imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

10th Annual
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Presented by CTVglobemedia
October 14 – 18, 2009

In its ten year history, the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has come to be a real showcase for innovative work along with yet another chance to schmooze with industry types in Toronto hotspots.

If you're a filmmaker (and an attending Festival Delegate), it offers the chance to connect with distributors and possible sources of funding with a view to fostering future partnerships. As a film and media hound, you'll get your choice of over 125 works from Indigenous artists from around the world, including Nepal, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Germany, the United States, Russia, Finland, and from across Canada. On this, their 10th anniversary, the overall theme is the evolution of Indigenous cinema.

Here are some highlights:
  • Oct 14 Opening Night: the feature documentary Reel Injun, a look at the stereotypes of the cowboy and Indian era, with hilarious clips and interviews with people like Robbie Robertson, Clint Eastwood, Adam Beach, Graham Greene, John Trudell, and indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. (Canadian) Also featured is the Canadian short Tungijuq, with throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Zacharias Kunuk in a visually arresting film that celebrates the Inuit hunting tradition (see image above).
  • The opening night party afterwards, of course, at the Century Room (580 King Street West) FREE to Opening Night Screening Ticket Holders and Festival Pass Holders
Image above of Reel Injun director Neil Diamond and Robbie Robertson
  • Oct 15 New Media Mash Up with internationally acclaimed throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Bear Witness at The Music Gallery (107 John Street) 8pm - Ms Tagaq had her NYC debut earlier this year, and also stars in one of the films (see opening night)
  • Oct 16 New Media Curator/Artist Talk & Reception at A Space Gallery (401 Richmond W, Suite 110) - 5pm - for you new media enthusiasts, the curator and Cheryl L’Hirondelle and attending artists Alanis Obomsawin and Melanie Printup Hope discuss the themes and context of this original exhibition of early and contemporary digital and new media art.
  • Oct 18 Closing Night films include Barking Water, (pictured above) Sterlin Harjo's award winning film in its Canadian premiere, the brutally candid story ex-lovers at the end of their "complicated lives", along with Adam Garnet Jones' short Wave a Red Flag - at the Royal Cinema
  • Closing night party is at The Mod Club Theatre, 722 College Street, Sunday, Oct 18 2009, 9pm, featuring the Closing Awards Celebration with Jennifer Podemski and Plex
    (Presented by Big Soul Productions)

The Films - for an exhaustive list, along with screening locations and times, check out their website, but here are some interesting selections:
  • Oct 15 Art Without Reservations - a series of shorts co-presented by Bravo! and MOCCA
  • Oct 15 from Bolivia, el Regalo de la Pchamama, from Director: Toshifumi Matsushita and Producer Yomar Sanchez Mamadi, the stunning countryside of Bolivia co-stars in the story of a young man's transition to adulthood.
  • Oct 16 two films from the Pacific, including The Strength of Water (New Zealand) in both English and Maori about the arrival of a stranger at a Maori village, and Nia's Melancholy, from Australia, about a young girl struggling to recover from her sister's suicide.
  • Oct 16 vampires, zombies, fantasy worlds and more inhabit the films in The Witching Hour, a late night screening of horror shorts sponsored by Rue Morgue Magazine, including selections from around the world. (Image above from Liminality)
  • Oct 17 Co-presented by Nepalese-Janajati Association-Canada, Nepal Canadian Society, Crossing Communities Art Project, the Spotlight on Nepal features three films, all of them premieres.
  • Oct 18 Pencil Shavings, a programme of animated shorts from Canadian artists

I'll be checking out some of the offerings myself, so stay tuned for reviews to come.