The 17th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto (October 19 to 23) is featuring three acclaimed National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentaries, with Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk as its opening night film, a feature documentary about a landmark legal battle over Indigenous children’s rights by the legendary Alanis Obomsawin, and Katherena Vermette and Erika MacPherson’s powerful look at the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who’s joined the more than 4,000 missing or murdered Indigenous people in Canada.
Angry Inuk (NFB/Unikkaat Studios/EyeSteelFilm) has been chosen as the festival’s opening night film and will be screening on Wednesday, October 19, at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, marking the return of this celebrated feature documentary following its world premiere at Hot Docs, where it won the Vimeo On Demand Audience Award.
On October 28, Angry Inuk will open theatrically at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema―part of a series of community and festival screenings underway across Canada, which will see Alethea’s film bringing its message to communities large and small.
Seal hunting, a critical part of Inuit life, has been controversial for a long time. Angry Inuk shows how a new generation of Inuit, armed with social media and their own sense of humour and justice, are challenging the anti-sealing groups and bringing their own voices into the conversation. Iqaluit-based director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins her fellow Inuit activists as they challenge outdated perceptions of Inuit and present themselves to the world as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy. Angry Inuk is produced by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Bonnie Thompson (NFB), and executive produced by Bob Moore, Daniel Cross and David Christensen (NFB).
We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice
The latest film by legendary director Alanis Obomsawin, We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice explores an epic court challenge over child and family welfare services for First Nations children on reserves and in Yukon, filed by the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations against Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Screening October 22 at 10:00 a.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, the film documents this landmark nine-year legal battle, giving voice to the tenacious childcare workers at its epicentre―especially Caring Society executive director Cindy Blackstock, who was spied on and harassed by the federal government.
A member of the Abenaki Nation, Alanis Obomsawin is one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers. For over four decades, she has directed documentaries at the NFB that chronicle the lives and concerns of First Nations people and explore issues of importance to all. We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice had its world premiere in TIFF’s Masters program.
Written and directed by Métis writer Katherena Vermette and fellow Winnipeg filmmaker Erika MacPherson, this river will have its Ontario premiere on Thursday, October 20, at 2:15 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, as part of the program Solid Ground: Canadian Shorts. Winner of the Coup de coeur du jury award at the Montréal First Peoples Festival, this river is a 20-minute documentary offering an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. With over 4,000 missing or murdered Indigenous people in Canada, everyone knows someone who never came home. this river is produced by Alicia Smith and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio.