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Opening Night Gala

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Holy Angels

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve | Canada | 2017 | 13 min | Short Documentary

Wednesday 18 October 2017 | 7:00 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
World Premiere

Screening as part of Opening Night

On the outskirts of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, stands the Holy Angels Residential School, an ominous brick building where hundreds of children were imprisoned. Elder Lena Wandering Spirit recounts her time at Holy Angels, her story taking us on a healing journey that echoes in the dance of Phoenix, a young girl who is the same age now that Lena was during her captivity. Their lives bridge the distance of time and affirm the power that lies within us.


Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (Cree/Métis) is a filmmaker and actor from Slave Lake, Alberta, currently living in Vancouver. Over the last decade, he has independently produced his own films, had acting roles in The Revenant (2015) and the APTN series Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show, and recorded the private statements of residential school survivors for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which served as the impetus for Holy Angels.