Barb Cranmer Tribute

Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 1:30pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3


In honour of the late Kwakwaka'wakw filmmaker, Barb Cranmer, Dorothy Christian will introduce a selection of her prolific work curated by Cranmer’s family in partnership with the Vancouver International Film Festival. 

Kwakwaka'wakw filmmaker Barb Cranmer was one of the most prolific and acclaimed Indigenous documentary filmmakers of her generation. Her films have been screened at festivals throughout the world, including the prestigious Sundance Festival, and were regularly celebrated at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco where they won numerous awards. Collaborating with members of her family and the community, Barb committed herself to producing a magnificent series of films about cultural renewal and contemporary Kwakwaka'wakw life. "The inspiration for my work," she said, "comes from our people’s rich history." Her most recent film, Our Voices, Our Stories (2015), produced on the occasion of the St. Michael’s residential school demolition in ‘Yalis (Alert Bay), is a necessary document of our time. Barb carried the names T’ɬakwagilogwa (Copper Woman, or woman of wealth), and Lakwalogwa (woman who calls people to join the feast with her). She was politically and socially active, serving for 13 years on Band Council and as co-founders (with her sisters) of the Culture Shock Gallery presenting authentic Indigenous art and the best coffee in Alert Bay.

In an interview in First Nations Drum in 2000, Barb described her films this way: “It was important for me to get the truth out there, from our own perspective, and do it with the respect and integrity that comes from our community. That’s been a driving force, for me…I see myself as a kind of messenger of stories. Basically, the way I see it is that I can look at these films twenty years from now and know that I’ve helped in maintaining the history and the culture of our people.” It is with much love and affection that we gather to pay tribute to Barb Cranmer, to remember her generous spirit, and to acknowledge all that she accomplished in her life.
- description provided by Vancouver International Film Festival

imagineNATIVE is honoured to host Barb’s sister’s Donna and Andrea Cranmer for this special screening. Miikwehc to Barb’s community members from 'Namgis First Nation, of the Kwakwaka'wakw of Alert Bay, British Columbia, Moving Images Distribution, and Vancouver International Festival for assisting us with this screening.

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