Three Documentaries Receive Funding Via Telefilm Canada’s Indigenous Stream

Six projects (three docs, three dramas) receive $3.3 million

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Three feature documentaries are set to receive funding via Telefilm Canada’s Indigenous Stream. The public funder announced the recipients for this year’s cohort, which includes a 50/50 split between docs and dramas. The films will receive a combined commitment of $3.3 million.

The documentaries include Inuguinq directed by veteran Kim O’Bomsawin and newcomer Olivia Ikey. O’Bomsawin is an Abenaki filmmaker best known for her 2020 documentary Call Me Human. The doc about Innu spoken word artist Joséphine Bacon won prizes at festivals in Calgary, Vancouver, and Victoria. Ikey is a mixed Inuk writer and advocate whose work focuses on youth issues and politics.

Also getting funding is Indigéna, directed by Siku Allooloo. The film follows the Inuk/Haitian/Taíno director as she retraces the journey of her mother, an activist who founded an Indigenous newspaper during the 1970s’ American Indian Movement, in a story that weaves past and present. Indigéna was selected to participate in the 2023 Hot Docs Deal Maker program, while Alloohoo’s short doc Spirit Emulsion scored several festival prizes including a special mention at DOXA.

Rounding out the documentary slate is Land of No Pain, directed by Émilie Martel. The filmmaker’s previous credits include the short docs Quimsacocha and Alias Marie-Soleil. She has also directed projects for Univision, Newsweek, The Guardian, and Al-Jazeera’s social channel AJ+.


The complete list of films receiving funding is as follows:

INDÍGENA (documentary)
Director and screenwriter: Siku Allooloo
Production: Arc-En-Ciel Films Inc.
Province: British Columbia
Language: English, Indigenous (Hiwatahia (Taíno)) and Spanish

Inuguinq (documentary)
Directors and screenwriters: Olivia Ikey and Kim O’Bomsawin
Production: Terre Innue Inc.
Province: Quebec
Language: English and Inuinnaqtun

Land of No Pain (documentary)
Director and screenwriter: Émilie Martel
Production: Kannon Films Inc.
Province: Ontario
Language: English and Spanish

Nika and Madison (drama)
Director: Eva Thomas
Screenwriters: Eva Thomas and Michael McGowan
Province: Ontario
Language: English and Ojibwa (Anishinaabemowin)

Seventeen (drama)
Director and screenwriter: Justin Ducharme
Production: Your Boy Productions and Experimental Forest Films Inc.
Province: British Columbia
Language: English

Smudge the Blades (comedy)
Director: Cody Lightning
Screenwriters: Samuel Miller and Cody Lightning
Production: Lightning Mill Inc.
Province: Alberta
Language: English and Cree

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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