Canada’s premiere Indigenous Film Festival returns this month to celebrate its 11th year. The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) will run from November 21 – 25, 2012 and is the 3rd largest Indigenous Film festival in the world. This year WAFF will open with the Canadian Premiere of Shouting Secrets an independent feature which stars Chaske Spencer of Twilight fame. Mr. Spencer will be the keynote speaker on opening night and will also speak as a youth role model during Youth Education Day. Other special guests in attendance during the festival include Tantoo Cardinal (Dances with Wolves) and Manitoba’s own Adam Beach (Arctic Air).
“It is the variety and quality of our programming than continues to feed our success,” says Coleen Rajotte, WAFF Artistic Director. “Our goal year after year is celebrate Indigenous film in all its forms and genres. The festival continues to invest in our youth so that they too can create and participate in this wonderful art form. We have always been storytellers and we always will be.”
One of the more controversial films in the festival is the documentary Smoke Traders, a view on the booming First Nations tobacco trade from the Mohawk perspective. The documentary shows the financial success of the trade with the Mohawks boasting of controlling 50% of the market in Eastern Canada. A desire to expand into new territories leads the Smoke Traders to Manitoba and the Chundee Smoke Shack on the Canupawakpa Dakota Nation. That part of the story continues to unfold in the courts and in the headlines today. Propaganda or cold hard truth, see the movie first and then decide.
More than Frybread is a hilariously entertaining documentary about the battle for Frybread supremacy in Arizona. When representatives of all 22 federally recognized tribes in that state compete for the prize of Arizona Frybread Champion it doesn’t take long before the flour is flying.
“Smokin’ Fish” is a warmhearted and humourous documentary about a Tlingit man who returns to his home community in Alaska to relearn the traditional art of smoking fish. It is the story of entrepreneurship, cultural reawakening and reconnecting with the natural world. Cory Mann is an engaging guide who keeps us laughing and thinking throughout the journey.
WAFF continues to reach out and support Aboriginal youth with programming that includes a showcase of films by youth, music videos and the best of YouTube. As well, Youth Education Day will happen the day before the official launch of the festival on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Aboriginal youth from across the city and around the region will be participate in workshops on making film, working in media and listen to peer presentations by young Aboriginal Filmmakers.
Big screen movie stars, locally and internationally produced films, controversial documentaries, music videos, cutting edge short films and more are all part of the glorious mix that make up the 11th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival. Join us November 21-25, 2012 as we “celebrate the best Indigenous cinema from Canada and around the world.” The festival will be held at the Garrick Event Centre – 330 Garry St.
For more information contact:
Coleen Rajotte, Artistic Director, WAFF