Alanis Obomsawin's Honour to Murrary Sinclair will debut within TIFF's "Celebrating Alanis" retrospective | NFB

TIFF Unveils Line-up for ‘Celebrating Alanis’ Retrospective

Fest adds Obomsawin's new doc about Murray Sinclair

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8 mins read

This September is all about celebrating Alanis Obomsawin! The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled the programming for its Obomsawin retrospective, fitting titled “Celebrating Alanis,” which will screen at this year’s event. The retrospective is curated by Jason Ryle and includes a new short film by Obomsawin, Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair, which profiles the senator and chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“It’s a true gift to know Alanis as a friend and through her films. Her works are imbued with tenacity, dignity, and love in equal measures and they have been transformational across nations,” said series curator Jason Ryle in a statement from TIFF. “Her astonishing legacy continues to grow with each year and with each new film in her long career. Within the global Indigenous community, she is a beacon of our pride and a symbol of the power of film to change the world. It’s been a pleasure to curate this programme for TIFF and my hope is that her works reach even broader international audiences.”

“Alanis Obomsawin is often described as an activist filmmaker,” added Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, via a statement. “Alanis’s body of work focuses on discrimination and injustice, but also on Indigenous strength and resistance. It is an honour to celebrate her work with these 19 films in the retrospective, including the world premiere of her newest title, Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Every story matters, and through Celebrating Alanis, audiences can experience how her work has fundamentally impacted how people in Canada, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, understand ourselves.”

The “Celebrating Alanis” screenings will be free on TIFF’s digital platform with the exception of The Dignity of Children: Programme 2. That programme will screen in-festival and include a trailer for the new animated short film Seeds: The Art of Alanis Obomsawin by Terril Calder. Calder is among the Canadians in the TIFF Short Cuts line-up with the NFB film Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics.

TIFF also unveiled the line-ups for the Platform competition, which will feature Sound of Metal Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed as head of the jury. The line-up includes one Canadian drama, Drunken Birds by Ivan Grbovic.

The line-up for the “Celebrating Alanis,” Platform, and Short Cuts programmes are as follows:

Celebrating Alanis:

Portraits: Programme 1
Puberty – Part 1 (1975)
Puberty – Part 2 (1975)
Mother of Many Children (1977)

Portraits: Programme 2
Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child (1986)
No Address (1988)

Lighting the Fire: Programme 1
The Canoe (1972)
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993)

Lighting the Fire: Programme 2
Moose Call (1972)
Amisk (1977)
Incident at Restigouche (1984)

The Dignity of Children: Programme 1
Snowshoes (1972)
Walking Is Medicine (2017)
Our People Will Be Healed (2017)

The Dignity of Children: Programme 2
Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair (World Premiere; 2021)
Mount Currie Summer Camp (1975)
Children (1972)
Sigwan (2005)
When All the Leaves Are Gone (2010)
Christmas at Moose Factory (1971)

TIFF Short Cuts

A Few Miles South Ben Pearce | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice (Angakusajaujuq) Zacharias Kunuk | Canada
North American Premiere

Anxious Body Yoriko Mizushiri | France/Japan
North American Premiere

ASTEL Ramata-Toulaye Sy | France/Senegal
World Premiere

Beity Isabelle Mecattaf | Lebanon/United States of America
International Premiere

Bhai Hamza Bangash | United Kingdom/Canada/Pakistan
World Premiere

Boobs Marie Valade | Canada
North American Premiere

Charlotte Zach Dorn | United States of America
World Premiere

DEFUND Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Araya Mengesha | Canada
World Premiere

Displaced (Pa Vend) Samir Karahoda | Kosovo
North American Premiere

DUST BATH Seth A Smith | Canada
World Premiere

Egúngún (Masquerade) Olive Nwosu | United Kingdom/Nigeria
World Premiere

Fanmi Sandrine Brodeur-Desrosiers, Carmine Pierre-Dufour | Canada
World Premiere

Hanging On Alfie Barker | United Kingdom
International Premiere

I Gotta Look Good for the Apocalypse Ayçe Kartal | France
North American Premiere

I Would Never Kiran Deol | United States of America
World Premiere

Little Bird Tim Myles | Canada
World Premiere

Love, Dad (Milý tati) Diana Cam Van Nguyen | Czech Republic/Slovakia
Canadian Premiere

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics Terril Calder | Canada
World Premiere

Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit (Al motociclista no le cabe la felicidad en el traje) Gabriel Herrera | Mexico
Canadian Premiere

Nuisance Bear Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden | Canada
World Premiere

Ousmane Jorge Camarotti | Canada
World Premiere

Saturday Night Rosana Matecki | Canada
World Premiere

Shark Nash Edgerton | Australia
World Premiere

Soft Animals Renee Zhan | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Some Still Search (Algunos Siguen Buscando) Nesaru Tchaas | United States of America
World Premiere

Srikandi Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto | Indonesia/Canada
World Premiere

Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro (Lyckad upptining av herr Moro) Jerry Carlsson | Sweden
International Premiere

Sycorax (Sycorax) Lois Patiño, Matías Piñeiro | Portugal/Spain
North American Premiere

The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be Adeyemi Michael | United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

The Infantas (Las Infantas) Andrea Herrera Catalá | Spain
World Premiere

The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night Fawzia Mirza | United States of America/Canada
World Premiere

Together (Ham-Gye) Albert Shin | Canada/South Korea
World Premiere

Trumpets in the Sky Rakan Mayasi | Palestine/Lebanon/France/Belgium
World Premiere

Twelve Hours Paul Shkordoff | Canada
World Premiere

White Devil Mariama Diallo, Benjamin Dickinson | United States of America
World Premiere

You and Me, Before and After Madeleine Gottlieb | Australia
International Premiere

Zero (Nula) Lee Filipovski | Canada/Serbia
World Premiere

Platform

Arthur Rambo Laurent Cantet | France
World Premiere

Drunken Birds (Les oiseaux ivres) Ivan Grbovic | Canada
World Premiere

Earwig Lucile Hadžihalilović | United Kingdom/France/Belgium
World Premiere

Huda’s Salon Hany Abu-Assad | Palestine/Egypt/Netherlands/Qatar
World Premiere

Mlungu Wam (Good Madam) Jenna Cato Bass | South Africa
World Premiere

Montana Story Scott McGehee, David Siegel | USA
World Premiere

Silent Land (Cicha Ziemia) Aga Woszczyńska | Poland/Italy/Czech Republic
World Premiere

Yuni Kamila Andini | Singapore/France/Indonesia/Australia
World Premiere

TIFF runs Sept. 9-18.

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, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

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