Awards


2021 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Awards

The imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation showcases the 2021 selection of works with awards contributing to a total of $56,500. We are excited to celebrate Indigenous achievement in film and media arts with the generous support from our Partners and individual donors. 


Recognizing and celebrating Indigenous works shows the world the talent our community has. It’s paramount we celebrate stories that are told from the First Peoples point of view, not just stories from an outsider’s “First Person” point of view.

Cynthia Lickers-Sage, imagineNATIVE Co-Founder

I will never forget the first time I saw Qaggiq by Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn, and Isuma in 1989. I had never seen anything like it before, never seen with such clarity what it is like to live in the North, never experienced a work that was made with a whole community’s involvement. These were unique voices and as I came to know more Indigenous works and more voices, it was clear that these had to be brought into the spotlight. That is what awards do: shine a light on artists we did not know before. Afterwards, we seek out their next work and tell others. Awards count.

Lisa Steele, Founder and Artistic Director, Vtape

Experimental Audio Award – $2,500

with support from imagineNATIVE 

Narrative Audio Award – $2,500

with support from imagineNATIVE 

Emerging Digital + Interactive Award – $2,500

with support from imagineNATIVE 

Mid-Career Digital + Interactive Award – $2,500

with support from imagineNATIVE 

Innovation in Storytelling Award – $7,500

in recognition of Kent Monkman with support from Sobeys and Kent Monkman 

Documentary Short Award – $2,500

with support from TVO 

Documentary Feature Award – $5,000

with support from CBC Exclusive Partner in honour of Alanis Obomsawin

Live Action Short Award – $7,500

in recognition of founders Cynthia Lickers-Sage and Vtape, with support from Jason Ryle and Vtape 

Dramatic Feature Award – $7,500

with support from imagineNATIVE

The Audience Choice Short Film Award – $2,500

with support from BMO 

The Audience Choice Feature Film Award – $2,500

with support from MBSE Canada 

New Voice in Storytelling Award – $2,500

in honour of Jane Glassco and Ellen Monague with support from CJ Foundation and Indigenous Education & Engagement at Humber College 

Indigenous Language Production Award – $2,500

with support from Indigenous Media Initiatives 

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence – $2,500

with support from Joan Karasevich Schellenberg and ACTRA National

The Sun Jury Award – $2,500

with support from the Directors Guild of Canada

The Moon Jury Award – $2,500

with support from the Directors Guild of Canada 

APTN/imagineNative Web Series Pitch Prize – $50,000

with support from APTN and Bell Fund,
additional support from William F. White, Picture Shop, Formosa, Streamland Media, Innovate By Day, TIFF, and Women in Film & Television – WIFT Toronto.

Harmonize Prize – $5,500

with support from Slaight Music

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We at imagineNATIVE acknowledge that this land located on present-day Tkaronto (Toronto) is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the Credit.

We acknowledge the Dish With One Spoon covenant, a treaty whose spirit is one based in collective stewardship and reciprocity. We take the spirit of this covenant to the core of our operations as we bring artists and audiences from many nations across the globe together through our various initiatives and activities.

Please take a moment to think of the land you currently reside upon, wherever you may be, and  acknowledge those who went before and those yet to come.

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