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This year, imagineNATIVE’s esteemed volunteer Awards Jury considered film, video, radio and new media works from Canadian and international Indigenous artists to select winners in 12 categories with over $13,000 in cash and $10,000 of in-kind services.
Susan Blight is Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation. A visual artist, filmmaker and arts educator, Susan’s films and video work have been screened nationally and internationally at such venues as Media City International Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema and imagineNATIVE. Susan has exhibited across North America, most notably at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, The Print Studio, Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, and the Art Gallery of Windsor. She received a Master of Fine Arts in integrated media from the University of Windsor, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and a Bachelor of Arts in film studies from the University of Manitoba. Susan currently lives and works in Toronto and is the host of the Indigenous Waves radio show.
Keesic Douglas is an Ojibway artist from the Mnjikaning First Nation in central Ontario. He specializes in the mediums of photography and video. His work has been exhibited both across Canada and internationally, including several times at imagineNATIVE. Keesic focuses on sharing his unique perspective based on his Aboriginal heritage in his photo and video work. Keesic graduated with a BFA from OCAD in 2007, where he won the medal for photography and completed his MFA at UBC in Vancouver in 2010.
Jennifer Dysart is a Cree/German-Canadian/Scottish filmmaker whose films and videos have been screened at numerous festivals such as the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Dreamspeakers and imagineNATIVE. Her past films at imagineNATIVE include I’ll Sing to You, GRIP, Hooked Up, NDNs Online and her most recent, Moss Origins, made during her 2011 imagineNATIVE/Charles Street Video Residency. She is currently doing an MFA in film production at York University. Jennifer has had a 15-year career of working in arts institutions such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Museum of Anthropology, The Banff Centre’s New Media Institute and the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
Sarah Podemski is an Ojibway/Israeli actress born and raised in Toronto. At age 9, she began her training at Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts, where she studied dance, music and theatre. Her professional career began at age 13, guest starring in the TV series, Goosebumps and later starring in the German series, Blue Hawk. As a young woman, Sarah’s roles grew more diverse, playing a teen-mother in Showcase’s Moccasin Flats, spying on the government in CBC’s The Border, flirting with college boys in Comedy Network’s, House Party, and scheming her way to the top in the APTN casino comedy, Cashing In. Sarah spent many years dancing for the Indspire Awards, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and has enjoyed years of facilitating film and dance workshops for at-risk youth in her community.
Judy Wolfe is a partner in Consulting Matrix and a sustainable growth strategist/advisor for creative organizations. Judy has worked extensively with governments and organizations that promote Aboriginal economic and social development. Since 2009, she has been publisher of Point of View Magazine and president of FORCE for Cultural Events Production, Inc. POV Magazine’s mandate is to present the art and business of independent documentary film production by providing rich and incisive writing on documentaries and independent films made in Canada and abroad. FORCE is the producer of This Is Not A Reading Series, presenting Toronto’s most innovative literary events.