2017 imagineNATIVE Award Winners

Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier


By Pat Mullen

Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival announced the winners of its 2017 festival. Shane Belcourt and Lisa Jackson’s Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier capped off the winners by scooping the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary Work, Long Format. (Beating out Obomsawin herself!) The doc interrogates the Canadian justice system by exploring the strange case of Shelly Chartier, who gained notoriety for catfishing aspiring model Paris Dunn and NBA star Chris “Birdman” Andersen. The jury said Indictment “highlights the intimacy of doc filmmaking,” and called it an “engrossing and riveting story that stays with you for days.” Indictment airs on CBC Docs on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 9:00 PM.

Other winners included festival favourite Zacharias Kunuk and Carol Kunnuk in the category for Best Indigenous Language Work with Bowhead Whale Hunting with My Ancestors and Asia Youngman’s Lelum for Best Documentary Short. The award for Best Dramatic Feature went to the riveting Austrian western Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton, which is doing very well by the city of Toronto having won the competitive Platform Prize at TIFF in September.

The winners were announced at a live event preceding the closing night screening of Marie Clements’ doc-musical The Road Forward and were released via social media. imagineNATIVE’s final winner, the Audience Award, will be announced on Tuesday. The full list of winners for this year’s festival is as follows:

Alanis Obomsawin Award For Best Documentary Work Long Format: Incident: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier, Shane Belcourt and Lisa Jackson

Best Indigenous Language Work: Bowhead Whale Hunting with My Ancestors, Carol Kunnuk and Zacharias Kunuk

Best Documentary Short: Lelum, Asia Youngman

Best Dramatic Feature: Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton

Special Jury Prize, Moon Jury: Birth of a Family, Tasha Hubbard

Cynthia Lickers-Sage Award for Best Short Work: I Will Always Love You Kingen, Amanda Kernell

The Ellen Monague Award for Best Youth Work: Rae, Devery Jacobs

Jane Glassco Award For Emerging Talent: Morit Elena Morit, Inga-Wiktoria Påve & Anders Sunna

Best Digital Media Work: Thunderbird Strike, Beth LaPensée

Best Audio Work: Elcrys, Michael Wilson

Kent Monkman Award For Best Experimental Work: Three Thousand, Assinajaq

APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Pitch: Spectrum, Darcy Waite and Madison Thomas

2017 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence: Tina Keeper

Special Jury Prize – Sun Jury: Sunday Funday, Dianna Fuemana

Please visit imagineNATIVE.org for more information on this year’s festival.