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imagineNATIVE Launches
the imagineNATIVE Institute

Year-Round Professional Development Hub
For Indigenous Film And Media Content Creators

As the kick-off event at imagineNATIVE’s annual Industry Series this morning, the Festival announced the launch of the imagineNATIVE Institute, a new organizational department for a year-round professional development hub in their new spaces The Commons. imagineNATIVE welcomed Industry, filmmakers and media artists to their newly renovated offices and public activation spaces The Commons at the historic 401 Richmond Building to reveal this exciting announcement.

imagineNATIVE’s Industry Director, Daniel Northway-Frank, detailed the imagineNATIVE Institute’s vision to create professional development opportunities for Indigenous artists at all levels of experience, expand and enhance the depth and quality of current programming in a year-round context. The imagineNATIVE Institute will be the focal point for advocacy and research fostering change in the arts and culture industries that increase support and opportunities for Indigenous content creators. Growth funding for the Institute’s activities have been made possible with generous support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and the Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door program. Earlier this year, OTF gave the Centre for Aboriginal Studies a two-year $234,900 Grow grant to help renovate the new space and implement year-round media arts professional development programs. On Thursday, Abdullah Snobar, a member of OTF’s Board of Directors was there to formally congratulate the organization.

In the announcement, imagineNATIVE Institute’s programs and enhancements were detailed; and applications and proposals were launched, including:

  • Expansion of the Festival’s Industry Series into a year-round activation at The Commons
  • Enhancing Key Creative Labs for filmmakers, including the new imagineNATIVE/Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive supporting four new screenplays from treatment to optioning.
  • imagineNATIVE/HGF Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship, a nine-month program pairing an Indigenous recipient living in Canada with script reader mentor
  • Growing Mentorship Commission Programs for emerging filmmakers across Canada
  • Creating new spaces for Indigenous-led digital media exploration, imagineNATIVE VR/AR Residency currently in progress
  • Continue the annual Interactive Partnership with the National Film Board of Canada supporting new digital interactive work
  • Supporting producers with market-ready feature film content for development or acquisition as part of the NATIVe Indigenous Cinema Stand at the Berlinale European Film Market
  • Leader in advocacy and research, including the in-progress On-Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts & Stories
  • Building an Indigenous and Industry-specific social media presence for with new Facebook, Twitter and e-bulletins to promote Indigenous programs and celebrate Indigenous Talent
  • Launch of the Indigenous Industry Opportunities Database (IIOD), a new online tool for Indigenous film and media creators that aggregates professional development, training, exhibition and project support funding programs available for Indigenous film and media art content creators

Daniel Northway-Frank, Industry Director remarks “The imagineNATIVE Institute has been in development for several years now. The realization of new activation spaces and new partnerships, paired with a watershed of awareness for the complexity of the Indigenous experience, made for the right moment to envision new directions that we can support the Indigenous film and media arts community. We look forward to working with new Institute investment and program partners to realize this vision.

The imagineNATIVE Institute activities including new application and proposals are all available and can be followed via e-bulletin on the imagineNATIVE website, www.imaginenative.org and can be followed @iNativeINDUSTRY on Facebook and Twitter.

As an agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca 

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710, Damien Nelson, damien@flip-publicity.com

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival - The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing innovation in film, video, audio and digital media. The Festival presents the most compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations, and illustrating the vitality and excellence of Native art and culture in contemporary media.