imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Announces Seven Directions Shorts Program

September 21, 2021 – Shorts Program Live + Drive-In Press Release

September 22, 2021 – Please include in your news items and editorial plans

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts FestivalAnnounces
Seven Directions Shorts Program
PLUS In Person Screenings Across Canada

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce exciting live in-person and virtual events as part of the 22nd Annual Festival from October 19-24, 2021. imagineNATIVE will present select in person screenings at Cineplex Theatres in Halifax, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver on October 20, in addition to online and in person events from Toronto.

imagineNATIVE will present 46 short films October 20-24 as part of an online shorts program series grounded in the Medicine Wheel and inspired by the Seven Directions: East, West, South, North, Above, Below, and Centre. This short films program will present work by notable filmmakers including Alanis Obomsawin, Zacharias Kunuk, Terril Calder, Lindsay McIntyre, and Inuk Jørgensen. The East will showcase emerging and youth filmmakers from various nations across Turtle Island, Aotearoa, and Columbia; the West features five shorts about fighting back against oppression; the South presents films showing the many forms love can take, or be displayed; the North focuses on the transference of knowledge between the ages and spanning many cultures; Above brings together five films with narratives told from relatives and ancestors that give voice to holistic experiences; Below features shorts that show the courage, grounding and strength found within hidden places; and Centre is a look into the ways that Indigneous peoples are fighting for their communities through acts of protest, kindness, strength, and care.

On Wednesday, October 20 imagineNATIVE will present in person screenings at select Cineplex Theatres in Halifax, Montréal, Winnipeg, and Vancouver as a way to connect with kin across the country. Audiences in Halifax and Vancouver will enjoy Bootlegger by Caroline Monnet (Algonquin), a dramatic French feature where two radically opposed women divide their reserve in northern Quebec into two clans to determine the best path to independence. Audiences in Montréal and Winnipeg will enjoy Ste. Anne by Rhayne Vermette (Métis), which recently won the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF 2021. Ste. Anne traces an allegorical reclamation of land through personal, symbolic and historical sites all across Treaty 1 Territory, heartland of the Métis Nation.

imagineNATIVE, inpartnership with the City of Toronto for DriveInTO, will host a drive-in screening of Beans by Tracy Deer (Mohawk) on Thursday, October 21. Winner of two Canadian Screen Awards for 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. This drive-in screening will also include the short experimental film Odehimin | Heart Berry by Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo (Anicinape), a stunning and poetic reminder of the importance of self-love and acceptance through the odehimin (heart berry) teaching.

imagineNATIVE attendees can also gather for two screenings at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. On Tuesday, October 19 imagineNATIVE’s Opening Night Gala, supported by APTN, will be Night Raiders by Danis Goulet (Cree/Métis) as an in-person screening and Q&A, which will be nationally broadcasted on the Festival viewing platform. On Friday, October 22 imagineNATIVE will screen the documentary short Wind, Song and Rain by Matariki Bennett (Te Arawa/Ngati Pikiao/Ngati Whakaue) preceding the dramatic features Cousins by Ainsley Gardiner (Te Whanau-a-Apanui/Ngati Pikiao/Ngati Awa) and Briar Grace-Smith (Nga Puhi/Te Arawa).

imagineNATIVE will celebrate in the Harvest with over 145 works from artists representing 51 Indigenous nations giving voice to over 26 Indigenous languages.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio, and digital + interactive media made by Indigenous screen-content creators. The Festival presents compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and dynamism of Indigenous arts, perspectives, and cultures in contemporary media.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

October 19 – 24, 2021

Toronto, Ontario
Festival schedule and passes available now at:


Media Contact: Damien Nelson,

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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.