imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Names Jessica Lea Fleming As New Associate Director

Jessica Lea Fleming, the new associate director of imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Photography by Ricardo Temporão. Photo editing by Jen Squires.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Names Jessica Lea Fleming As New Associate Director

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous-made screen content, is happy to announce the appointment of Jessica Lea Fleming (Métis/Scottish) as Associate Director effective immediately.

Working closely with the Executive and Artistic Directors, Naomi Johnson and Niki Little, as the Associate Director Jessica Lea Fleming will assist with developing and activating imagineNATIVE’s strategic plan, critical path, and mandate. In her new role as Associate Director, Jessica will support operational management, fiscal growth, and will contribute to the organization’s artistic vision through curatorial collaborations, outreach, and creative partnerships. In her previous role as Foundations + Partnerships Manager Jessica oversaw private sector revenue development, as well as mentorship of fundraising staff. 

“It is a joy and a privilege to step into this leadership role with imagineNATIVE, an organization with which I’ve had a more than decade-long relationship,” said Jessica Lea Fleming. “From volunteer to Miziwe Biik hire, to artist, to jury member, and many hats in between, I have witnessed first hand imagineNATIVE’s incredible impact and growth. I look forward to contributing to imagineNATIVE’s next chapter, drawing guidance from my Wiisaakodewinikwe (Métis) values of courage, creativity and collaboration.”

Jessica Lea Fleming is a Wiisaakodewinikwe (Métis) / Scottish-settler cisgender woman originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario. She is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer and performer. Jessica has directed for TV Series Amplify on APTN, Couleurs du Nord pilot for TFO, as well as music videos for multi-award winning artists Celeigh Cardinal and iskwē. Her work has been featured at festivals and events such as Native Earth Performing Arts’ Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival, Pan Am Games, Buddies in Bad Times’ Building Reciprocity Cabaret, the Indigenous Writers Gathering, Skábmagovat Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary Spotlight on North America, the National Screen Institute, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and the Santa Fe Film Festival where her debut short film “scales” won Best Native Narrative Short.

As a Programmer and Arts Manager, Jessica has previously worked with Native Earth Performing Arts, Talking Stick Festival, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Regent Park Film Festival as well as Toronto Public Library. In 2015 she was a Featured Leader for the Ontario Ministry on the Status of Women and in 2017 she was one of twenty Invited Contributors to the 20th Canadian Arts Summit.

Recently, Jessica was part of Luminato’s Fall Artist Residency and was short-listed for Canada’s Prism Prize. Currently, she sits on the Aanji Bimaadiziwin Toronto Museums Indigenous Programming Advisory Group and volunteers with organizations working to end violence against women/2S folks and food insecurity. Jessica is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Theatre Aquarius, and is creating new works for stage and screen with MM Collective, New Harlem Productions and Signal Theatre. She lives in Toronto with her partner and son.

For more information please call 416.585.2333 or visit / /

Media Contact: Damien Nelson, Want & Able,

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.

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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.