Digital Media Works

All digital media works are exhibited in the new Digital Media Art+Cade, 2nd Floor, TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Thursday, October 20 – Saturday, October 22, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, October 23, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Artists attending imagineNATIVE will present their work at the Digital Media Artist Showcase on Thursday, October 20, 3:15 - 4:15pm in the Digital Media Art+Cade, 2nd Floor.

Digital Media Artists Showcase

Thursday 20 October | 3:15pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Digital Media Art+Cade

Join us for a lively discussion as digital media artists programmed as part of this year's selection share insights into their work!

Ch'aak' S'aagi (Eagle Bone)
Artist: Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole)
USA | VR | 2016
Youtube 360 Link:
On-site demo using Oculus VR.

This immersive VR experience is a collective step in a new direction of visual storytelling rooted in being unapologetically Indigenous. Through freestyle spoken word and lush Pacific Northwest scenes, we enter into a journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones, and teachings that remind us that we are all individual vessels of spirit and change yet inextricably connected. Produced by Mechanic Dreams and authored by award-winning filmmaker and producer Tracy Rector.

Tracy Rector is a filmmaker and the executive director and co-founder of Longhouse Media. Rector has made 360 short films, and is currently in production of her third feature documentary. As co-producer of the award-winning film Teachings of the Tree People, producer of March Point, and co-director of Clearwater, Rector has developed an awareness of, and sensitivity to, the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens; at the Cannes Film Festival and imagineNATIVE; and in National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project and the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian.

Honour Water
Artist: Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinaabe/Métis)
USA | Game | 2016

Honour Water is a singing game for healing water that passes on songs in Anishinaabemowin, the Anishinaabe language. Songs are gifted by Sharon Day, the Oshkii Giizhik Singers and elders who collaborated at the Oshkii Giizhik Gathering. Water teachings are interwoven with singing challenges alongside art by Elizabeth LaPensée, as users engage by repeating songs in a culturally infused karaoke-styled framework, where they can also record and share their covers with the online community. The game is scheduled to release for free on iOS, Android and more

Elizabeth LaPensée, PhD, is an Anishinaabe, Métis and Irish designer, writer and researcher whose works in games, comics and animation speak to merging storytelling and technology into acts of survivance.

Highway of Tears
Artist: Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe)
Canada | Virtual Reality Documentary | 2016

Eighteen women have been murdered or have disappeared along Highway 16 and adjacent routes since the 1970s, according to the RCMP. Indigenous communities say the number of missing women is closer to 50. This first immersive documentary by CBC and award-winning director Lisa Jackson transports viewers to Northern B.C. and the area known as the Highway of Tears. Produced by CBC Radio's The Current in partnership with Secret Location.

Named one of Playback Magazine’s 10 to Watch in 2012, Lisa Jackson’s genre-blending films span documentary and fiction and include current affairs, animation, VR and a musical. They’ve appeared on most networks in Canada, screened at major festivals internationally, and garnered numerous awards, including a 2010 Genie for Best Short Film for Savage. She is currently co-directing a one-hour doc for CBC's "Firsthand," and developing a large-scale immersive audio-visual installation on the power of indigenous languages.

Artist: Jenny Fraser (Yugambeh)
Australia | Online Exhibition | 2016

Midden is the overarching title of this project, which consists of a number of installments, to include new artworks series, collaborative works and curated exhibitions. The intention has been to use the concept of the midden as a metaphor for collecting stories and a series of works exploring our beloved sea life, full of potential for sustenance and healing. A community-minded approach has been taken and others have personally been invited to contribute because we can each provide insider perspectives into our communities, and collectively we can make a powerful case towards the benefits of effective coastal management to ensure for the next generations, which is urgently overdue, particularly with the Great Barrier Reef. The aim of the project is to creatively enhance, reframe, remix and disrupt forms of storytelling to create informative art experiences and new ways of working for art lovers.

Jenny Fraser is a digital native working within a fluid screen-based practice. Jenny founded online gallery cyberTribe in 1999, the Blackout Collective in 2002 and World Screen Culture in 2015. She is on the National Advisory Group for the Centre for Indigenous Story, an Associate Member of the Centre for Creative Art at La Trobe University and 2015–2017 Adjunct Research Fellow at The Cairns Institute.

Creator/Producer: Lanita Ririnui Ryan (Māori)
Producer: Amomai Pihama (Māori)
New Zealand | 360 | Cinema Ÿ2016

For the first time ever, comes an interactive documentary about one of the most recognizable icons of Aotearoa: the Poi. Filmed in 2D and 360 for an immersive experience, it is the first poi performance captured in this way. “Takawirihanga” is a song piece that explains the story of poi origins in the same way our history is held – through song and dance. Focused on the story of origin and the earliest memories of poi by exponents in key areas, it is a fresh look at the foundations in a digital realm.

Featuring three proficient performers of our time, Kahurangi Maxwell, Tiria Waitai and Talei Morrison, this unique contemporary item weaves the past with the future to share the genealogical connection to poi.

As a home for these important stories, and a platform to grow, connect and share our knowledge, Poi360 is a clear passion project and a digital whare (house) for Maori taonga (treasure).

Lanita Ririnui Ryan is a creative Native storyteller of Māori & Cook Islands (Tauranga Moana, Ngapuhi, Kuki Airani); is an independent producer, director, writer and presenter/MC; and has delivered various projects across screens of all sizes for the past 20 years. The majority of her works have been in rangatahi (youth), lifestyle, music, sport and entertainment genres, while documentary has also been a consistent feature.

Amomai Pihama (Ngāti Maahanga, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Ruanui) is a performer, content producer and reporter and anchor for Maori Television. Poi360 was produced by Through the Fire Ltd., a production company owned by Lanita Ririnui Ryan and Amomai Pihama dedicated to kaupapa-driven stories, indigenous content, arts and entertainment. 

Indigenous Routes

The “Indigi-Cade” is a collective project organized by The Indigenous Routes Collective, which promotes digital training for Indigenous youth, and Dames Making Games, a Toronto non-profit that supports women in gaming, Indigicade will empower a group of participants to express themselves through gaming, creating demoed versions for play by Festival delegates. You can’t avoid playing this new generation of creative coders’ works! These finished games will be housed in retro-styled arcade consoles:

A Bipolar Journey
Artist: Thirza Cuthand (Cree/Scottish)
Canada  Game  2016

Based on a personal experience, A Bipolar Journey uses hand-drawn imagery in a video game format to replicate dealing with the depressions and manias of Bipolar Disorder.

Thirza Cuthand was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in Saskatoon. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, youth, love and race, which have screened at festivals internationally, including Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity, Frameline, Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. This is Cuthand’s first work in creative gaming.

Artists: Megan Byrne (Métis/Cree) and Tara Miller (Maliseet)
Canada  Game  2016

Ever heard of a Selkie? Join two sister selkies as they travel south from the basin of James Bay and navigate their way through land and water to reach a southern village to trade, but this trip will not end as happily as the ones before.

A gentle 2D puzzle-platformer that melds Cree, Inuit and Celtic culture and legends to create something uniquely Northern.

This is a game concept piece that gives a sample of what the full game could be like.

Megan Byrne is a GTA-based game designer currently working at Sheridan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning and is an active member of her school’s Indigenous Student Group. She hopes to create games that reflect her Métis/Cree roots and bring new stories to video game players. Megan presented her first work with Indigenous Routes in 2015 with Wanisinowin|Lost.

Tara Miller is an art student from the Maliseet First Nation born in Ottawa in 1997. She is trained in multiple art forms including painting, printmaking, and sculpture, and enjoys telling stories through her art, no matter what the medium. She is has studied and curated gallery exhibits for Indigenous art; a result of her passion for learning from and promoting modern Indigenous artists. She is very excited to have the opportunity to create art for Sealskin, her first video game project.

Currently, Tara is studying animation at Sheridan College with the goal of furthering herself as an animator and storyteller.