wu’ p’ a’ lich, Barbara Higgins
Alfonso Salinas
Charlene SanJenko