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imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Announces Full Programming for 20th Anniversary Festival October 22-27, 2019

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Announces Full Programming for  20th Anniversary Festival October 22-27, 2019

The 20th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce the full programming of works by Indigenous screen-content creators for the Festival, running October 22-27, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario.

imagineNATIVE‘s previously announced opening night gala on Tuesday, October 22 will be One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk by Zacharias Kunuk at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. On Sunday, October 27, the closing night gala will be The Sun Above Me Never Sets by first time feature film director Lyubov Borisova at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The 20th imagineNATIVE will screen a dynamic selection of feature films including The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn; Red Snow, an Indigenous military drama directed by Marie Clements; the world premiere of FUKRY, directed by Blackhorse Lowe; the Toronto premiere of Top End Wedding by Wayne BlairThe Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, directed by Shelley Niro; the world premiere of Ruthless Souls directed by Madison Thomas; and the Toronto premiere of Rustic Oracle, by Sonia Boileau.

imagineNATIVE will screen the Toronto premiere of Vai, a highly anticipated film written and directed by a sisterhood of Pacific filmmakers, and shot on location in seven Pacific countries. From the producers of Waru (2017), Vai explores themes of womanhood, tradition, and empowerment through the story Vai, who is portrayed at various stages in her life from the age of seven to eighty by eight different actresses.

Dark Place, a collection of shorts films from five Indigneous filmmakers from Australia, will have its Canadian premiere at imagineNATIVE. Dark Place is a horror program full of revenge, insomnia, supernatural forces, water zombies, land zombies and of course, comedy!

Documentary features screening at imagineNATIVE will include: the Canadian premiere of Haka Puai te Kainga (Eating Up Easter), directed by Sergio Mata’u Rapu; the Canadian premiere of For My Father’s Kingdom, directed by Vea Mafile`o and Jeremiah Tauamiti; the International premiere of Ushui, the Moon and the Sun, directed by Nicolás Rojas Sánchez; the Ontario premiere of Sembradoras de vida (Mothers of the Land), directed by Alvaro Sarmiento and Diego Sarmiento; the World premiere of Not Just Numbers, directed by Shirleen CampbellThe Book of the Sea, directed by Aleksei VakhrushevN. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear, directed by Jeffrey Palmer; the International premiere of Wik vs Queensland, directed by Dean Gibson; the world premiere of Hugo Blanco, Río Profundo (Hugo Blanco, Deep River), directed by Malena Martinez Cabrera; and the Canadian premiere of Maui’s Hook, directed by Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph.

imagineNATIVE will present 12 shorts programmes including: Tribulations, a collection of dramatic shorts; Imprint, stories about the connection to home from the viewpoint of youth; Indi Love Stories, short films about family, love and LGBT2S+ experiences; Deviations, a series of experimental shorts; Translations, featuring shorts from around the globe; Metamorphosis, with international shorts from the youth point of view; and Fight of Flight, a series of short films about women

imagineNATIVE is proud to honour Michelle Thrush with the 2019 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. Michelle Thrush has worked professionally in film, television and theatre for more than 25 years with over 40 professional credits in the entertainment industry and numerous awards and special recognitions throughout. The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was launched in partnership with Joan Karasevich Schellenberg to honour her late husband, the legendary actor August (Augie) Schellenberg, and the spirit of his work. Michelle Thrush will receive the Augie at the imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation on October 27 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

imagineNATIVE will feature six Special Presentations including: a screening of MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, followed by an extended Q&A with Chelsea Winstanley and Alanis Obomsawin; an Artist Spotlight screening and extended Q&A with Elder Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr.; an exclusive preview of Jeff Barnaby’s latest film Blood Quantum, which will be in theatres early 2020 distributed by Elevation Pictures; a screening of nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, a powerful, game-changing documentary, followed by a moderated conversation with director Tasha Hubbard and members of Colton Bushie’s family; a screening of Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, the latest documentary from legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, followed by an extended Q+A; and the Barb Cranmer Tribute screening, in honour of the late Kwakwaka’wakw filmmaker.

The Audio Works at imagineNATIVE will feature 14 radio, podcast, and sound pieces including: Coffee with My Ma, a podcast by Kaniehtiio Horn where her activist mother Kahentinetha Horn tells stories of her very adventurous life; episodes from Warrior Life, a podcast by Mi’kmaw lawyer, professor, author, and social justice activist Dr. Pam Palmater; and Tsi tkaronhya ke – In the Sky, a sound narrative featuring digital compositions by Haida/Cree musician Kristi Lane Sinclair and Inuit DJ Mad Eskimo aka Geronimo Inutiq, produced by Mohawk sound and radio artist Janet Rogers.

Tickets for the 20th Annual imagineNATIVE are on sale now.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
October 22-27, 2019
Tickets On Sale Now
Call – TIFF Box Office on 416-599-2033
Online – TIFF Festival Partners and Third Party Events
In Person – TIFF Box Office at 350 King St W, Toronto, ON

For more information please call 416.585.2333 or visit

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