150 Years Later – Short Film Program
Curated by Asinabka Festival
Ottawa • Canada • Unceded Algonquin Territory
For National Canadian Film Day 150
Length of Program: 67 Minutes
PWYC // Donations Welcome // Cash Bar
• Ute Kanata/Here in Canada (Virginie Michel)
• Heritage Minutes: Chanie Wenjack (Shane Belcourt)
• Sisters and Brothers (Kent Monkman)
• The Dancing Cop (Kelvin Redvers)
• Oú Sont tes Plumes/Where are your feathers (Widia Larivière & Mélanie Lumsdem)
• A Red Girl’s Reasoning (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers)
• God’s Acre (Kelton Steopanowich)
• Four Faces of the Moon (Amanda Strong)
• Aviliaq (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril)
*Note: Slightly different versions of Year Zero will screen this summer: May 20/21 2017, Nandeebie Screen — Indigenous Film Festival, Australia (Quandamooka Country), & June 2-5, 2017, Wairoa Maori Film Festival, Nuhaka, New Zealand
Year Zero alludes to many things, including film history, literature, music, and pop-culture; it references “Germany, Year Zero” a 1948 film set in devastated post-World War II Berlin; it references “Panic in Year Zero!” a 1962 film about the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Los Angeles; it references industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails 2007 concept album based on a post-apocalyptic earth; it references “Year Zero” a 2012 science fiction book in which aliens mark the beginning of a new era. It also alludes to the apocalyptic nature of colonial violence in Canada and the ongoing neo-colonialism of Canada. As a collection of short films by Indigenous directors from Canada, and programmed by Indigenous curators, Year Zero is a subversive critique of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. While Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, this is a complicated matter for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Year Zero includes films that challenge Canadian nationalism, films that highlight the extermination of the buffalo, films that show the horrors enacted on Indigenous children at residential schools, films that discuss racism, displacement, and the failure of the justice systems, and films that show the strength and resurgence of Indigenous peoples.
Ute Kanata (Here in Canada)
Virginie Michel (Innu) • 2015 • 2:27 • Canada • Innu Language
With a spin on the traditional Canadian National Anthem, here the “Ô Kanata“ of Virginie Michel is sung in the Innu Language, and demands that the presence of Canada’s First Nations be recognized in the national narratives.
Virginie Michel is an Innu woman from the Mani-Utenam community who worked several years with children. In her free time, she likes to create: crafts, songs, nursery rhymes. Her project is to elaborate an interactive dictionary for early childhood. She also follows actively the political evolution of her people: aware of the future of First Nations languages, she tries to promote the recognition of these tongues, and in particular, the national hymn in native language. Now that she is freer, she can pursue an old dream.
Heritage Minutes: Chanie Wenjack
Shane Belcourt (Metis) • 1:00 • 2016 • Canada
A glimpse into the horrors enacted on Indigenous children at residential schools, this emotional Heritage Minute opens on Chanie Wenjack’s attempt to escape his residential school in 1966 and ends with his tragic death on a railway track, not far from where he began.
Shane Belcourt is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Toronto. He has made numerous films such as his feature film Tkaronto, a short film produced by the NFB called Boxed In, and a 48-min performance arts documentary called Kaha:w – The Cycle of Life. In 2013 Shane collaborated with playwright Yvette Nolan to create A Common Experience, which was featured in Air Canada’s In-Flight entertainment. In 2014 Shane worked with acclaimed writer Maria Campbell on a live reading/screening with his film Apikiwiyak, at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival. And most recently wrote and directed the 13-part documentary TV series Urban Native Girl which aired on APTN in 2015.
Sisters and Brothers
Kent Monkman (Cree) • 2016 • 3:44 • Canada • No Dialogue
In a pounding critique of Canada’s colonial history, this short film draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison in the 1890s and the devastation inflicted on the Indigenous population by the residential school system. Part of the Souvenir series, it’s one of four films by First Nations filmmakers that remix archival footage to address Indigenous identity and representation, reframing Canadian history through a contemporary lens.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. He has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums, participated in various international group exhibitions, and his award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals.
The Dancing cop
Kelvin Redvers • 2015 • 7:16 • Canada • English
A cop comes across what he suspects to be a shoplifter caught in the act, but the confrontation doesn't go nearly as expected.
Kelvin Redvers is a multiple award-winning Aboriginal filmmaker and actor. Born and raised in the small town of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada. Redvers attended Simon Fraser University, and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Film Production. The Dancing Cop, had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, and Redvers is now working towards completing his first feature film.
Oú Sont tes Plumes (Where are your feathers)
Widia Larivière & Mélanie Lumsdem • 2015 • 4:52 • Canada • English
Two sets of sisters humorously share their experiences with prejudices against First Nations people.
Widia Larivière is an Anishnabe from Timiskaming but she grew up in town. As a feminist and activist for the aboriginal cause, she has been involved in many youth initiatives for the rights of aboriginal peoples. Since 2009, she has been the Youth Coordinator for Quebec Native Women. She is also the co-initiator of the Quebec section of Idle No More, a movement that intends to contribute to having Aboriginal People's voices heard.
Mélanie Lumsdem was born to an Inuvialuit mother and a Belgian father and grew up in urban areas. She is in charge of projects for DestiNATIONS, an Aboriginal organization based in Montreal, for research on the state of native cultural development in Quebec. She co-founded Mikana, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Aboriginal realities in Canada.
A Red Girl’s Reasoning
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers • 2012 • 10:00 • Canada
After the justice system fails the survivor of a brutal, racially-driven sexual assault, she becomes a motorcycle-riding, ass-kicking vigilante who takes on the attackers of other women who've suffered the same fate.
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a filmmaker, writer, and actor. She is a member of the Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe, Blackfoot Confederacy) as well as Sámi from Norway. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s Degree in First Nations Studies and a Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is also an alumni of Vancouver Film School’s Full-time Acting Program.
Kelton Steopanowich (Métis) • 2016 • 15 min. Canada
Lorne Cardinal stars in this unsettling, powerful short of a man determined to protect hisland at all cost. As the water slowly rises in a frighteningly familiar future, the man must choose to abandon all that he knows or give in to the rising tide.
Kelton Steopanowich is a filmmaker from Fort Chipewyan in northern Alberta. He is best known for writing, directing, and producing the short film Gods Acre, which had its world premiere in 2016 at TIFF. In 2016 Kelton was a recipient of the Telefilm micro-budget program to produce his first feature film The Road Behind in the summer of 2017.
Four Faces of the Moon
Amanda Strong • 2016 • 11:00 • Canada
An animated short told in four chapters, exploring the reclamation of language and Nationhood, peeling back the layers of Canada's colonial history, and the extermination of the Buffalo.
Amanda Strong is an Indigenous (Michif) filmmaker, media artist and stop motion artist currently based out of the unceded Coast Salish territory also known as Vancouver. Amanda’s work explores ideas of blood memory and Indigenous ideology. Her films Indigo and Mia’ challenge conventional structures of storytelling in cinema and have screened internationally, most notably at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, and OIAF. Her latest short animation Four Faces of the Moon will be premiering with CBC Short Docs and is being developed into a graphic novel.
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuit) • 15:00 • 2014 • English and Inuktitut
Set in a 1950's arctic outpost camp, this film tells the story of two Inuit two-Spirited women struggling to stay together in a new world run by outsiders.
Alethea is an Inuit filmmaker from the Canadian arctic where she runs Unikkaat Studios Inc. In her award-winning documentary Tunniit: Retracing The Lines Of Inuit Tattoos, Alethea traveled across the arctic to speak with elders about Inuit tattoo practices and the causes of their near disappearance. Alethea has also directed the short film Inuit High Kick, the NFB animation Lumaajuuq: The Blind Boy And The Loon, and the animated short Sloth. Alethea was also an executive producer on Miranda de Pencier’s award-winning film Throat Song. Most recently, Alethea directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of the Embargo Project, premiering at ImagineNATIVE 2014. Alethea premiered her latest film, Angry Inuk, a feature doc about how Inuit are coming up with new and provocative ways to deal with international seal hunting controversies, at Toronto's Hot Docs Festival.