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Availability from October 16 – 23, 2006:

2006 Photo Gallery

Welcome Reception, Native Canadian Centre
Opening Night Screening, Bloor Cinema
Opening Night Party, Mod Club Theatre
Receptions and Artist Talks
Standard Radio Presents The BEAT, Horseshoe Tavern
Screenings, Al Green Theatre
Closing Night Screening, Al Green Theatre

7th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival wraps up its most successful year to date

It was a milestone year at the seventh imagineNATIVE Festival, which concluded October 22nd at the Revival in Toronto. The Awards Gala hosted by Michael Greyeyes and Michaela Washburn honoured the most daring and distinctive Indigenous voices in cinema and media arts.

“The 7th imagineNATIVE was a huge success and we were absolutely thrilled with the incredible response we’ve had from artists, the industry and the public.” says Danis Goulet, Executive Director. “This year was the most successful festival to date, making it the most dynamic celebration of the best in Indigenous cinema and media arts from around the world.”

For the brave choices that put Indigenous filmmaking at the very edge of innovation in cinema, this year’s Best Feature Film Award went to The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn. The film exemplifies many of the qualities that define the aspirations of the imagineNATIVE festival itself: bold, groundbreaking and most importantly – empowering and deeply rooted in an Indigenous world view. Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn bring the depth of a culture, many thousands of years old, to the vanguard of world cinema. The film is challenging, beautiful and haunting; it dislocates the viewer from the comfort zone of cinematic convention. The jury felt strongly that The Journals of Knud Rasmussen is perhaps the most successful feature film at translating, with great sophistication, nuances of an Aboriginal culture, philosophy and world view onto the big screen and achieves a milestone in Indigenous storytelling.

Alanis Obomsawin, picked up the Best Documentary Award for her compelling portrayal of the history of the Abenaki people in Waban-Aki: People From Where the Sun Rises, which was described by the jury as “an example of masterful, elegant filmmaking.” A special honourable mention went to Nadia McLaren’s Muffins For Granny, which the jury felt “represents a strong, eloquent new voice.”

7th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Winners

Alliance Atlantis Mentorship Program
Winner: Richard Story

The Cynthia Lickers-Sage Award for Emerging Talent presented by Vtape
Winner: Lena Recollet, Eggs Instead
Honourable Mention: Ehren Bear Thomas, Death by Vibration

Drama Pitch Prize presented by APTN
Winner: Pamela Matthews, Is Nanabush still Alive? Legend and Myth Meet the Urban World
Honourable Mention: Shane Belcourt and Duane Murray, Embracing Mason

Documentary Pitch Prize presented by CBC Newsworld
Winner: Nadia McLaren
Honourable Mention: Sarah Richardson, Sara DeCarlo

Best Music Video presented by imagineNATIVE
Winner: Blackhorse Lowe, minor disturbance

Best Experimental presented by Images Festival
Winner: James Diamond, Mars-Womb-Man
Honourable Mention: Marnie Parrell, Women in Canada: A Trilogy

Best Short Drama presented by Movieola – The Short Film Channel
Winner: Michael Jonathon, Hawaikii
Honourable Mention: Nanobah Becker, Conversion

Best Canadian Short Drama presented by CBC Television
Winner: Randy Redroad, 133 Skyway
Honourable Mention: Zoe Leigh Hopkins, One-Eyed Dogs are Free

Best Short Documentary presented by CBC Newsworld
Winner: Shanouk Newashish, Coureurs de Nuit (Night Hunters)
Honourable Mention: Gary Cooper, Talkabout Walkabout

Best New Media presented by Vtape
Winner: Cheryl L'Hirondelle, wepinasowina
Honourable Mention: Archer Pechawis, First Vision

Best Radio presented by Standard Radio
Winner: Charles Shoots the Enemy, Native Vibes

Best Dramatic Feature presented by CHUM Television
Winner: Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, Journals of Knud Rasmussen
Honourable Mention: Anastasia Lapsui and Markku Lehmuskallio, Jumalan Morsian (A Bride of the Seventh Heaven)

Best Documentary Award presented by the National Film Board of Canada
Winner: Alanis Obomsawin, Waban-Aki: People From Where the Sun Rises
Honourable Mention: Nadia McLaren, Muffins for Granny

imagineNATIVE is pleased to announce the release of the opening and closing night screenings. The international premiere of Kanakan Balintagos’ latest drama, Tuli, is the CHUM Ltd. Opening Gala on October 18, 2006 at the Bloor Cinema. This groundbreaking film tells the touching story of a young girl who is forced into an arranged marriage by her abusive, alcoholic father who is determined she follow in his tracks as the town circumciser. Her angst drives her to rebel and she soon falls in love with her childhood female friend, a relationship that threatens to tear the village apart. Multi-award-winning director, Kanakan Balintagos (of the Palaw’an nation of the Philippines), has received international acclaim for his first feature-length drama The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros. It has screened worldwide including imagineNATIVE (2005), the Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won three awards including the 20th Anniversary Teddy Award for Best Feature Film. Kanakan Balintagos will be in attendance.

This year's Alliance Atlantis Closing Gala film is Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises, a feature-length documentary written, directed, and produced by Alanis Obomsawin. One of her most personal documentaries, acclaimed director Alanis Obomsawin returns to the village where she was raised to craft an illuminating and lyrical account of her own people. The journey takes her deep into the complex history and contemporary reality of the Abenaki. Obomsawin's films have won dozens of international awards and have been seen on television and at festivals around the world. Alanis Obomsawin will be in attendance and the film will screen on Sunday, October 22 at the Miles Nadal JCC.

The 7th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival features short and feature-length films and videos of all genres, new media and radio works, art installations and more from Canada and around the world. This year’s international spotlight shines on the Pacific Islands, with a special guest-curated program from the renowned and acclaimed Maori filmmaker, activist, actor, feminist, and teacher, Merata Mita. imagineNATIVE will also screen a special presentation of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the highly anticipated second dramatic feature from Zacharius Kunuk, which opens this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The presentation of the film will be preceded by a panel discussion with Zacharias Kunuk in attendance.