Festival Greetings


Jason Ryle

Artistic + Managing Director

A very warm welcome to the 19th imagineNATIVE!

We have a very full schedule of programming for you this year created by Indigenous artists from many nations across this land and around the world. On behalf of the Programming Team, I want to first thank all the artists for sharing their works with the Festival. Your creations continue to be a source of inspiration, pride, knowledge, and power for us and for so many people.

It’s a true honour to be presenting our first artist spotlight: a retrospective of work by the remarkable Marjorie Beaucage, the Rainbow Warrior herself! Through her tireless work with the Aboriginal Film & Video Art Alliance and other initiatives, Marjorie was a central force in building the path that led to the creation of imagineNATIVE and numerous other opportunities for Indigenous screen content creators. Meeting Marjorie is a gift, as are her films, which you will experience in the two-screening showcase curated by Lisa Myers.

It was also a wonderful experience this year to meet the inspiring Dorothy Christian. Her care, kindness and courage gave me strength and I thank her for her guidance. It was a pleasure to invite her as 2018’s Guest Programmer and she has compiled a beautifully diverse programme of short films from Indigenous artists from the western regions of Turtle Island.

This year also kicks off our multi-year process to enhance our presentation of digital and interactive media works at the Festival. Please visit our new iNdigital Space (developed by artist Meagan Byrne who is spearheading our enhancement) to experience our selection of Indigenous-made video games, VR/360, and a unique “makerspace.” This venue also houses the excellent audio works that are programmed in the Festival.

As always, please be sure to visit the exhibitions and take part in our fabulous Art Crawl! This is always one of my favourite events and we have something fun planned for its kick-off!

This year’s film and video programming in many ways illustrates that our screen community is still in a place of firsts; that we are still claiming space on screens for Indigenous stories, languages and faces. We are presenting the first features made in the Haida and Aymara languages, the first feature to be directed by a Greenlandic female, and another that’s the first sci-fi fantasy film from Greenland, not to mention the first starring role in a feature film for the icon Tantoo Cardinal. We are also introducing our inaugural work-in-progress screening and relaxed screening, which is part of our long-term commitment to enhancing accessibility measures at the Festival. It remains an exciting time for Indigenous screen culture and with so many exciting works currently in development and in production, the coming years hold so much promise.

I am also incredibly grateful to the team of people I work with to make this Festival possible. I wish to extend a warm welcome back to iN for Kerry Swanson who joins us as Board Chair. Kerry’s passion for the arts, her vast professional knowledge, and her commitment to our mandate have been exemplary and I continue to learn so much from her guidance and friendship.

From the fullness of my heart, thank you to everyone who has given their time, talent, resources, and love to imagineNATIVE. I hope you enjoy this year’s Festival.


Daniel Northway-Frank

Institute Director

It is with warm wishes that the imagineNATIVE Institute welcomes you to the Festival and our expanded professional development series, Industry Days. It is with enthusiasm that our dedicated team offer 2018’s Festival industry and professional development programming as we finish our first year-round Institute initiatives that support the art, craft and business of Indigenous media arts.

Highlights of our robust Industry Days series include a spotlight on VR in our new home for digital and interactive work, the iNdigital Space, findings from our in-process On-Screen Protocols and Pathways guide, a special presentation from the content producers behind Sesame Street, our first panel on podcasting, and live feature film script readings featuring scenes from participants in our in first year-round Indigenous screenwriting intensive.

I look forward to spending time with you at these activities, and we thank all our fiscal and in-kind partners, panellists and mentors for their commitment to our industry year after year.


Tim Sidock

Manager, Corporate + Donor Initiatives

I am proud to welcome everyone to the 19th imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, but in particular – our donors and corporate partners. As a registered charity, we rely on contributions from donors, funders, and corporations not only to host this wonderful Festival, but to offer year-round programs and services to Indigenous communities and content creators with little or no barriers to access. It is with their dedicated support that we are able to move our mandate forward and grow our programs to have a larger impact. Thank you for seeing the importance of Indigenous representation and storytelling in the film and media arts industry. Thank you for supporting imagineNATIVE.

Enjoy the Festival.


Kerry Swanson

Board of Directors Chair

Welcome to another year of imagineNATIVE! As we stand on the threshold of our twentieth year, we say farewell to our teenage years with an inspiring lineup of Indigenous voices from multiple generations spanning the Four Directions. We celebrate these artists and the wisdom, healing, generosity and joy that is present in their work and throughout the Festival, at a time when it is needed more than ever. We honour the strength and leadership of Indigenous women, with the films of Darlene Naponse and Helen Haig Brown completing the circle of this year’s Festival.

The future of screen content requires new forms of storytelling, and audiences are hungry for it, as attested by our annual increases in audience attendance and sold-out events. Over the next five days, you will see why Indigenous stories on screen need to be told by Indigenous people.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the entire Festival staff for the love and care they put into all of the planning for this event. Thank you to all the volunteers, including my colleagues on the Board, and to all of our Festival funders and partners, without whose contributions imagineNATIVE would not be possible. Thank you Jason Ryle for your leadership in spearheading the continued growth and momentum of the Festival.

I want to say a special thank you to my predecessor, outgoing Board Chair Marcia Nickerson, who dedicated many years as a Board member before seven years serving as Chair. I also want to thank outgoing Board members Eileen Arandiga, Adam Garnet Jones and Andre Morriseau for their important contributions to the Festival over many years as volunteers, and Audrey Rochette, who was Fundraising Manager for five years. And a final thank you to Ariel Smith, outgoing Executive Director. I have been a fan of Ariel’s film and programming work long before she joined the Festival, and we are fortunate to have her as a member of our Programming Team this year.

It has been fifteen years since I first became involved with imagineNATIVE as a staff member and I want to express my deepest gratitude for the mentorship, support and extended family this experience has given me. I know that many of you share my feelings of homecoming and kinship when it comes to this Festival. Thank you for coming and being a part of it all. Enjoy!