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First Inaugural Indigenous Film Festival Kicks Off at the Kamloops Film Society

Stseptékwles re Sk’elép, or Coyote Stories, will feature 9 distinct Indigenous films from September 1-3, 2022.


Photo courtesy of the Kamloops Film Society


TK’EMLUPS, BC - The upcoming weekend of September 1 - 3 welcomes the first inaugural Indigenous Film Festival to the city of Kamloops. The Kamloops Film Society, in PArtnership with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Band are hosting the Stseptékwles re Sk’elép, or Coyote Stories, at the Paramount Theater at the heart of Tk’emlups.


Over the three day film festival, expect to celebrate the voices and art of Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island. The schedule is filled with fun activities, short film screenings, and 9 different feature films from Indigenous-Canadians. This partnership between the Kamloops Film Society (KFS) and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (TteS) furthers the support of our local artists and creators, and fosters a stronger bond between communities. The Executive Director of the KFS, Dušan Magdolen, speaks about the desire to host an Indigenous-centered film festival below:


“An Indigenous film festival has been a priority for the Kamloops Film Society since we took over the operations of the Paramount Theatre. Our intention has been to use the success of our annual March Kamloops Film Festival to launch micro festivals featuring specific content aimed at various demographic groups. We are thrilled to begin meeting this goal with the Stseptékwles re Sk’elép Indigenous Film Festival.”

The film line-up features award-winning movies from across Turtle Island, featuring unique Indigenous voices and perspectives from a variety of different backgrounds and genres, sure to satisfy all types of movie-goers.


TICKETS:

Adult: $12 Regular/ $10 for Film Buff+ Members

Senior (65+): $11 Regular/ $9 for Film Buff+ Members

Student/ Child: $7 Regular/ $5 for Film Buff+ Members


TICKET PACKS:

3-Film Packs: $27

5-Film Packs: $42.5

*When you purchase a pack, it will be connected to your customer account in our KFS ticket selling platform, Agile. Then, when you go to purchase tickets for the movies you want, you’ll see a new option under “pack” that will have a $0 cost associated.


TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED ON THE KFS WEBSITE


 

Additional Events and Activities:


OPENING PRAYER & SAGE HILLS SINGERS

THURSDAY, SEP 1ST @ 6:30 PM

To start of the first ever Stseptékwles re Sk’elép (Coyote Stories) Indigenous Film Festival we will be featuring an Opening Prayer from Ivy Chelsea and music from the Sage Hills Singers before our screening of DƏNE YI’INJETL | The Scattering of Man to start our festival off on the right note.


SCATTERING OF MAN Q&A

THURSDAY, SEP 1ST @ 8:30 PM

After our opening film, DƏNE YI’INJETL | THE SCATTERING OF MAN, we will be joined by director Luke Gleeson for an insightful and delicious Q&A. Delicious? Yes! Susan’s Sweets & Savories will be on hand with some mouthwatering savories and sweets for patrons staying for the Q&A. Volunteers and staff will bring them around in the theatre so attendees can continue enjoying the Q&A.


THE IFF CLOSING PARTY

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 9:00 PM

Join us in the Mountainview Terrace (by the pool) at the Delta Hotel (540 Victoria Street) for some delicious eats, an included free drink (then cash bar), and entertainment from Indigenous comedian Sasha Mark and some friends. We’re thrilled to close off our first ever Indigenous Film Festival in this fun environment. We hope you can join us!


Sasha Mark (he/him/they/them) is a Cree-Métis stand up comedian from Treaty 1 territory. He has done work with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, 604 Records, Just For Laughs Vancouver and is most known for his work on the tv show APTN’s “The Laughing Drum”.


Outside of the comedy world, Sasha has been working for the non-profit sector for almost a decade, primarily in educational programming, volunteer coordination and community engagement.




 

2022 FILM FESTIVAL LINE UP




DƏNE YI’INJETL | THE SCATTERING OF MAN

THURSDAY, SEP 1ST @ 6:30 PM

Between 1960 and 1961 the Province of British Columbia, then led by the Premier W.A.C. Bennett, underwent a series of nationalizations in order to create Provincial “Crown corporations”. This initiative included the creation of what is now known as BC Hydro.

In 1968, BC Hydro completed construction on the W.A.C Bennett Dam and began flooding the Rocky Mountain Trench in northern British Columbia, Canada. The resulting flood greatly impacted the Tsay Keh Dene people who have inhabited this area since time immemorial.


DƏNE YI’INJETL is told from the perspective of the Tsay Keh Dene Nation and its membership about the events that took place before and after the flood. Viewed by many critics as a Provincial vanity project, development of the dam was pushed forward and completed ahead of schedule, with little thought given to the resulting impacts that the natural environment and Tsay Keh Dene people would soon face.


About the Director:

Luke Gleeson is a member of the Tsay Keh Dene Nation and the owner of Mesilinka Films, a newly established First Nations owned production company.


Mesilinka Films aims to to provide First Nations a medium to get their stories out to a wider audience and mentor upcoming First Nations filmmakers, producers and artists.


Luke Gleeson made his film debut with DƏNE YI’INJETL | The Scattering of Man, and is currently in the production of CHU DƏZE | The Trickster Cycle.



SLASH/BACK

FRIDAY, SEP 2ND @ 6:00 PM

The debut feature from Iqaluit-raised director Nyla Innuksuk, 𝐒𝐋𝐀𝐒𝐇/𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 packs a vivid and thrilling punch, as a girl gang in Pangnirtung, Nunavut is left to fight off a supernatural apocalypse. Employing strategies from their favourite horror movies, weapons from their kitchens, and power from their friends, the girls must battle a mysterious alien force to save their home. ⁣


When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it's up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don't mess with girls from Pang.


This film is shown in partnership with Drunk in a Graveyard


About the Director:

Nyla Innuksuk is the founder of MIXTAPE VR, and co-founder of Pinnguaq Productions. Her work mainly focuses on short documentaries, but she made her film debut with SLASH/BACK.


She has two other films that have been nominated for awards, including KAJUTAIJUQ: The Spirit that Comes, and Breaths.






BEANS

FRIDAY, SEP 2ND @ 6:30 PM

Beans is a 2020 Canadian drama film directed by Mohawk-Canadian filmmaker Tracey Deer. It explores the 1990 Oka Crisis at Kanesatake, which Deer lived through as a child, through the eyes of Tekehentahkhwa (nicknamed "Beans"), a young Mohawk girl whose perspective on life is radically changed by these events.[


Twelve-year-old Beans is on the edge: torn between innocent childhood and reckless adolescence; forced to grow up fast and become the tough Mohawk warrior she needs to be during the Oka Crisis, the turbulent Indigenous uprising that tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990.




About the Director:

Born and raised in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, Tracey Deer is an award-winning Indigenous director, producer, writer, mentor, speaker, and leader. A graduate of Dartmouth College’s Film Studies program, Tracey is a visual storyteller who wants to have a positive impact on the world.


She's best known for Beans, Mohawk Girls, and Club Native.






BLOOD QUANTUM

FRIDAY, SEP 2ND @ 8:30 PM

Blood Quantum is a 2019 Canadian horror film written, directed, and edited by Jeff Barnaby.


Set in 1980's Quebec, the film depicts the effects of a zombie uprising on a First Nations reserve of Red Crow, whose residents are strangely immune to contracting the plague because of their indigenous heritage. However, they must still cope with the consequences of its effects on the world around them, including white refugees seeking shelter on the reserve.


This film is shown in partnership with Drunk in a Graveyard





About the Director:

Jeff Barnaby is a Mi'kmaq director, writer, composer, and film editor, who started his career with a series of short films.


Over the years, he's been nominated for a number of different film award, making his debut with the drama/thriller, Rhymes for Young Ghouls in 2013.


He is best known for Rhymes for Young Ghouls and Blood Quantum.





WILDHOOD

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 1:00 PM

In a rural east-coast trailer park, two-spirit Mi’kmaw teenager Link is just discovering — and asserting — his sexuality when his already volatile home life goes off the rails. His abusive father explodes after the cops bust Link and his half-brother Travis for stealing scrap metal. When he finds out that his supposedly dead mother may be alive, Link flees with Travis in tow. Sparks fly in a chance encounter with teen drifter Pasmay, who shares Link’s Indigenous roots and offers to help find his mother. As the boys journey across Mi’kma’ki, Link finds community, identity, and love in the land where he belongs.






About the Director:

Bretten Hannam is a Two-Spirit L’nu filmmaker living in Kespukwitk, L’nuekati (Nova Scotia) where they were raised. Their films deal with themes of community, culture, and language with a focus on Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ identity.


They are best known for their films, North Mountain (2015), Wildfire (2019), and Wildhood (2021).






Returning Home

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 1:30 PM

Skilfully intertwining narratives concerning residential school survivors and Indigenous peoples’ relationship with imperiled wild Pacific salmon, Sean Stiller’s stirring documentary is a revelatory testament to strength and resilience. At the heart of the film is Phyllis Jack-Webstad, the survivor who founded the Orange Shirt Day movement. While Phyllis recounts her childhood trials to youth across the country, her relations in the Secwépemc territory near Williams Lake are contending with another outcome of colonialism: the upper Fraser River’s lowest salmon runs in Canadian history.







About the Director:

Sean Stiller is part of the T’exelc (Williams Lake) and Secwepemc (Shushwap) nations and an award winning filmmaker and cinematographer currently based out of Tkaronto (Toronto).


Sean specializes in documentary, Indigenous, commercial and commissioned films. His work has won nearly a dozen awards and is most recognized for Returning Home, Kéwku, and Through the Gaze.







Portraits from a Fire

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 4:00 PM

Tsilhqot'in filmmaker, Trevor Mack, brings us a moving and open-hearted story made in collaboration with his home community.


"Possessing more determination than discernible talent, teenage Tyler (William Magnus Lulua) routinely premieres his lo-fi DIY films on his reservation for a smattering of viewers who struggle to stay awake. Undaunted, he retains his belief that he and his films are bound for bigger things. At the very least, they can be a bigger draw than bingo. Just as his new friend Aaron (Asivak Koostachin) practically manifests from the ether to provide him with some welcome encouragement, a DV tape resurfaces that casts new light on his family’s history and may just provide answers to questions that he’s long harboured."


About the Director:

Trevor Mack is an up and coming filmmaker who has produced a number of short films such as The Blanketing, Clouds of Autumn, and In the Valley of Wild Horses, with Portraits from a Fire as his first feature-length film. His short films have won a handful of awards over the years at various film festivals.


He is a a member of the Tsilhqot'in nation and has a Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Media from Ryerson University.



Scarborough

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 4:30 PM

Scarborough is the film adaptation of the award-winning novel by Catherine Hernandez. Over the course of a school year, three kids from different backgrounds who move into the same low-income neighbourhood find community and friendship at a drop-in reading program.













About the Directors:

Shasha Nakhai is a Filipino-Iranian Canadian film director who is known for co-directing with Rich Williamson, a Canadian film director, cinematographer and editor.


They have collaborated on a handful of award-winning and nominated films, including The Sugar Bowl (2011), Paruparo (2013), 18 Roses (2016), The Hole in Reservoir Hill (2018), and Thirty Eight Minutes (2020).





Run, Woman, Run

SATURDAY, SEP 3RD @ 7:00 PM


From director Zoe Hopkins, comes a witty and heartwarming comedy-drama film.


"Beck, a single mom, lives in Six Nations, Canada. After her mother’s death, she abandons her dream of becoming a Mohawk language teach- er, and an unhealthy lifestyle leads to a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. The ghost of Tom Longboat, a sports legend of the early 1900s, appears to her. He teaches Beck to become an honor runner, dedicating each run to an aspect of creation or a special person in her life. With Tom’s help, Beck is able to turn her life around."





About the Director:

Zoe Hopkins Heiltsuk and Mohawk woman from Bella Bella. She has produced a number of other feature-length films such as Mohawk Midnight Runners and Kayak to Klemtu. Her films have received a number of nominations from different film festivals and also won the Audience Choice Award at the Powell River Film Festival and the Best Feature Film at the Lumbee Film Festival.









For a complete list of events and films during the inaugural Indigenous Film Festival, please visit the Kamloops Film Society website.


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