Gwishalaayt - The Spirit Wraps Around You

Barb Cranmer | Short Documentary
Canada | 2001 | 47 min

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


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In honour of the late Kwakwaka'wakw filmmaker, Barb Cranmer, Donna and Andrea Cranmer will introduce a selection of her prolific work. 

Gwishalaayt, which in the Tsimshian language means The Spirit Wraps Around You, follows the work of these weavers and presents their woven regalia in cultural context at potlatches and other ceremonies. The weavers share their knowledge and personal experience of practicing an art form that has become a way of life for them, while addressing some of the misconceptions about the weaving that were presented by those who have written about it in the past.

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Legendary filmmaker Barb Cranmer (April 6, 1960-May 17, 2019) was an award-winning filmmaker and member of the 'Namgis First Nation, of the Kwakwaka'wakw of Alert Bay, British Columbia.  Her battle with brain cancer began in 2018 and continued until she passed away, surrounded by her family, at the age of 59.

Barb was fiercely committed to telling the stories of her people, directing and producing award-winning documentaries including I'TUSTO To Rise Again, Gwishalaayt--the spirit wraps around you, Our Voices, Our Stories and Qatuwas: People Gathering Together which won the Telefilm Canada/TVNC Award, Best Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival and was invited to the Sundance Film Festival.

She carried the responsibility of several names, including T'lakwagilogwa (Copper woman or woman of wealth) and Lakwalogwa (woman who calls people to join the feast with her). She was a Hiligaxste in the Hamatsa Dance Society and her love of life lives on as an inspiration for all who were fortunate enough to know her or met her at the gallery and store she operated with her sisters--"Culture Shock."

Jeff Bear and Marianne Jones celebrated Barb in a short documentary, Culture Shock in Alert Bay: Barb Cranmer.

Bio provided by Moving Images Distribution, Cranmer’s distributor.

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