The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will once again take place in Toronto, with a slate of in-person events October 18-23, followed by online festival selections October 24-30.
The opening night gala, which will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, will focus on “Stellar” by Darlene Naponse, an Anishinaabe director.
“The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the largest Indigenous festival in the world showcasing film, video, audio, and digital and interactive media created by Indigenous screen content creators,” reads the press release announcing the event. “The festival showcases compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the world, reflecting the diversity of Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and dynamism of Indigenous arts, perspectives and cultures in contemporary media.
The film is a self-reflective piece about the connections people make to each other, to each other, and to the planet as a whole. Explored through the lens of a catastrophic meteor crash on earth that traps two lovers in a small bar in Northern Ontario.
Throughout the festival, more than 147 works from 16 countries in more than 55 Indigenous languages will be presented, including 19 feature films, 13 short films, nine digital and interactive works, and a mix of audio, music, exhibitions and other arts.
The October 23 in-person event will conclude with a screening of “Rosie” by Gail Maurice (Cree/Métis). This is a film about a young orphaned Native American who moves in with her resourceful aunt, set against the backdrop of fringe Montreal in the 1980s.
Festival organizers suggest keeping an eye out for other features, like Henry Vallejo’s (Aymara) “Powerful Chief,” which follows Elisban as he arrives and survives in a homeless, broke town; “The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson” by Leah Purcell (Goa-Gungarri-Wakka Wakka Murri) in which a mother is pushed to the limit of what she will do to protect her loved ones; and “We Are Still Here”, a film by eight different Aotearoa directors in which eight tales are intertwined to create a story of hope and survival.
For documentaries, watch the true crime documentary “Bring Her Home” by Leya Hale (Dakota/Diné); a film about the intergenerational impact of being a ward of the state entitled “A Boy Called Piano — The Story of Fa’amoana John Luafutu” by Nina Nawalowalo (Fijian); and a documentary called “Kaatohkitopii: The Horse He Never Rode” by Trevor Solway (Blackfoot).
Festival tickets are available at the imagineNATIVE box office.