imaginenative industry labs

In 2013 imagineNATIVE released the report Indigenous Feature Film Production in Canada - A National Perspective, which identified the immediate need for increased training and professional development opportunities for Indigenous feature film creatives. In 2014 imagineNATIVE’s Screenwriters Lab began this concentrated effort to support the first feature film screenplay for four Indigenous writers. For the first time in 2016, imagineNATIVE is providing “mini-lab” intensives in each creative discipline, starting and growing the industry’s key creatives’ skills from development to delivery.

For the inaugural imagineNATIVE Canadian Indigenous Film Director Mini-Lab, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada - Ontario, imagineNATIVE will invite four emerging Canadian Indigenous directors – with credits on professionally presented short film work – to participate in a three-day “mini-lab” with established multidisciplinary, award-winning director Tracey Deer, whose breadth of quality work and leadership role in the sector and community will bring valuable perspective and insight for the participants.

Sponsored by DGC Ontario


The imagineNATIVE/CMPA Canadian Indigenous Film Producer Mini-lab is designed to hone the skills and knowledge base of four emerging Canadian Indigenous producers through dedicated one-on-one engagement with an established Indigenous creative industry leader. For 2016, imagineNATIVE has invited Canadian producer Laura Milliken (Fire Song) to lead this new initiative.

Sponsored by CMPA


imagineNATIVE/HGF Script Lab

Born out of the desire to put a spotlight on works in progress and to create development opportunities for professionally recognized screenwriters, the imagineNATIVE/HGF Story Lab brings together industry professionals and some very lucky scripts.

Up to six selected participants and their short or feature-excerpted scripts will be assigned to industry mentors who will spend – over two separate sessions – four hours helping to push these short film projects one step closer to their final scripts. Participants contribute to the discussion about one another’s projects and receive feedback/suggestions on their project in a group-learning environment led by the mentor. The Script Lab was crucial to the feature script of Baybayin by acclaimed filmmaker Kanakan Balintagos, whose completed film won Best Indigenous Language Production at imagineNATIVE in 2014.

The Industry Mentors for 2016 are John Galway, President, English-Language Program at Astral’s The Harold Greenberg Fund, and Eva Thomas, the recipient of the inaugural imagineNATIVE Story Editor Mentorship, aimed to bring Indigenous perspectives to the evaluation process of feature film screenplays.

Sponsored by: HGF