Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Oct 19-23

Today is the opening of the 12th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival which celebrates aboriginal and indigenous peoples. After a welcome gathering that takes place at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, the opening screening takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The gala screening will be the Canadian premiere of Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s On The Ice, winner of the Best First Feature Prize at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.

Other highlights include Shirley Adams by Oliver Hermanus, the world premiere of Mesnak which is based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, an Australian musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi which stars Geoffrey Rush, and Dylan Valley's The Uprising of Hangberg about the recent forced displacement of residents in a Cape Town suburb. The international spotlight for this year is South Africa.

The closing night film will be Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes by Dennis and Melanie Jackson.

In addition to screenings, the festival hosts radio programs, photography exhibitions, new media works, and numerous industry events including a directing and writing master class with Festival de Cannes Camera d'Or winner Warwick Thornton.

The 12th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival continues until Sunday October 23.


12th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
October 19-23, 2011

Five days of Indigenous film, video, radio, new media, entertainment, and more.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest Indigenous media arts festival, celebrates its 12th year October 19-23, 2011 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (TBLB, 350 King St. W) and various other venues in downtown Toronto. imagineNATIVE celebrates new works by Indigenous people at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.

Visit for the full Festival line-up.

The Festival officially kicks off at 12:00pm on Wednesday, October 19 with its Welcome Gathering presented by the Thunderbird Centre at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (16 Spadina Road). FREE and open to the public, the reception features traditional Indigenous performances, including Tribal Vision, a family dance troupe from Six Nations, a welcoming song from Rosary Spence, craft vendors, food, and a welcome address from imagineNATIVE in a casual, fun atmosphere.

imagineNATIVE’s Opening Night screening presented by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) features the Canadian Premiere of Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s internationally-celebrated dramatic feature film On The Ice (USA) on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:00pm at the Festival’s new screening venue, TIFF Bell Lightbox. Winner of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Best First Feature Award, On the Ice is set on the snow-covered Alaskan tundra where two teenaged friends attempt to conceal a dark secret in this engrossing and suspenseful film.

Opening Night screening tickets for On The Ice are $12/$10 and include admission to the Opening Night party, presented by Casino Rama, featuring A Tribe Called Red. Winning rave reviews for their “Electric Pow Wow” (a blend of traditional powwow and electronic music), the Ottawa-based DJ crew will present their full multi-media video and music performance for the first time in Toronto at the Opening Night party at The Century Room (580 King St. W), doors open at 9pm.

Closing the Festival is the World Premiere of Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes (Canada) presented by Global Toronto, on October 23 at 7:00pm at the TBLB ($12/$10). Directed by Dennis Jackson, this full-length animated family film is based on the Gemini Award-winning animated TV series and features the voice talents of Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas) and the late Gordon Tootoosis (Blackstone, Legends of the Fall), in whose memory the Closing Night Gala is dedicated.

The legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie headlines imagineNATIVE’s popular music night The Beat presented by Slaight Music on October 22, 2011 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre ($20/$15) - tickets are now on sale for this unforgettable performance. CBC then presents In Discussion with Buffy Sainte-Marie, a FREE panel held at 7pm October 21, 2011 at the TBLB.

This year imagineNATIVE shines its annual International Spotlight on the Khoi-San, the Indigenous People of South Africa, which features three programs illustrating the diversity and creativity of contemporary Indigenous life in South Africa, as well as a unique video collaboration project between Canadian and South African Indigenous youth, premiering at The Beat.

This year’s programming also includes the long-overdue return of Samson & Delilah to Toronto’s screens as part of the two-part Special Presentation: The World of Samson & Delilah. Featuring the Cannes Caméra d’Or-winning film and its companion documentary Making Samson & Delilah, this presentation also includes a Master Class with Australian directors Warwick Thornton and Beck Cole, two of the world’s most prominent Indigenous filmmakers.

In total, 103 film and video works from Canada and around the world are presented at this year’s imagineNATIVE, including the World Premiere of Mesnak (Canada) a contemporary adaptation of Hamlet set on a Quebec First Nation, the musical Bran Nue Dae (Australia) starring Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush, Totem Impact (Canada) the Festival’s first 3D film, and the Canadian Premieres of new works by internationally-acclaimed filmmakers Kanakan Balintagos (Busong), Merata Mita (Saving Grace), and Ivan Sen (Shifting Shelter 4). This year imagineNATIVE features 38 World Premieres and 12 Canadian Premieres and a Festival total of 84 premieres.  

Presented by Astral Radio, imagineNATIVE’s Radio Works offers six engaging documentaries and interviews. The Festival also presents its first ever Radio Art Commissions featuring two sound art pieces that will be presented at the TBLB as part of the Landscape Figures: Experimental Shorts Program (Oct. 20, 5pm) and The Uprooted: Shorts Program 1 (Oct. 22, 5:30pm). All radio selections can be listened to online at and at the NFB Interactive Lounge (150 John St.).

New Media Works have a strong presence at imagineNATIVE this year. Along with a selection of four web-based new media works – presented online at and at the NFB Interactive Lounge – the Festival offers two new media arts exhibitions. S-O-S3 (signals of survival) is the third and final group exhibition curated by artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle as part of her curatorial triptych that began in 2009. S-O-S3 features the work of six Indigenous artists and is presented at A Space Gallery from September 24 to October 29 (Curator Talk: Oct. 21, 5:30pm). imagineNATIVE also presents Vital to the General Public Welfare, the Festival’s first-ever solo exhibition, showcasing the work of Montreal-based artist Jason Edward Lewis at the Edward Day Gallery (952 Queen St. W) from October 6-23 (Artist Talk: Oct. 20, 7:30pm).

The Festival is also pleased to announce the launch of its first iPhone App available for FREE download in English and French (compatible with Apple iOS products). imagineNATIVE’s App is your interactive event guide that plans and keeps track of all events and keeps you connected to everything at the Festival. imagineNATIVE also launches its new mobile website designed for use on all smartphones.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE, BY PHONE AND IN PERSON STARTING OCTOBER 3 (Early-bird passes and tickets for Buffy Sainte-Marie are available NOW)

Phone: 416 599 TIFF (8433) (10am-10pm, daily)
In-Person: TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King St. W (10am-10pm, daily)

All-Access $110/$65 (early-bird $88)
Industry All-Access $90 (early-bird $72)
Screening $40/$24 (early-bird $32)
Weekend $65/$40 (early-bird $52)

Regular Screenings $7
Students/Seniors/Underemployed before 6pm FREE
Opening Night Screening and Party $12/$10
Opening Night Party only $8
Closing Night Screening and Awards Show $12/$10
The Beat featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie $20/$15

Welcome Gathering
Industry Series
New Media Installations
In Discussion with Buffy Sainte-Marie
Shorts Program II on Oct. 23, 2:45pm

For more information and the full Festival listings, visit:

About imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

imagineNATIVE is an international festival that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio, and new media. Each October, the Festival presents a selection of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. The Festival's screenings, Industry Series, and cultural and social events attract and connect filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world's Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture in contemporary media.

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