Film Festival sure to bring the best of Indigenous media this week

1 imagiNATIVE -timetravellerThe 14th Annual imagiNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival starts its run this week in downtown Toronto. This year’s lineup, from October 16-20, 2013, brings 101 films from indigenous artists worldwide to a Canadian audience. The festival also brings together indigenous works in other media, including photography and web-based “new media”.

‘Skahiòn:hati | Rise of the Kanien’kehá:ka Legends’ is an interactive video game bringing Haudenosaunee legends to life. In it we follow Skahiòn:hati, a young warrior on an adventure fighting Tree People, an intimidating Stone Giant, and the feared Flying Head.

Six Nations writer Janet Rogers will be showing ‘The Wampum Contracts’, an audio arts collage of E. Pauline Johnsons’ correspondence with the Smithsonian museum about the sale of the cultural items.

Kahnawake artist Skawennati will be screening the now completed machinima series ‘TIMETRAVELLER™’. This work is an animated short that follows a Mohawk time traveller from the 22nd century visiting the past. The series takes time travellers through significant moments in indigenous history including the Oka crisis, meeting Kateri Tekakwitha, and the Occupation of Alcatraz.

Jennifer Podemski’s indie film ‘Empire of Dirt’ is one of this year’s heavy hitters. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year with rave reviews. Another notable producer, Alanis Obamsawin will be showing the documentary film ‘Hi Ho Mistahey’ which follows the story of Shannen Koostachin, a teenage activist whose life brought attention to the need for better learning conditions in her community of Attiwapiskat.

2 imagiNATIVE hiho

Special events are being held across the city in celebration of the festival. Indigenous comedian Ryan McMahon will host the awards reception on Saturday evening. Afterwards guests can check out Polaris prize nominees A Tribe Called Red at the Black Box Theatre.

For dates, locations and more event listings check out the event catalogue or www.imaginative.org.

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