Wednesday, September 19, 2012

imagineNATIVE announces Opening and Closing Night gala presentations

The 13th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is just around the corner and the Festival is excited to announce the films for its Opening and Closing Night Gala Presentations.

The Festival opens with the World Premiere of The People of the Kattawapiskak River, the latest documentary from legendary Canadian filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin. A moving and powerful feature that takes the viewer north to the Attiwapiskat First Nation in Ontario where a housing crisis and poverty levels made international headlines in the winter of 2011. With her unflinchingly honest, yet gentle lens, Obomsawin brings us into the homes of Attiwapiskat residents who share their frustrations and their hopes for a better future. The People of the Kattawapiskak River opens the Festival on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West).

Having recently celebrated her 80th birthday, Obomsawin remains a cinematic force. The People of the Kattawapiskak River will be preceded by her first film, Christmas at Moose Factory (1971).

“Throughout her decades long career, Alanis has produced work of great importance to global Indigenous cinema,” says Jason Ryle, imagineNATIVE Executive Director. “With this latest film she continues her commitment to present a real picture of Indigenous perspectives that are often overlooked or unheard.”

The official after-party will follow at The Brant House (522 King Street West), doors open at 9:00 p.m. Admittance is free to those with an opening night screening ticket stub or Festival pass.

The Festival closes with the Gala Presentation of The Lesser Blessed on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Reitman Square, 350 King Street West). Adapted from Executive Producer Richard Van Camp’s celebrated novel, this deeply moving dramatic feature film takes us to the Northwest Territories as a young Tlicho teen takes his first, challenging steps toward adulthood. Directed by Anita Doron, this stunning film stars newcomer Joel Evans along with Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order), Tamara Podemski (Four Sheets to the Wind) and Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga).

“Our 13th Festival once again provides an entertaining, enlightening crop of screenings and events for everyone,” Ryle adds. “Our two Galas are bound to sell out once again, so please be sure to get your tickets early!”

imagineNATIVE’s festivities end with the popular Closing Night Awards Show at The Mod Club Theatre (722 College Street) following the screening of The Lesser Blessed. First Nations superstar Billy Merasty once again hosts as the Festival hands out over $25,000 in cash and prizes.

Tickets for the Opening Night Gala, Closing Night Gala, and all screenings go on sale to the public on October 3, 2012. Festival passes and information are now available at

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