HAMILTON — On Wednesday, March 18, Soaring Spirits: A collection of Indigenous Shorts curated and hosted by Cher Obediah will take place at The Westdale on King Street in Hamilton from 7 p.m., to 9:30 p.m., with visitors invited to stay after the film for a discussion with the Obediah and some of the filmmakers.
The evening will follow a program that includes several Six Nations creators:
Iethiien:ne Ratiskáokon:á (What We Leave for Our Children ), 2m, by Dr. Karen Hill: This short film depicts the life changing event that lead to a connection with Indigenous Medicines as part of life and practice for Dr Hill, a Mohawk family physician from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
The Eagle and the Condor, 4m, by Paulette Moore: Water protectors recall the power and violence of the 2016/17 Standing Rock action camps as they rely on ceremony to resist resource extraction and heal our modern world.
Taken Home, 17m, by Jonathan Elliot: Shortly after being placed with a new foster family, Tom and Claire, two young Mohawk siblings are forced to confront the realities of their situation as a dark secret threatens to tear them apart forever. Taken Home is a film about the inability of Indigenous youth to maintain a connection to their culture and identity while in the foster care system and the effects this institution can have on the children forced into it.
The Guide, 11m, by dir. Yi Xie, wr/prod. Carla Robinson: Danny struggles to maintain the restrictions of his pancreas disease and often finds himself in the hospital. He keeps dreaming of a bear and doesn’t understand why. His special friend Wari who has been a positive influence in his life tries to help Danny understand guides in Indigenous symbolism and encourages him to take better care of himself. Things change when Wari ends up in the hospital at the same time as Danny.
My Father’s Footsteps, 17m, by Cameron Watts: Cambell River 1999, a broken home in the middle of the night, a 6 year old boy didn’t know this would be the last time he would see his dad. 19 years later, Cameron Watts prepares to find the answers to almost two decades worth of questions. This discovery-based documentary will chronicle the journey of Cameron’s search for his father Darell Watts, straight from the beginning taking us into the unknown. It will be documented through interviews with family, close friends, photographs, and visits to his last known whereabouts.
Her Water Drum, 16m, by Johnathan Elliot: In the wake of her daughter’s disappearance, Jolene, a single Mohawk mother, is forced to pick up the pieces of her life and navigate an increasingly strenuous relationship with her troubled son David. As secrets emerge, their relationship faces its toughest challenge yet as they confront the reality of their situation. This film deals with the topic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, highlighting the impact it has on individual families and their communities.
The Getaway, 1m, by Shane Pennells: Two men try to rob a bank, with unintended consequences.Other: This was one of 6 accepted entries in the Hamilton Film Festival’s 2019 Film Challenge
Translation, 3m, by Shane Pennells: A recently-deceased man must come to grips with his own mortality and separation from his family. Other: The film was done for an online film contest and came in 12th out of 220 worldwide submissions
Intentional Blindness, 5m, by Cher Obediah: Intentional Blindness is based on a Six Nations land claim that captured national attention in 2006. The small town of Caledonia in southern Ontario flooded with media and violence. A lack of education on Indigenous history played a significant role in the destruction at that time. Years later, long time Indigenous educator Rick Hill shares his thoughts on how it happened, what went wrong and more importantly his winning formula for the future.
TEKAHIONWAKE, 20m, by Shelly Niro: A short plethora of poetry written by E. Pauline Johnson, a Mohawk from Six Nations Reserve. She went onto perform across Canada, the USA and Britain at the turn of the 20th century
As the Curator and Host, Obediah started out in theatre at a young age and followed that path through college. She shifted her focus to television and worked as a reporter before leaving to expand her skills in a production house. After years of honing her craft she launched her own production company and began to focus on film. Obediah has a passion for projects relating to Indigenous issues, reconciliation, cultural reconnection, youth initiatives, inequality and injustice. Her work has taken her across Canada into the United States and overseas, but her favourite place is within her creative community in Hamilton Ontario.