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Indigenous-made Short Films

Director Various
Genre Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller
In addition to the feature films in this catalogue, we also offer a wealth of Indigenous-made short films suitable for various grade levels. They cover a variety of themes and topics, and encompass fiction and documentary, live action and animation. For the full list, check out our Short Film Programme and filter by Indigenous filmmaker. 

 

Director

Various

Genres

Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Languages

English, French, Other Language

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Treading Water: Plight of the Manitoba First Nation Flood Evacuees

Directors Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)
Year 2014
Run Time 60min
Genre Documentary

In 2011, close to 4000 First Nation people in Manitoba were forced from their homes after artificially diverted floodwater swamped their communities to save the city of Winnipeg. Most of the evacuees, the majority from Lake St. Martin and Little Saskatchewan First Nations, checked into Winnipeg hotels, assuming they would return to their homes within a couple of weeks. Shockingly, nearly 7 years later over 1700 evacuees remain displaced and continue to be stranded in a political firestorm between First Nation band councils, the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters, hotel owners and the federal and provincial governments. The displacement has triggered a rise in substance abuse and suicide rates. Plans for getting people home seem to be at a standstill. Interspersing intimate clips of everyday life with footage of heated political debates, this deeply intimate documentary tells the unexpected story of the real people behind the national headlines of the 2011 Manitoba flood.

Directors

Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)

Writers

Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)

Producer

Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Canadian Distributor

APTN

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Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 1993
Run Time 119min
Genre Documentary
In July of 1990, the Oka Crisis was a critical moment in contemporary Canadian history and a turning point for Indigenous affairs. That summer, as the small Quebec community was thrust into the international spotlight, master filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nail-biting days filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks of Kanehsatake, Quebec, the Quebec police and the Canadian army.

This powerful documentary takes you right to the heart of the action, painting a sensitive and deeply affecting portrait of the people behind the barricades.

Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Best Canadian Feature Film prize.

Director

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows: The Series.

Writer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Producers

Wolf Koenig, Colin Neale, Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Classics, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, EN Subtitles, FR CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

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Trick or Treaty?

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 2014
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary

One of the masters of Canadian documentary cinema, Alanis Obomsawin has spent decades chronicling the injustices visited on First Nations communities, creating a remarkable body of work. In her latest film, she digs into the difficult history of Treaty 9, the infamous 1905 agreement in which First Nations communities allegedly relinquished their sovereignty over their traditional lands.

Setting the film against the recent resurgence of First Nations activism (Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike and the Idle No More movement), Obomsawin interviews legal, historical and cultural experts — as well as people whose ancestors were present when the treaty was signed — to explore some fundamental questions about Canada’s relationship with our First Nations.

“Obomsawin’s documentaries inform, inspire and shock us. Trick or Treaty? is no different.” — Nadya Domingo, Toronto Film Scene

Director

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows: The Series.

Writer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Producers

Annette Clarke, Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Environment, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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Future History

Directors Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)
Year 2018
Run Time 546min
Genre Documentary
In this incredible APTN docuseries, artist and activist Sarain Fox teams up with archeologist Kris Nahrgang to travel across the country to discover various ways that Indigenous peoples are shaping the future. Through conversations with artists, activists, community leaders and more, the series covers a wide range of themes including Indigenous identity, culture, land rights and intergenerational trauma.

Beautifully shot and packed with powerful interviews, Future History celebrates and explores diverse Indigenous perspectives to create a deeper understanding of our shared history as well as a positive path forward. It is a journey that can’t be missed.

Each 21-minute episode can be viewed independently, or you can watch it as a complete series. Contact us for specific programming recommendations.

Directors

Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis)

Podemski is an award-winning film and television producer and actor. She produced and starred in Empire of Dirt, is the creator and producer of APTN’s The Other Side, and most recently produced and directed the series Unsettled.

Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)

Innuksuk is a director, writer, producer, and VR creator. She co-created the Inuk character Snowguard with Marvel and has written several short films and documentaries. Her first feature was Slash/Back, released in 2022.

Writer

Tamara Podemski (Anishinaabe)

Cast

Kris Nahrgang (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe), Sarain Fox (Anishinaabe)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Club Native

Director Tracey Deer (Mohawk)
Year 2008
Run Time 78min
Genre Documentary
On the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, outside of Montreal, there are two unspoken rules: don't marry a white person, and don't have a child with one. The consequences of ignoring these rules can be dire — loss of membership on the reserve for yourself and your child. For those who incur them, the results can be devastating.

In this honest and affecting doc, filmmaker Tracey Deer follows the stories of four Kahnawake women whose lives have been affected by these rules, shedding light on contemporary Indigenous identity and asking quesitons about how we all understand who we are. 

With her own family as a poignant case study, Deer's film will strike a chord with anyone who's ever thought about ethnicity, culture or their place in the world.

Director

Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

In 2008, Deer won a Gemini Award in Best Documentary Writing, for Club Native. Her debut doc was the award-winning Mohawk Girls, which she adapted into a TV series that ran for five seasons and was nominated for seven CSAs. Beans has won eleven awards, including Best Picture at the CSAs. Most recently, she directed episodes of the series Three Pines, and is currently working on the feature Thorpe, about Native American Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.

 

Writer

Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

Cast

Tracey Deer (Mohawk), Hilda Nicholas, Akwiratékha Martin (Mohawk)

Producers

Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Maïna

Director Michel Poulette
Year 2013
Run Time 102min
Genre Action/Adventure, Drama
An adventure story that is both epic and intimate, Maïna is set in the Far North, in the time before the arrival of the Europeans. During a bloody battle between the Innu and Inuit tribes, an 11-year-old boy, Nipki, is captured by the Inuit. Maïna (Supernault), the daughter of the Innu Grand Chief (Greene), promises her dying friend Matsii that she will rescue the boy, embarking on a dangerous mission that will forever change the course of her life.

Venturing north into enemy territory, Maïna is herself captured by Natak, the Inuit clan’s leader, and must navigate the perilous journey with him, to the “Land of Ice.”

Based on the novel by award-winning author Dominique Demers, this gripping and visually stunning film was nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture.

Director

Michel Poulette

Montreal writer/director Poulette’s film Louis 19, le roi des ondes earned the Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature as well as the Golden Reel Award. His feature Maïna was nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards and three Jutras. He directed Agent of Influence starring Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, several recent TV movies and the series Real Detective.

Writer

Pierre Billon

Cast

Uapeshkuss Thernish, Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Métis), Graham Greene (Oneida), Roseanne Supernault (Cree/Métis)

Producers

Yves Fortin, Karine Martin

Genres

Action/Adventure, Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Literary Adaptation

Original Languages

English, Inuktitut

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Equinox Films

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Tia and Piujuq

Director Lucy Tulugarjuk (Inuk)
Year 2018
Run Time 80min
Genre Drama, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Tia (Bshara) is a 10-year-old refugee from Syria, living in Montreal and struggling to make friends and feel comfortable in her new environment. While her parents are preoccupied with her mother’s pregnancy and the challenges of everyday life in a new place, Tia is left mostly to her own devices. 

Everything changes when she discovers a magical portal that transports her to Igloolik, a community in the Arctic Circle. There she meets Piujuq (Tulugarjuk), an Inuk girl who she quickly forms a deep bond with in spite of their cultural differences. Through their friendship, the stories of Piujuq’s grandmother, and their wanderings across the striking northern landscape, the girls are immersed in Inuit myth and magic. 

A heartwarming magical-realist fable about friendship and discovery, Tia and Piujuq is a delightful adventure for all ages. 

Director

Lucy Tulugarjuk (Inuk)

Writers

Lucy Tulugarjuk (Inuk), Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Samuel Cohn-Cousineau

Cast

Tia Bshara, Nuvvija Tulugarjuk (Inuk), Madeline Piujuq Ivalu (Inuk)

Genres

Drama, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Languages

English, French, Inuktitut, Other Language

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles, Other Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Isuma Distribution International

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Beans

Director Tracey Deer (Mohawk)
Year 2020
Run Time 92min
Genre Drama

Beans takes place at the height of the 1990 Mohawk Resistance at Kanehsatà:ke (also known as the Oka Crisis), a 78-day standoff between Indigenous land defenders, Quebec police, the RCMP and the Canadian military, over the proposed expansion of a golf course on to a Mohawk burial ground. Twelve-year-old Tekehentahkhwa (nicknamed “Beans”, played by Kiawentiio) is forced into an early coming of age by these events, as her innocence turns to anger over the treatment of her people.

Drawing from her own experiences as a child, director Tracey Deer provides a poignant and engaging chronicle of these real-life events that shook the nation, as well as a much-needed look at how the traumatic events impacted youth in the community.

Beans premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the 2021 Canadian Screen Award for Best Picture.

Content Note: This film includes coarse language, violence, and thematic elements that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Director

Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

In 2008, Deer won a Gemini Award in Best Documentary Writing, for Club Native. Her debut doc was the award-winning Mohawk Girls, which she adapted into a TV series that ran for five seasons and was nominated for seven CSAs. Beans has won eleven awards, including Best Picture at the CSAs. Most recently, she directed episodes of the series Three Pines, and is currently working on the feature Thorpe, about Native American Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.

 

Writers

Tracey Deer (Mohawk), Meredith Vuchnich

Cast

Kiawentiio (Mohawk), Dawn Ford, Violah Beauvais (Mohawk), Rainbow Dickerson (Rappahannock), Brittany Leborgne (Mohawk)

Producer

Anne-Marie Gélinas

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Bullying, Discrimination, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media/Criterion

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Rise: The Urban Rez

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

Winnipeg is home to the largest urban Indigenous population in the country, with a high percentage living in a low-income neighbourhood with the highest crime rate in the city. In the face of a staggering number of cases of missing Indigenous women and girls, the community has decided to take a stand, working on an individual level to support, protect and improve the lives of its residents.

Hosted by Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot, Dene) this documentary shows the brave fighters who have dedicated themselves to the cause and delves into the underlying factors and intergenerational trauma that has allowed this environment to develop in the first place.

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Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe), Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Rise: Red Power – Standing Rock Part 2

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary series from VICELAND gives viewers a rare glimpse into the frontline of Indigenous-led resistance, examining Indigenous life through the stories of people in diverse communities who are working to protect their homelands. Several episodes of this urgent and timely show debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and were hailed as “persuasive and poignant” by The New York Times.

Red Power: Standing Rock Part 2 As the #noDAPL movement grows in size and reaches a boiling point, over 5,000 people descend on the Standing Rock camp. Using the unprecedented occupation at Standing Rock as its starting point, this episode delves into the evolution of the Red Power Movement, combining history lessons about Indigenous-led resistance with explosive footage of this urgent and historic moment.

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Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe), Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Rise: Sacred Water – Standing Rock Part 1

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 45min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary series from VICELAND gives viewers a rare glimpse into the frontline of Indigenous-led resistance, examining Indigenous life through the stories of people in diverse communities who are working to protect their homelands. Several episodes of this urgent and timely show debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and were hailed as “persuasive and poignant” by The New York Times.

Sacred Water: Standing Rock Part 1 The residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of South Dakota are fighting to stop a pipeline from being built on their ancestral homeland. In this absorbing account of the events leading up to the protests, Anishinaabe host Sarain Carson-Fox provides context and background, telling the water protectors’ side of the story as the conflict develops right before our eyes.

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Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene), Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Directors Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn
Year 2019
Run Time 105min
Genre Drama

Two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding on an East Vancouver sidewalk when domestic violence forces one of them, a pregnant teen named Rosie (Violet Nelson), to flee her home.

Àila (Tailfeathers) swiftly offers her shelter, and as their intimate yet challenging encounter develops, the women weave a fragile bond, and must face their own unique struggles with the complexities of motherhood, class, race, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

Directors

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn

Writers

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Kathleen Hepburn

Cast

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi), Violet Nelson (Kwakwakaʼwakw)

Producers

Alan Milligan, Tyler Hagan, Lori Lozinski

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

levelFILM

The Grizzlies

Director Miranda de Pencier
Year 2019
Run Time 106min
Genre Drama

Based on an inspiring true story, The Grizzlies is a powerful film about the determination and resilience of a group of Inuit youth struggling with the legacy of colonization.

When Russ Sheppard (Schnetzer) moves to Kugluktuk, NU, to be a teacher, he is shocked by the challenges facing the community, most especially the ongoing epidemic of teen suicide. Russ introduces a lacrosse programme and gradually wins the trust of his students. Together, the youth find a sense of pride and purpose in themselves and their community.

The Grizzlies was called “transcendently moving” by The Hollywood Reporter and has won multiple awards and been screened to acclaim at film festivals around the world. Cast members Paul Nutarariaq and Anna Lambe earned Canadian Screen Award nominations for their performances.


* Please note that this film has Indigenous producers, but not an Indigenous director. imagineNATIVE defines an Indigenous-made film as one directed or co-directed by an Indigenous person.
 

Director

Miranda de Pencier

De Pencier is a director and producer whose first short film Throat Song won four awards including a CSA for Best Live Action Short. The Grizzlies won the DGC’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement Feature Film Award. She has produced several films, including Cake, Beginners and Thanks for Sharing and episodes of Anne With an E. She is currently producing the film The Chocolate Money.

Writers

Graham Yost, Moira Walley-Beckett

Cast

Emerald MacDonald (Inuk), Paul Nutarariaq (Inuk), Anna Lambe (Inuk), Ben Schnetzer, Ricky Martin-Pahtaykan (Plains Cree/Stoney Nakoda)

Producers

Stacey Aglok MacDonald (Inuk), Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuk), Damon D'Oliveira, Miranda de Pencier, Zanne Devine

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Bullying, Discrimination, ESL, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics, Sports

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media/Criterion

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Trickster

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2020
Run Time 264min
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Jared (Oulette), a teenaged drug dealer in Kitimat, BC, finds his life upended by a series of preternatural events that expose the magical undercurrent both in his community and in his own family. When a mysterious stranger (Queypo) comes into town looking for his mother (Lightning, in a CSA-winning performance), Jared is forced to come to terms with his own powers in order to save the people he loves.

Based on the critically-acclaimed novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson (Haisla/Heiltsuk) and steeped in Haisla mythology, Trickster was named by Playback as the top scripted series of 2020 and received 11 CSA nominations, winning three.

Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Crystle Lightning (Cree), Joel Oulette (Cree/Métis), Kalani Queypo (Blackfoot), Anna Lambe (Inuk)

Genres

Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Literary Adaptation, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

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Monkey Beach

Director Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)
Year 2020
Run Time 105min
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

In this charming supernatural mystery, Lisa (Dove), a young Haisla woman with clairvoyant abilities, returns to her hometown of Kitamaat and tries to come to terms with the fact that her brother Jimmy (Oulette) has gone missing at sea. Soon, she finds herself drifting between her life in Kitamaat and the spirit world, in an attempt to save him.

Set in the stunning natural landscape of the Pacific Northwest, Monkey Beach draws on Haisla symbolism and culture. This debut feature from renowned documentarian Loretta Todd is a heartfelt and often funny look at grief and the importance of family.

Based on the celebrated novel by Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach received international acclaim and a CSA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Director

Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)

Writers

Johnny Darrell, Andrew Duncan

Cast

Grace Dove (Secwépemc), Adam Beach (Anishinaabe), Nathaniel Arcand (Cree), Joel Oulette (Cree/Métis)

Producers

Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis), Paddy Bickerton, Jason James, Matthew O'Connor, Patricia Poskitt

Genres

Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Literary Adaptation

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Loretta Todd

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Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes

Director Dennis Jackson (Cree)
Year 2011
Run Time 72min
Genre Animation, Family
Life is changing in the Cree community of Wapos Bay, SK as Chief Big Sky gets elected National Chief, forcing the Marasti family to move to the big city. Unwilling to leave without a fight, Raven (Brass) secretly enters her dad into the race to be the new chief, much to the surprise of presumed frontrunner Jacob (Cardinal). Her lie quickly gets out of hand, and she must figure out how to stop it before it’s too late!

Maintaining the hilarious and heart-warming tone as well as the unique style of the award-winning Wapos Bay tv series, Long Goodbyes went on to win the Kidscreen award for Best TV Movie.

Director

Dennis Jackson (Cree)

Writers

Dennis Jackson (Cree), Melanie Jackson (Cree)

Cast

Raven Brass (Cree), Trevor Cameron (Métis), Lorne Cardinal (Cree), Gordon Tootoosis (Cree)

Genres

Animation, Family

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

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Kayak to Klemtu

Director Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk)
Year 2018
Run Time 91min
Genre Action/Adventure, Family

When a prominent Kitasoo/Xai’Xais activist passes away, his 14-year-old niece Ella (Blaney) embarks on a kayak journey to take his ashes home to Klemtu. It’s a race against the clock as Ella tries to make it back in time to give a speech protesting a proposed pipeline that would cross Indigenous land.

Ella is joined by her aunt, cousin and grumpy uncle (Cardinal), as the four paddle with all their might through the Inside Passage and past the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join this family on the adventure of a lifetime that reflects on the importance of protecting our lands for future generations.

Winner of the 2017 imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award.

Director

Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk)

Hopkins is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, and has directed numerous shorts, including Button Blanket, Mohawk Midnight Runners, Impossible to Contain and a segment of The Embargo Project. She has directed the features Kayak to Klemtu and Run Woman Run, which won the Audience Choice award at imagineNATIVE 2021. She is currently writing and directing the series Little Bird. 

Writers

Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk), Michael Sparaga

Cast

Lorne Cardinal (Cree), Ta’kaiya Blaney (Tla'amin), Evan Adams (Tla'amin)

Producer

Daniel Bekerman

Genres

Action/Adventure, Family

Interests

Environment, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

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nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

Director Tasha Hubbard (Cree)
Year 2019
Run Time 98min
Genre Documentary

On August 9, 2016, a 22-year-old Cree man named Colten Boushie was killed by a gunshot to the back of his head after entering a rural farm property in Saskatchewan with his friends. When an all-white jury acquitted the white farmer of all charges, the case received international attention and sent Colten’s family and community on a quest to fix the Canadian justice system.

Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, this profoundly affecting documentary weaves a narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own family story, the history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Nîpawistamâsowin was the opening night film at Hot Docs 2019, where it won the prize for Best Canadian Documentary.

Director

Tasha Hubbard (Cree)

Hubbard is an award-winning filmmaker and an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English. Her writing-directing project Two Worlds Colliding won a Gemini and a Golden Sheaf Award. She has also directed the short film 7 Minutes, and the feature docs Birth of a Family and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which won Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs and at the CSAs. She is currently directing the feature doc Singing Back the Buffalo.

Writer

Tasha Hubbard (Cree)

Producers

Tasha Hubbard (Cree), George Hupka, Jon Montes, Bonnie Thompson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

Empire of Dirt

Director Peter Stebbings
Year 2013
Run Time 99min
Genre Drama
When single mom Lena (Gee) realizes that her daughter may be in danger of succumbing to the same addiction issues she herself faced, she decides to leave the city with her and return home to her estranged mother (Podemski) in the rural community of her youth. The homecoming forces Lena to deal with her past and raises issues that test all three generations of this family of spirited women.

Powerful and inspiring, Empire of Dirt was nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture.

Empire of Dirt tells a traditional mothers-and-daughters story in a new way by making their Cree heritage and the role it has in their lives and relationships the true heart of the drama.” — Linda Barnard, Toronto Star


*Please note that this film has an Indigenous producer and screenwriter, but not an Indigenous director. imagineNATIVE defines an Indigenous-made film as one directed or co-directed by an Indigenous person.

Director

Peter Stebbings

Stebbings’ directorial debut was Defendor, and his second film, Empire of Dirt, was nominated for five CSAs. As an actor, his numerous credits include Citizen Duane, The Borgias, Bates Motel, Counting for Thunder and his newest film Percy Vs Goliath. He recently directed The Disappearance, which garnered four CSAs, and episodes of Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Sounds, and Killjoys. He is currently writing and directing the feature Running with Monsters.

Writer

Shannon Masters (Cree)

Cast

Cara Gee (Ojibwa), Shay Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho/Oglala Lakota/Mnicoujou Lakota), Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Luke Kirby

Producers

Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Bob Crowe, Bob Crowe, Heather K Dahlstrom, Geoff Ewart

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Language Version

None

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media