September 29, 2020 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Audiences across Canada will be able to share in powerful Indigenous storytelling, including seven National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produced and co-produced works, at the online imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (October 20–25, 2020). The NFB is also partnering on an industry panel for Indigenous virtual reality creators.

Winner of the People’s Choice Documentary Award and the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, Michelle Latimer’s Inconvenient Indian (90th Parallel Productions/NFB) brings to life Indigenous intellectual, master storyteller and author Thomas King’s brilliant dismantling of North America’s colonial narrative in his best-selling book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Currently showrunning and directing the scripted series Trickster, Latimer is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, writer and activist of Algonquin, Métis and French heritage, from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (Maniwaki), Quebec. She grew up on Treaty 9 territory in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and currently splits her time between there and Toronto.

Six short NFB films will be presented as part of the festival’s Francophone Indigenous Focus:

The NFB is also partnering on Digital Development Day: The Digital Pitch, an imagineNATIVE Pitch Panel taking place Wednesday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. E.T., in which key industry members will offer feedback on creative documentary VR proposals from six emerging and mid-career Indigenous artists. The pitch panel is part of Open Immersion II, a virtual lab featuring mentorship, training and creative ideation, led by the NFB Ontario Studio, the CFC Media Lab and JustFilms/Ford Foundation.  

About the films:

Official selection:

Inconvenient Indian by Michelle Latimer (90 min; 2020)

  • Inconvenient Indian exposes the falsehoods of white supremacy and deftly punctures myths of Indigenous erasure to lay bare what has been extracted from the land, culture, and peoples of Turtle Island. Artist activists, land protectors, hunters, and those leading cultural revitalization powerfully subvert the “inconvenience” of their existence, creating an essential new narrative and a possible path forward for us all.
  • Produced by Stuart Henderson (90th Parallel Productions), Justine Pimlott (NFB) and Jesse Wente. The executive producers are Gordon Henderson (90th Parallel Productions) and Anita Lee (NFB).

Francophone Indigenous Focus: 

From the 5 Shorts Project:

Children of the Nomad by Evelyne Papatie (3 min; 2018)

  • The filmmaker, who comes from a family of nomads, writes a magnificent, poetic letter to her children in which the bicycle becomes a powerful symbol of heritage, transference, and coming together.

Délia 9 to 5 by Délia Gunn (3 min 30 s; 2018)

  • A direct and unvarnished – yet tender and humorous – portrait of a typical day in the life of director Délia Gunn at Réservoir-Dozois while she is eight months pregnant.

Both films were produced by Nathalie Cloutier (NFB) and Serge Bordeleau (Nadagam Films) for the 3rd edition of the NFB’s 5 Shorts Project. Colette Loumède is NFB executive producer.

The Fake Calendar by Meky Ottawa (1 min; 2019)

  • A neon glimpse at how people come up with interesting and creative ways to avoid social functions, in favour of their own private space.
  • For its 12th edition, the NFB’s Hothouse program for emerging animators teamed up with imagineNATIVE and associate producers Amanda Strong and Amanda Roy to help address underrepresentation of Indigenous creators in film animation.
  • Produced by Maral Mohammadian and Jelena Popović, and executive produced by Michael Fukushima for the NFB, in partnership with imagineNATIVE.

I Like Girls by Diane Obomsawin (8 min; 2016)

  • In this animated short, endearing anthropomorphic figures tell real-life stories about the first loves of four women: funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments and fumbling attempts at sexual expression.
  • Winner of the Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
  • Produced by Marc Bertrand and executive produced by Julie Roy for the NFB.

Mobilize by Caroline Monnet (3 min 30 s; 2015)

  • Mobilize takes viewers on an exhilarating journey from the Far North to the urban south, revealing the perpetual negotiation between the modern and traditional by a people always moving forward. 
  • Named Best Experimental Film at the Yorkton Film Festival.
  • Produced and executive produced at the NFB by Anita Lee for the NFB’s short film series Souvenir, in which leading Indigenous artists worked with footage from the NFB archives and recordings by cutting-edge Aboriginal musicians to reframe archival imagery in a new light.

Red Path by Thérèse Ottawa (15 min 30 s; 2015)

  • An intimate look at the moving journey of Tony Chachai, a young Atikamekw man whose road to redemption begins with a promise to his dying mother to return to his roots.
  • Recipient of special mentions for Best Short Film and Télé-Québec Best Choice Award at the Montreal First Peoples’ Festival.
  • Produced by Johanne Bergeron and executive produced by Colette Loumède as part of the first edition of Tremplin NIKANIK, a competition for francophone First Nations filmmakers in Quebec organized by the NFB in partnership with APTN. 

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