Guest Curated Programs
Day of the week
Day 1 - Opening Day
Day 6 - Closing Day
(Tuesday) 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
The return of imagineNATIVE’s legendary opening night party takes over your home! Join us following the opening film for a night of special perfroamnces featuring Kee’ahn,
The return of imagineNATIVE’s legendary opening night party takes over your home! Join us following the opening film for a night of special perfroamnces featuring Kee’ahn, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Digging Roots.
Access Opening Night Party with your Community or Industry Pass!
Artist: Digging Roots
Digging Roots breathe life into songs from their land, Turtle Island, to raise their voices in solidarity with a global chorus of Indigenous artists, activists and change-makers. For over a decade, JUNO Award winners Digging Roots have traveled the world with a joyful message of resistance, celebrating Anishinabe and Onkwehonwe traditions of round dance and interconnectedness interwoven with the bedrock sounds of blues, soul and rock n’ roll.
With a name coming from the Wik people, meaning to dance, to sing, to play, Kee’ahn aims to honour her name and Ancestors through her soulful music that weaves lush melodies and words reminiscent of heartbreak and healing. Kee’ahn’s debut single ‘Better Things’ is out now.
Artist: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg musician, writer and academic, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the boundaries between story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.
(Thursday) 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
A stunning and poetic reminder of the importance of self-love and acceptance through the odehimin (heart berry)
A stunning and poetic reminder of the importance of self-love and acceptance through the odehimin (heart berry) teaching.
Director: Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo (Anicinape)
Canada | 2020 | 16 min
French/Anishinaabe w English Subtitles | Short Experimental
Additional Information: This short is playing before the feature Beans | In Person Event | Drive In | Ontario Place
Content Warnings: nudity, sexual activity or adult themes, Mental Health
Kijâtai Veillette-Cheezo is an artist/activist born in Val-d’Or, Quebec. As an emerging filmmaker, they create work that reflects Indigenous realities while working to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
(Thursday) 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
Winner of two Canadian Screen Awards (Best Motion Picture and Best First Feature Film), Beans is the
Winner of two Canadian Screen Awards (Best Motion Picture and Best First Feature Film), Beans is the incredible coming of age story of a Mohawk girl set during the 1990 Oka Crisis.
Inspired by Mohawk director Tracey Deer’s own experience of surviving the crisis as a twelve-year-old girl, this beautiful, raw, and powerful film bears witness to a young Mohawk as she navigates the emotional landscape of adolescence in tandem with the volatility of the armed conflict. We witness the Oka Crisis through the eyes of this tender-hearted, young girl as she is propelled through danger and the stark reality of racial injustice, having to grow up very fast. We see her look to those around her for models of strength and warriorhood and ultimately, to her version within herself. Gorgeously filmed, performed, and directed, this film is a tremendous must-see.
Director: Tracey Deer (Mohawk)
Writers: Tracey Deer (Mohawk), Meredith Vuchnich
Canada | 2020 | 92 min
English | Dramatic Feature
In Person Event | Drive In | Ontario Place
Born and raised in the community of Kahnawá:ke, Tracey Deer is a highly esteemed and multiple award-winning Mohawk director, producer, writer, mentor, speaker, and leader.
Odehimin (Heart Berry) | 16 min | Playing before.
This event is supported by:
(Friday) 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
A young wahine poet connects to her great-grandfather’s legacy. Chasing a connection beyond the poetry, she longs
A young wahine poet connects to her great-grandfather’s legacy. Chasing a connection beyond the poetry, she longs to see the beauty of the world through his eyes.
Director: Matariki Bennett (Te Arawa/Ngati Pikiao/Ngati Whakaue)
Producer: Desray Armstrong (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti/Ngati Porou)
New Zealand | 2021 | 8 min
Māori/English with English Subtitles | Documentary Short
Additional Information: This short is playing before the feature Cousins
In8 PM EST In Person Event at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto | Tickets available online October 6th, 2021.
*Film available only in Canada *
Content Warnings: None
Matariki Bennett graduated from South Seas Film and Television School in 2019, and she has been working in the film and television industry ever since. In 2021, she was honoured with the Creative New Zealand Ngā Manu Pirere Award, recognizing outstanding, emerging Māori artists.
(Friday) 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
The story of three cousins connected by blood but separated by life circumstances. Based
The story of three cousins connected by blood but separated by life circumstances. Based on the 1992 novel by Patricia Grace, this poetic and heart felt film shows connection through hope and love. We follow the journeys of Mata, Makareta, and Missy. Three distinct people with three lifepaths woven across time, where they converge and separate. This is a story about how they converge back to the land they once came from.
Mata, who is introverted, is stolen from her home and placed in an orphanage and grows up disconnected from the land. Makareta, having received the best of both worlds, runs away from her duties to be a lawyer far from the land she is connected to, while Missy is the heartbeat of the family, staying on in the place where she grew up. This story is how they reconnect to each other and the land they come from.
Directors: Ainsley Gardiner (Te Whanau-a-Apanui/Ngati Pikiao/Ngati Awa), Briar Grace-Smith (Nga Puhi/Te Arawa)
Producers: Georgina Conder, Libby Hakaraia (Māori/Ngati Kapu/Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga)
New Zealand | 2021 | 99 min
English/Māori w English Subtitles | Dramatic Feature
8 PM EST In Person Event at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto | Tickets available online October 6th, 2021.
*Film available only in Canada *
Wind, Song, and Rain | 8 min | Playing before
Ainsley Gardiner has been a producer on several successful short films and hit movies. She launched Miss Conception Films with fellow producer Georgina Conder. Their work includes the hit comedy The Breaker Uppers and the documentary She Shears.
COVID-19 Protocols for In-Person Events: CLICK HERE
(Saturday) 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time
imagineNATIVE’s annual concert moves worldwide and online! Presented in partnership with 50/50 Collective, this evening will feature international, national, and local Indigenous musicians from across the globe from
imagineNATIVE’s annual concert moves worldwide and online! Presented in partnership with 50/50 Collective, this evening will feature international, national, and local Indigenous musicians from across the globe from many genres PLUS some of the top music videos and performances of 2021! We will be announcing the winner of the 2021 Harmonize Mentorship, so you don’t want to miss this special announcement! The Harmonize Mentorship includes a grand prize of $10,000 cash contribution from Slaight Music, $10,000 of in-kind equipment rental from MBS Equipment Company, and in-kind support from Nagamo and Universal.
Host: Suzette Amaya
Suzette Amaya, is Kwakwak wakw, Cree, Nisga, Coast Salish of the GwaSala-Nakwaxda’xw Nation, living in Vancouver. Passionate about inspiring Indigenous Peoples she is a Reality TV Star (Big Brother Canada), Radio Host (ThinkNDN 100.5fm CFRO), Entrepreneur (Suzette Amaya Lashes) and Motivational Speaker (Waniskawin). http://www.suzetteamaya.com
Headlining Artist: DJ Shub
Considered to be the Godfather of PowWowStep, DJ-producer Shub, whose real name is Dan General, continues to forge ahead as a pioneer of a growing genre of music. At the forefront of many other producers he has inspired, Shub has stood on his own since winning a Juno Award with A Tribe Called Red in 2014 – performing all over North America and sharing stages with some of the biggest recording artists in today’s industry.
Shub, who is a Mohawk of the Six Nations reserve located in Ontario, Canada is also a husband and father. Since the creation of PowWowStep, he has grown more aware of the Indigenous way of life through his music and merged his heritage with his craft, something most musicians aren’t able to say they’ve done.
To fully immerse in the multitudes of Indigenous rising star Nimkish is to honour the past, look ahead to the future, and bask in the resplendent present all at once. The Vancouver-based marvel-in-the-making is fearless in her lyricism, confronting anti-Indigenous racism and colonial violence alongside other hard subjects like anxiety, grief and heartache.
Pop vocalist and songwriter, Indigo, is taking space in the music scene to deliver girl power pop for the new generation. Toronto born and bred, the proud Métis singer is coming off of some early career successes, which includes winning the iN Bullseye 2018 grand prize of $10,000 awarded by Slaight Music and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.
Harmonize Mentorship Prize will be announced at this event.
Harmonize Mentorship supported by:
With additional support from: MBS Equipment Company, Nagamo, and Universal.