Alanis Obomsawin Wins Prix Albert-Tessier

Alanis Obomsawin
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Alanis Obomsawin is the recipient of this year’s Prix Albert-Tessier. The Prix Albert-Tessier is Quebec’s highest distinction in cinema, and one of the 14 Prix du Québec awarded each year. Obomsawin will receive the award on November 9 during a ceremony at the Parliament Building in Quebec City.

“Alanis Obomsawin has devoted over 40 years of her life to creating a body of work that speaks of the collective memory and future of Indigenous people,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson, in a statement from the NFB. “The strength of her art, committed to giving a voice to First Nations, has brought about a better understanding of their realities and concerns vis-à-vis our society,”

Obomsawin’s career spans decades of significant work at the NFB directing films like Incident at Restigouche and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance that tackle the rights of Indigenous persons in Canada. The director is still going strong at 84 with her latest doc We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice playing every major festival in Canada this year. The film is one of her most essential works yet as it documents a landmark human rights case for Indigenous children and puts Canada’s history of Residential Schools on trial. She is currently at work on her 50th film.

Alanis Obomsawin is the first Indigenous person to receive the Prix Albert-Tessier. Previous recipients of the Prix Albert-Tessier include Denys Arcand, Claude Jutra, Colin Low, Norman McLaren and Léa Pool.

Read more about Alanis Obomsawin’s career in the current cover story on We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice and ‘The Long Walk of Alanis Obomsawin’.

Watch her films here at the NFB.