NFB premieres Aboriginal short film series

The National Film Board of Canada is debuting a series of short documentaries by Aboriginal filmmakers Jeff Barnaby, Michelle Latimer, Kent Monkman and Caroline Monnet as part of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. (Pictured: Mobilize)
July 14, 2015

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is debuting a series of short documentaries by four Aboriginal filmmakers as part of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The film series, titled ‘Souvenir,’ is part of the Aboriginal Pavilion – an arts, culture and sports festival held alongside the Toronto-set games from July 10 to 26 and August 7 to 9.

Each director was invited to create a doc that addresses Aboriginal identity and representation using the NFB’s archival material, which includes more than 700 films with Aboriginal themes, dating back to 1939. Musicians Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red provided scores for the soundtracks.

Jeff Barnaby’s Etlinisigu’niet (Bleed Down) “destroys any remaining shreds of the mythology of a fair and just Canada,” according to the NFB, while Michelle Latimer‘s Nimmikaage (She Dances for People) deconstructs Canadian nationalism.

Kent Monkman’s Sisters & Brothers draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison and the impact of Canada’s residential school system for Native Canadians, and Caroline Monnet’s Mobilize (pictured) focuses on the tensions between traditional and modern cultures.

“The NFB has a long-standing commitment to Aboriginal filmmaking and has been instrumental in supporting the production of a comprehensive body of films about the Aboriginal experience, made from an Aboriginal perspective,” said NFB chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur in a statement.

‘Souvenir’ is screening as part of the exhibition ‘Gazing Back, Looking Forward,’ which is being held at Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site and runs through September 27.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.