Short Doc ‘this river’ Awarded in Montreal

Erika MacPherson and André Dudemaine
Courtesy of the NFB


By Pat Mullen

Today the United Nations marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and, in a fitting coincidence, a Canadian doc spotlighting Indigenous issues was acknowledged for its efforts. Katherena Vermette and Erika MacPherson received the Coup de Coeur Jury Award at the 2016 Festival Présence autochtone/Montréal First Peoples Festival for their short doc this river. this river is a production from the National Film Board of Canada that examines the devastating search for missing Indigenous women and the effort to find their remains in the Red River through the volunteer initiative Drag the Red.


Vermette is a Métis filmmaker and writer whose first book North End Love Songs won the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and MacPherson is a Winnipeg-based creator of film, video, and documentary art whose portfolio includes films such as May We Grow.


“I’m humbled by the generosity and grace of Winnipeg’s Drag the Red community, and honoured that they welcomed us to witness and document their crucial work,” said producer Alicia Smith in a statement from the NFB. “I’m buoyed by the incredible skill and camaraderie of our all-women filmmaking crew. And I’m grateful to work for Canada’s public producer―a place where this kind of storytelling, from these kinds of perspectives, is valued and encouraged.”

this river will have its Winnipeg premiere starting on Oct. 5 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, as part of ‘The Decolonizing Lens,’ a film screening and discussion series co-organized by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Manitoba.

Additional winners from the festival will be announced shortly.

This River, , National Film Board of Canada