Eight Indigenous Features Receive Support from Telefilm Canada

By Pat Mullen

Eight film projects driven by Indigenous talents will receive funding from Telefilm Canada. The funder announced its support today for the projects via a release. The line-up includes the documentary project IndigiThreads written and directed by Adeline Bird and produced by Ryan Cooper. IndigiThreads previously won the Web Series Pitch Competition at imagineNATIVE 2018 for its story about Indigenous entrepreneurs injecting life into the global fashion industry. VR/AR artist and short doc director Nyla Innuksuk will make her feature debut with the drama Slash/Back (pictured).

Three of the films are also supported under the Talent to Watch program, and two films feature a mix of Indigenous languages. The line-up also includes the first French feature from the Indigenous production stream.

“Supporting the incredible talent of Canada’s Indigenous communities continues to be an important priority for Telefilm,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada in a release from the organization. “In this International Year of Indigenous Languages, we are proud to support works in Mi’kmaq and Inuktitut. The selected projects will bring to light new voices and perspectives key to building our cinema of tomorrow.”

All projects selected for the program were assess by an external all-Indigenous jury, which remarked, “From documentary webseries to irreverent comedy, horror, and social drama, the next wave of Indigenous cinema is exploding beyond the boundaries of genre. And with production taking place from Nunavut to BC, Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, in languages as diverse as Inuktitut, Mi’kmaq, English and French, it’s clear that Indigenous cinema is giving life to our stories all across the country.”

The selected projects are:

Director, writer and producer: Jason Brennan (Anishinaabe)
Language: French
Province: Quebec

Director and writer: Bretten Hannam (Mi’kmaq)
Producer: Gharrett Paon (Mi’kmaq)
Language: English / Mi’kmaq
Province: Nova Scotia

Director, writer and producer: Nyla Innuksuk (Inuit)
Language: English / Inuktitut
Province: Ontario/Nunavut

Portraits from a Fire
Director: Trevor Mack (Tl’etinqox)
Writer: Derek Vermillion (Cree)
Producer: Rylan Friday (Cote First Nation)
Language: English
Province: British Columbia

Tipping Andy Warhol
Director: Dana Claxton (Lakota Sioux)
Writer: Dana Claxton, Courtenay Crane (The Key First Nations), Sam Bob
Producer: David Paperny
Language: English
Province: British Columbia

Director and writer: Adeline Bird (Anishinaabe)
Producer: Ryan Cooper (Peguis First Nation)
Under the Talent to Watch Program – Partner: On Screen Manitoba
Language: English
Province: Manitoba

Coffee Express
Director and writer: Roger Boyer
Producer: Eva Thomas (Tohono O’odham/Ojibway/Cherokee)
Under the Talent to Watch Program – Partner: Adam Beach Film Inst.
Language: English
Province: Manitoba

The Certainty of Symmetry
Director and writer: Jaren Brandt Bartlett (Cree-Ojibway/Métis)
Producer: Kelton Stepanowich (Cree/Métis)
Under the Talent to Watch Program – Partner: Adam Beach Film Inst.
Language: English
Province: British Columbia