imagineNATIVE Announces 2017 Commission + Mentorship Program Recipients



imagineNATIVE is pleased to announce the most recent recipients of five annual professional development commission programs: CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship, CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency, LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship, NBFC/imagineNATIVE Incubator Program and HGF/imagineNATIVE Story Editing Mentorship

Films of the four production mentorships will premiere at the 18th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival which runs October 18-22, 2017.

Congratulations to all of the recipients. For more information on imagineNATIVE’s Industry Opportunities and past Industry Programs, click here. 

4th Annual CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program

imagineNATIVE and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) are pleased to announce that Kainai visual artist and writer, Elijah Wells, has been selected for the 4th Annual CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program. 

The CSIF Program explores filmmaking with emerging Indigenous media artists living in Alberta. Artists selected for the program can access workshops, equipment, and facilities to expand their abilities with video and storytelling. 

Elijah is a visual artist and student at Alberta College of Art and Design. He is inspired by Blackfoot Culture and stories and informed by the rich artistic heritage of his people. He is passionate about bringing these stories forward in various artistic mediums. 

7th Annual CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency Program

imagineNATIVE and Charles Street Video (CVS) are pleased to announce that Metis filmmaker, writer and collaborative artist, Cara Mumford has been selected for the 7th Annual CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency.

This residency was developed to offer a mid-career or established Indigenous artist the opportunity to expand their practice and to experiment with the latest video technologies in the creation of a new short video work.

Cara’s short films have screened regularly at imagineNATIVE and toured internationally with the World of Women Film Festival. She has received industry training through Telefilm Canada, Bell Media’s Diverse Screenwriters Program and imagineNATIVE’s Story Lab & NFB/imagineNATIVE Digital Development initiative. 

Cara’s proposed project for the program is a 10-minute narrative film set 150 years in the future, as a counter narrative to the 150th anniversary of the Confederation. The film connects to the “Red Card Project,” an interactive website that Cara created after winning the National Film Board/imagineNATIVE Interactive Prize last year.

Titled Red Card One: Migizikwe, the film focuses on the importance of kinship and offers a glimpse of hope in an insecure future. Cara will collaborate with Jade Willoughby (Whitesand First Nation) and Beany John (Kehewin Cree Nation) on the film.

13th LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program

imagineNATIVE and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) are pleased to announce that Toronto-based Kichwa (Ecuador) artist Samay Arcentales Cajas is the recipient of the 13th annual LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship. This annual mentorship was developed to offer an Indigenous artist living in the Greater Toronto Area the opportunity to expand their practice into the realm of film, and present their new work in a professional context. Samay will be paired with a suitable mentor, enrolled in LIFT’s seasonal workshops and will be provided with access to LIFT’s production and post-production equipment. She will receive additional financial and resource support from imagineNATIVE and other to-be-confirmed mentorship partners to complete a film to premiere at the 2017-imagineNATIVE festival (October 18–22).

Speaking about her selection Samay Arcentales Cajas said: “I was ecstatic when I found out that I would receive the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship. It is a wonderful opportunity to see my creative vision (and that of my family’s) be made reality, with the support of such experienced and resourceful people. I am truly honoured for my film “In Moment” to be made part of an ever-growing community of indigenous filmmakers, who are taking back stories into our own hands.”

2017 NBFC/imagineNATIVE Incubator Program

The NB Film Co-op and imagineNATIVE are proud to announce that the 2017 Incubator Program recipient is Natasha Francis of Indian Island First Nation for her project, The Trail To Nowhere. The producer who will be mentoring her on the project is NBFC member filmmaker Kennlin Barlow. 

Natasha will receive a $500 grant as well as equipment resources, training and development workshops and hands on mentorship to produce her project.

Natasha always had a love and knack for writing and performing. During her early years, she spent her days writing short stories and eventually joined theatre at school. This passion led her to the University of Cape Breton where she performed in various plays including Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" and Eve Enslers "The vagina monologues." Eventually she moved to Fredericton and did theatre at the University of New Brunswick for a short period of time, performing in Fredrico Lorcas Blood Wedding, and Ring Round The Moon by Christopher Fry.

Natasha went on to graduate from UNB with a degree in education and early child hoops education certification from the NBCC. Though having a strong background in theatre arts, she is looking forward to now exploring the world of film.  

2017 HGF/imagineNATIVE Story Editing Mentorship


imagineNATIVE and the Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) are thrilled to announce that Theresa Stevenson is the recipient of the second Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship. 

The initiative aims to increase Indigenous expertise in feature film script development from all creative contributing points, by providing one selected Indigenous Canadian applicant a nine-month mentorship (April to December 2017) with established HGF Script Readers.

Theresa works with Native youth in remote communities to assist them in creating their own short films. She was recently awarded an Indigenous Pathways Initiative Grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. 

As part of the mentorship, Theresa will meet with HGF staff in a series of meetings to learn the behind-the-scenes processes of story development. 

“I am delighted to be selected for the imagineNATIVE and Harold Greenberg Fund Mentorship. I am very excited to study various techniques in story development from seasoned veterans and to receive guidance in writing my feature film script based on the Indigenous Trade Network,” said Theresa. 

Check back at for details on the finished projects of the recipients.