Focus On: Indigenous Women in Documentary

Focus On: Indigenous Women in Documentary

Indigenous women around the world are contributing to a new cinematic wave. In Canada, some of the most celebrated documentaries in recent years have been directed by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women. This panel will highlight the importance, cultural impact, and vibrancy of documentary storytelling by Indigenous women. Please join us in celebrating our panelists' work while gaining insight into their creative process.

 

Industry Panelist

Dorothy Christian

Dorothy Christian Cucw-la7, PhD is of the Secwepemc and Syilx Nations from the interior of BC. Her home community of Splatsin, is one of 17 communities that comprise the Secwepemc Nation. She is the eldest of 10, has one daughter and over 60 nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. Dr. Christian currently serves as the Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives at the Teaching and Learning Centre at SFU. Her research in academia has consistently centralized Indigenous knowledge even before those terms were recognized in the academy. Indigenous cultural knowledge informed both her MA at SFU’s School of Communications and her PhD at the Department of Educational Studies at UBC, which focused on Indigenous visual storytelling/filmmaking practices. In 2018 Dorothy guest curated the Voices From The Western Regions of Turtle Island program at the ImagineNative film festival in Toronto – the largest Indigenous film festival in the world.

Industry Panelist

Marie Clements

Marie has ignited her brand of artistry within a variety of mediums including film, TV, radio, new media and live performance. Her most recent screen project, a feature drama titled Red Snow will be released this summer and her music doc The Road Forward, produced by the NFB, premiered at Hot Docs and opened the 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival garnering numerous awards at over 300 screens across the America’s. A multi-award-winner for her previous work, Marie Clements’ films have screened at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, Whistler Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival and Imaginenative Film Festival, and aired on APTN, CBC and Knowledge Network. MCM is an independent media production company owned and operated by Clements specializing in the development, creation and production of innovative works of media that explore an Indigenous and intercultural reality.

Industry Panelist

Jules Arita Koostachin

Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a warrior of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, the ancestral lands of the MoshKeKo InNiNeWak. She currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, her research focus is Indigenous documentary. In 2017, she released her short documentary NiiSoTeWak and her second CBC short OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day was released in early 2019. In 2017, she released a short documentary Butterfly Monument about her relation, the late Shannen Koostachin with co-director/producer Rick Miller. In the fall of 2018, Jules latest narrative film OChiSkwaCho premiered at ImagineNative Film Festival. In 2018, her first book of poetry Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was published with Kegedonce Press, and she was also a selected filmmaker for the TIFF Filmmakers Lab. She carries extensive knowledge working in Indigenous community in several different capacities and these community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and her arts practice. 

Industry Panelist

Kristy Assu

Kristy Assu (Haida/Kwakwaka’wakw) grew up in the We Wai Kai community in Campbell River, BC. In 2005 Kristy graduated from the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking Program at Capilano University in North Vancouver. Kristy has gained experience in the Indigenous film and television industry, specializing in the areas of Project Management, Producing and Production Financing. She has also worked independently with APTN on multiple documentary series, children’s programming and on a variety of corporate and community films for Indigenous communities across North America. Kristy’s most recent work includes “Sgaawaay K’uuna - Edge of the Knife”, the first ever Haida Language dramatic feature film where she was a Producer and Production Supervisor. Kristy is passionate about supporting the growth of creators with authentic indigenous voices through meaningful relationships and mentorship strategies with STORYHIVE.

Industry Panelist

Sonia Medel - Moderator

Sonia Medel is a researcher-educator-artivist completing a PhD in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a Public Scholar. She began identifying herself as a cinephile and avid film festival supporter in her teens. For the past decade, Sonia's focus has been on promoting critical decolonial engagement with the arts. She is an Instructor at Langara College and UBC; and forms a long-time part of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (an attendee since its beginning and 2013 Youth Jury member), currently serving as Coordinator of Community Partnerships, Curator and Lead Programmer of Indigenous Films from BC and Beyond. Sonia has also published on the pedagogical power of film and festival spaces and served as DOXA 2018 Short Documentary Award Jury Member. A proud Spanglish speaker, Quechua learner, daughter of Peruvian and Chilean parents, and Indigenous-Afro-European descendant, Sonia is grateful to the Coast Salish Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and lands on which she was born and is able to carry out her work.