imagineNATIVE ED, Jason Ryle & Community Sponsorships, Audrey Rochette with Emma Donoghue

imagineNATIVE ED, Jason Ryle & Community Sponsorships, Audrey Rochette with Emma Donoghue

imagineNATIVE Receives Major Donation from Emma Donoghue


March 14, 2016 - The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has today received a $20,000 donation from Emma Donoghue, the award-winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, novelist and screenwriter. 

This major contribution marks the largest single donation in imagineNATIVE’s 17-year history and will support the organization’s annual Festival and year-round initiatives, with a focus on mentorships and professional development programmes. 

Emma Donoghue’s internationally best-selling novel Room was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize (2010). Her screenplay for her first feature film (Room) was adapted from her novel and was nominated for the Academy Award and the Canadian Screen Award (both in 2016). Last night, Emma won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. Today she received the Golden Box Office Award from Telefilm Canada, which recognizes Canadian screenwriters and directors of the Canadian English language feature film with the highest domestic box office sales in a calendar year. The Award comes with a $20,000 prize, which she graciously donated to imagineNATIVE.

Emma Donoghue expressed admiration for imagineNATIVE’s mandate and described the gift as intended to assist in the Festival’s promotion of Indigenous screen culture: “Greater diversity in the film industry benefits all of us. So I am delighted to pass this unexpected windfall on to the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, who do such crucial work promoting Indigenous cultural production in a range of media not only in Canada but worldwide.”

Jason Ryle, Executive Director of imagineNATIVE, expressed profound appreciation for the generous gift: “This is a remarkable contribution and we are incredibly grateful to Emma Donoghue for her exceptional generosity. This donation will have immediate impact on our activities and the scope of our work. We are incredibly moved and honoured to accept this gift from such a remarkable artist and literary icon. On behalf of imagineNATIVE’s entire staff and board – and the communities we serve – I give my heartfelt thanks to Emma Donoghue.”

About imagineNATIVE

Founded in 1999, imagineNATIVE is the international centre for Indigenous-made media arts. Its annual Festival celebrates 17 years from 19-23 October 2016 and is the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio, and digital media works created by Indigenous directors, producers, and screenwriters. Year-round imagineNATIVE presents a national tour, screenings across Canada and internationally, and a community screening series based in the Greater Toronto Area. imagineNATIVE is committed to the professional development of Indigenous artists through its numerous workshops, labs, and panels through its Industry Series and through strategic partnerships internationally. imagineNATIVE showcases, promotes, and celebrates Canadian and international Indigenous filmmakers and media artists and is committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions.

Photo: imagineNATIVE Executive Director, Jason Ryle and Community Sponsorships, Audrey Rochette with Emma Donoghue at the Golden Box Office Awards.