The imagineNATIVE iNstitute is pleased to announce the first recipients of seven annual professional development programs including: CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship, CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency, LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship, NBFC/imagineNATIVE Incubator Program and the HGF/imagineNATIVE Story Editing Mentorship, HGF/imagineNATIVE Screenwriting Intensive and the NATIVe Producer Fellows

Films of the four production mentorships will premiere at the 19th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival which runs October 17-21, 2018. Congratulations to all of the recipients. For more information on imagineNATIVE’s Industry Opportunities and past Industry Programs, click here



  The imagineNATIVE iNstitute: Launch + BreakFEAST   October 19, 9:00am–9:45am  imagineNATIVE, 401 Richmond Building, Suite 446   Click  HERE  for more information


imagineNATIVE and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) are pleased to announce that Chantelle Anderson has been selected for the 5th Annual CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program. 

The CSIF Program explores filmmaking with emerging Indigenous media artists living in Alberta. Chantelle will have the opportunity to use CSIF’s workshops, equipment and facilities to shoot, edit and produce her short film that will have its world premiere at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival.

Chantelle Marie Anderson has been an active member in the Arts for over 20 years, imprinting her creative signature across diverse mediums including fashion design, performing arts and screenwriting. Chantelle is a full status member of Onion Lake First Nation, which borders the Northern Alberta/Saskatchewan border.

"Being selected for this program shows me that the community believes in my potential, confirming that my aspirations will be rewarded through hard work and dedication.  I am more motivated than ever to see how this program will shape my artistic career," said Chantelle.

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imagineNATIVE and Charles Street Video (CVS) are pleased to announce that Tuscarora filmmaker Jonathan Elliott has been selected for the 8th 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.

Jonathan Elliott is from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. Since receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from York University’s film production program, he has worked as a Director, Cinematographer and Editor on a variety of projects, including: Wild ArchaeologyGlitchBlood Child, Teens 101 and Two Wolves. Jonathan’s recent short film, This Wild Season premiered at the 2017 imagineNATIVE Festival and is continuing a successful run on the festival circuit. 

Through the residency, Jonathan will have the opportunity to create a new short work (5-10 mins) to premiere at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival. After the festival, Jonathan will also have the opportunity to deliver a workshop/artist talk to CSV and imagineNATIVE members to detail his work and creative process. 

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imagineNATIVE and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) are pleased to announce that Toronto-based artist Natasha Naveau is the recipient of the 14th 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.

Natasha 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 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival.

Natasha Naveau is currently finishing an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. She has professional experience in Event and Portrait Photography, Arts Administration, and advocacy. She is currently working with her home community of Mattagami First Nation to produce an historic account of the community.



The NB Film Co-op and imagineNATIVE are proud to announce that the 2018 Incubator Program recipient is Mi’kmaw actor, writer and entrepreneur, Melissa Lunney.

Melissa is originally from Minto, New Brunswick. In 2014, she starred in Lisa Jodoin’s award-winning short film Tracing Blood. The following year she went on to be cast in Jared Carney’s The Man who Loved Flowers, an adaptation of the Stephen King short story. Last year, she participated in artsnb’s “FILM SLAM”in partnership with the NB Film Co-op, and received hands-on training in short film production. As the recipient of the NB Film Co-op/ImagineNATIVE Incubator Project, Melissa is looking forward to bringing her creative vision to life.

Melissa will have the opportunity to shoot and edit her project to completion and screen it at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival. She will be provided with a full NBFC Membership and Producer Lisa Jodoin will mentor her on the project.

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imagineNATIVE and the Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) are thrilled to announce that award-winning writer and actress, Mary Galloway is the recipient of the 2018 Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship. 

The initiative aims to increase Indigenous expertise in feature film script development from all creative contributing points. Mary will participate in a nine-month mentorship (April to December 2018) with established HGF Script Readers and will meet with HGF staff to learn the behind-the- scenes processes of story development.

Mary Galloway is known for Supernatural (2005), Fire Song (2015), and Never Steady, Never Still (2017). She graduated in 2012 from a two-year intensive acting program at New Image College of Fine Arts with a 98% average. She is currently based in Los Angeles. 

Speaking about her selection, Mary said: “Being invited to participate in the imagineNATIVE/HGF Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship is a dream come true! I've been searching for an opportunity to learn and grow as a writer and this is the perfect chance for me to do exactly that. I love imagineNATIVE and the Harold Greenburg Fund and receiving their support and being selected by them is very exciting for me! I cannot wait to learn from the amazing mentors involved and look forward to what the next 9 months have in store!”



imagineNATIVE and the Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) are thrilled to announce that Alexandra Lazarowich, Bryson Chun, Gail Maurice and Migizi Pensoneau have been selected for the 2018 Screenwriting Intensive.

Building upon the success of imagineNATIVE’s 2014 Screenwriter Lab initiative, the Intensive will support the four selected screenwriters to develop a new feature film work through a year-long development program. With a focus on potential optioning, the program will culminate in a live staged reading of script excerpts, sponsored by ACTRA Toronto, for general audience and Industry professionals at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival.


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Alexandra Lazarowich is a filmmaker whose work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. She has received funding from BravoFact, National Screen Institute, and the Canada Arts Council and has had her lms screen at cinemas around the world. With her work she continues to try and tell the stories of Indigenous people.

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Gail Maurice is an award-winning independent filmmaker and Arts Laureate, having recently received the Hnatyshyn Foundation Reveal Indigenous award for excellence in the arts & the Chalmer's Arts Fellowship. She has written, directed and produced 8 lms. She grew up in a Métis village in Northern Saskatchewan and speaks her language Cree/Michif fluently. Gail is passionate about telling indigenous stories and stories with strong, female subjects or characters. She is currently at work on a feature-length documentary about her 102- year-old Grandma, Nokum, and is in pre-production for her next short drama Rosie, a bilingual film.


Migizi Pensoneau was born and raised in Minnesota, and attended Wesleyan University. Migizi has worked for several Hollywood studios and independent companies as a writer and a producer for film and television. He is the recipient of awards, commissions, fellowships, and grants from ABC/Disney, The Institute of American Indian Arts, the Sundance Institute, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others. Migizi has written several published pieces on the interaction of American Indians and popular culture. He recently received his MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and is a co-founder and writer for the popular comic group the 1491s.

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Bryson Chun  is a 2016 Sundance Film Festival Native Shorts Lab Fellow. His film, Ka Piko, premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival in 2017, where it was nominated for a “Best Short” award at the festival. Bryson has produced a wide array of award-winning short and feature film projects, including the film No More Aloha, which screened at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival in London.


The NATIVe Producer Fellows program is a rare fellowship/lab opportunity exclusive to Indigenous feature film producers during the annual European Film Market during the Berlinale in February. This fellowship programme will bring together a small group of Indigenous producers from the NATIVe Indigenous Cinema Stand Partners’ regional areas whose EFM activities will be enhanced through specific training, meetings, networking events, panels, and social activities to orient and help them take full advantage of the EFM and the Berlinale. The Fellows will be overseen by a dedicated, Berlin-based coordinator with expertise in the EFM who will curate the program and work collaboratively to develop strategic plans and goals with each producer and their market-ready projects.


2018 NATIVe Producer Fellows (in order above):

Armando Bautista Garcia, Mexico

Mathis Staale Mathison, Norway/Sapmi

Marc Fussing Rosbach, Greenland

Kerry Warkia - Aotearoa, New Zealand

Kristy Assu, Canada (BC)

Ciara Lacey - USA

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

For more information on imagineNATIVE’s Industry Opportunities and past iNstitute Programs, click here

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