imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival announces its Festival Line-Up, Featuring World Premieres & International Award-Winners. Oct 17 – 21. Presenting Sponsor: Bell Media

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival, celebrating its 13th year October 17-21, 2012 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W) and various other venues in downtown Toronto. This year imagineNATIVE celebrates 117 new works by Indigenous people at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.

imagineNATIVE Festival Line-Up

Featuring World Premieres & International Award-Winners

13th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Presenting Sponsor: Bell Media

October 17-21, 2012

 Five days of Indigenous film, video, radio, new media, entertainment, and more


The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest Indigenous media arts festival, celebrates its 13th year October 17-21, 2012 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Reitman Square, 350 King St. W) and various other venues in downtown Toronto. This year imagineNATIVE celebrates 117 new works by Indigenous people at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.

Visit for the full Festival line-up.

The Festival officially kicks off at 2:00pm on Wednesday, October 17 with a Welcome Gathering at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (16 Spadina Rd.). This reception is FREE and open to the public, and features traditional Indigenous performances, craft vendors, food, and a welcome address from imagineNATIVE in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.


imagineNATIVE’s Opening Night Screening presented by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) features the World Premiere of Alanis Obomsawin’s captivating feature-length documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River (Canada) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7:00pm at the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor St. W). Obomsawin takes her camera and award-winning direction behind media headlines with the personal journey of the people of the Attawapiskat First Nation and the realities in their northern Ontario community.

Opening Night screening tickets for The People of the Kattawapiskak River are $12/$10 and include admission to the Opening Night After-Party featuring Bear Witness from A Tribe Called Red. Multi-media masher Bear Witness brings his blend of traditional powwow and electronic music to celebrate the launch of the Festival, at The Brant House (522 King St. W). Doors open at 9:00pm.

The Festival closes with the Gala Presentation of The Lesser Blessed at 6:00pm on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1, presented by Global Toronto. Adapted from Executive Producer Richard Van Camp’s celebrated novel, this deeply moving dramatic feature film takes us to the Northwest Territories as a young Tlicho teen takes his first, challenging steps toward adulthood. Directed by Anita Doron, this stunning film stars newcomer Joel Evans along with Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) Tamara Podemski (Four Sheets to the Wind) and Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga).

imagineNATIVE’s popular music night The Beat, presented by Slaight Music, takes place on October 20 at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. W) ($15/$10). This year’s concert features blues rocker George Leach playing from his recently released album, Surrender, and opens with contemporary-folk singer/songwriter, Nick Sherman. Preceded by a screening of music videos from across Canada and the world, The Beat presents the latest in Indigenous music.

To celebrate and acknowledge the legendary Alanis Obomsawin’s 80th birthday, imagineNATIVE presents Wbomsawinno: Les estampes de / The Prints of Alanis Obomsawin, the first Toronto solo exhibition of her etchings, October 17-20 at Open Studio (401 Richmond St. W, Suite 104). An artist talk will take place on Thursday, October 18, 5:30 – 6:30pm.

This year imagineNATIVE shines its annual International Spotlight on the Mapuche Nation, one of the largest Indigenous nations in Latin America, which features two programs at the TIFF Bell Lightbox illustrating the history, diversity and creativity of contemporary Indigenous life in this South American nation, as well as an extended discussion on filmmaking in Latin America with visiting artists.

In total, 80 film and video works from Canada and around the world are presented at this year’s imagineNATIVE, including  We Were Children (Canada), a powerful dramatic story of two residential school survivors;  the action thrill ride Charlie Zone (Canada) starring Glen Gould; engrossing documentary discoveries from Indigenous China, Dung and The Grandmother’s House Away from Home; the curated video program by John G. Hampton, Unsettling Sex; Toomelah (Australia), a raw and arresting take on Aboriginal youth by festival-favourite Ivan Sen; and the World Premieres of new commissioned works by Zoe Leigh Hopkins, Lisa Jackson, Cara Mumford and Jesse Gouchey. This year imagineNATIVE features 24 World Premieres, 7 Canadian Premieres and a Festival total of 64 premieres.

Presented by Astral Radio, imagineNATIVE’s Radio Works offer four engaging documentaries and interviews. The Festival also presents the first ever Mohawk language Audio Art Commission, Karenniyohston – Old Songs Made Good by artists Zoe Leigh Hopkins and Brian Maracle that will be presented at the imagineNATIVE Radio and New Media Lounge at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

New Media Works have a strong and national presence at imagineNATIVE this year. Along with a selection of seven web-based new media works – presented online at and at the imagineNATIVE Radio and New Media Lounge – the Festival offers several new media arts presentations. The Stolen Sisters Digital Initiative (SSDI) is the Festival’s first simultaneous national exhibition. Four commissioned one-minute silent digital works reflecting on the strength and importance of Indigenous women by artists Jesse Gouchey and Xstine Cook, Lisa Jackson, Cara Mumford and Angela Sterritt, will be screened on 300 Toronto Transit Commission subway monitors to over 1 million viewers daily, and nationally on 254 digital monitors in 33 shopping centres across Canada. The films will have an accompanying website driving viewers to a resource page featuring artists, issues and links to organizations to find out more about the history and movement surrounding Indigenous women’s rights. SSDI is co-presented with Pattison Onestop and Amnesty International Canada.

On now until October 27 is Concealed Geographies, a group exhibition curated by Suzanne Morrissette and Julie Nagam featuring the work of KC Adams, Jason Baerg, Merritt Johnson, Justine McGrath, and Nigit’stil Norbert. This moving exhibition considers Indigenous perspectives on land and geographic places. The exhibition takes place at and is co-presented by A Space Gallery (401 Richmond St. W, Suite 110) from September 22 to October 27. (Curators’ Talk: October 19, 5:30pm).

The Festival also presents a special sneak preview installation of De Nort, an artistic collaboration between imagineNATIVE, the National Film Board of Canada,  and ITWÉ Collective (Kevin Lee Burton, Caroline Monnet and Sébastien Aubin). This interactive installation preview takes place October 17 – 20 at VMAC Gallery (401 Richmond St. W, Suite 452), and in discussion Saturday, October 20, 10:30am at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The Festival is also pleased to announce the launch of its revamped website; we graciously acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Interactive Fund and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Enhanced, interactive and engaging this huge undertaking showcases imagineNATIVE’s Festival and year-round programming.

imagineNATIVE’s iPhone App will be available for FREE download in English (compatible with Apple iOS products). imagineNATIVE’s App is your interactive event guide that plans and keeps track of all events, lets you share your Festival experience through your social networks and keeps you connected to everything at the Festival. imagineNATIVE also launches its new mobile website in English and French, designed for use on all mobile devices.


(Early-bird passes and travel packages are available NOW)


Phone: 416 599 TIFF (8433) (10am-10pm, daily)

In-Person: TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King St. W (10am-10pm, daily)


All-Access $110/$65 (early-bird $88)

Industry Pass $90 (early-bird $72)

Screening $40/$24 (early-bird $32)

Weekend $65/$40 (early-bird $52)


Regular Screenings $7

Students/Seniors/Underemployed before 6pm FREE

Opening Night Screening and After-Party $12/$10

Closing Night Screening and Awards Show $12/$10

The Beat featuring George Leach $15

FREE (visit our website for complete event details)

Welcome Gathering

Industry Series

New Media Installations

The Witching Hour: Late Night Shorts (screening)

New Media Presentation (screening)

For more information and the full Festival listings, visit:

About imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio, and new media. Each fall, imagineNATIVE presents a selection of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. The Festival’s programming, cultural & social events, and Industry Series attract and connect filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture in contemporary media.

2012 Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: Bell Media

Gold: Astral Radio • Deluxe • Slaight Music • Aboriginal Peoples Television Network

Silver: Global Toronto • RBC Royal Bank • Canada Media Fund

Bronze: TD Bank • TVO • Astral’s Harold Greenberg Fund • CBC • Casino Rama

Media: NAPT • NOW Magazine • Muskrat Magazine • Voices 106.5FM • Media Indigena

Public Funders: Ontario Arts Council • Canada Council for the Arts • Canadian Heritage • Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training • Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport • Telefilm Canada • Toronto Arts Council

Community Partners: A Space Gallery • ACTRA Toronto • Beehive Design • Charles Street Video • Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto • National Film Board of Canada • V tape • William F. White • Native Canadian Centre of Toronto • The Brant House • WIFT-Toronto

Official Airline Carrier: Star Alliance

Festival Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn

Festival Restaurant: The Ballroom

Hospitality: The Charlotte Room • Smoke’s Poutinerie • Café Crepe • Kind Exchange • Manitobah Mukluks • Art Gallery of Ontario • Global Village Backpackers • Super 8 Hotel

Friends: DHL • SABAR • Technicolor • Niagara Custom Lab

Foundations: Ontario Trillium Foundation • McLean Foundation • Dreamcatcher Fund