The Road Forward
Published August 24, 2017
TORONTO – The 18th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce the opening and closing galas for the Festival, running October 18-22, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.
imagineNATIVE’s opening night gala on Wednesday, October 18 will be Waru at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The film, directed by eight Māori women, tells the story of Waru, a young boy who dies at the hands of his caregiver. Directors Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Briar Grace-Smith, Paula Jones, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene and Katie Wolfe, each tackle a ten-minute segment of Waru to create one complete, remarkable story through the lens of multiple family and community members as they deal with the horrific loss. Waru will be preceded by the short film Holy Angels, directed by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, a redemptive and ingeniously crafted documentary sharing the testimony of Elder Lena Wandering Spirit’s time at residential school.
On Sunday, October 22, the closing night gala will be The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Métis/Dene award-winning filmmaker, Marie Clements at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Connecting the beginnings of Indigenous nationalism on West Coast – a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history – with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today, The Road Forward’s stunningly shot musical sequences, performed by an ensemble of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and musicians, seamlessly connects past and present with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats. The Road Forward is a rousing tribute to those who fought for First Nations rights, a soul-resounding historical experience, and a visceral call to action.
More programming for the 18th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will be announced in the coming weeks.