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Weengushk International Film Festival
WIFF 2019 EVENT LINE-UP
Advancing the collection, preservation and representation of new voices.
MCHIGEENG, ON– Building on the foundation of sharing knowledge and telling stories, the Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF) presented by Weengushk Film Institute partnered with Brock University today announced the selection of 30 unique and diverse array of films for the weekend. WIFF is a celebration of the creativity of Indigenous filmmakers, and uses film to advance the goals of truth and reconciliation, to highlight indigenous related films and filmmakers.
The 2nd annual festival takes to the screen July 12 – 14, 2019 located in the heart of the largest freshwater island in the world, WIFF will be hold opening ceremonies at the Four Directions Complex located at 1300 Highway 540 in Aundek Omni Kaning First Nation at 4pm, 12, July. A second venue, also in Aundek Omni Kaning is at the Administration Office Hall, located at 13 Hill Street. Workshops will be in M’Chigeeng at the Weengushk Film Institute.
“We are very proud of this year’s lineup of films and events,” said Jonathan Zagula, WIFF Board of Directors Member “We have something for everyone. From a cultural exchange with a Maori media group from New Zealand, industry workshops and a top class musical blues showcase; but the thought-provoking and diversity of our films this year will be sure to spark conversations, which is one of the goals of WIFF”
Opening the festival is a film directed by eight New Zealand women titled Waru a powerful and challenging story surrounding the tangi (funeral) of a small boy Waru who dies at the hands of his caregiver and how the boy’s death impacts the community.
There are over 30 films in this year’s lineup from hard-hitting documentaries, to feature films to shorts and animation. One of the highlight films this year directed by Tasha Hubbard is Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. The film follows the Boushie family, their lawyers, and others as they seek Justice to this senseless act that caused national and international outrage directed against the Canadian justice system.
Our second day of festival opens with films created by youth who attend Weengushk Film Institute and Brock University, followed by a Q + A. New addition to our schedule is a feature film Trouble in The Garden, directed by Roz Owen, will be in attendance for a Q + A session. Trouble in the Garden is a feature film that is inspired by the sixties scoop, a part of Canada’s history that has been coming to light in the last few years.
WIFF will also be holding industry workshops on Saturday, beginning with a Language workshop at the Anishnaabemowin Gaming in M’Chigeeng, ON. Additional workshops include Music Workshop with Billy Joe Green and Vern Cheechoo, and acting workshop with Gary Farmer, and a co-production workshop with New Zealand filmmaker Nicole Hoey.
The highly charged Angelique’s Isle, one of the newest distributed indigenous films will close the festival Sunday, with renowned filmmaker / producer in attendance Michelle Derosier.
Angelique’s Isle is a harrowing tale of perseverance and survival that unfolds during the great copper rush of 1845, when newlyweds ANGELIQUE, a young Ojibway and CHARLIE, her voyageur husband, are left stranded throughout a brutal winter on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale where Angelique is ultimately forced to face her inner demons and beliefs as the unbelievably beautiful, yet treacherous wilderness threatens to claim her.
The Saturday Night Music event titled Spirit of the Blues will prove to be an exciting night as well with and energetic line-up that includes blues guitarist Billy Joe Green and friends Marten Tuesday and Brad Meadmore from Winnipeg. The Pappy Johns Band from Six Nations, Gary Farmer, Vern Cheechoo and Patrick Cheechoo, slinging blues renditions until midnight. We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
WIFF will have many visiting directors, chiefs and entertainers such as Jesse Wente of the newly formed Indigenous Screen Office and Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, also joining us are former NHL left winger and former NHL coach Ted Nolan along with author and motivational speaker Calvin Helin, who will be accepting the WIFF humanitarian awards.
The closing Red Carpet fundraising Awards Gala will begin at 3:30 pm on Sunday. Awards for consideration are Best Film, Best Actor/Actress, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Short and Best Student Film, along with other categories. The fundraising gala will support the Jay Switzer Bursary for film studies at Weengushk Film Institute. 2018’s fundraising gala supported tuition for one Lab 1 Film Production Program Participant.
Following the Awards Gala will be a youth dance, for the youth a presentation by DJ Classic Roots will begin. Closing the weekend off.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit the festival website at www.weengushkfilmfestival.ca
About Weengushk Film Institute: Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) is dedicated to unlocking the creative potential of youth and emerging artists. While helping our students develop market-leading skills and experiences, WFI provides significant value by creating a mentorship network between our students and industry professionals. This approach fosters skills development through arts training and creates access points to key decision makers in all areas of film and television.
About Weengushk International Film Festival: Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF) was created to explore Indigenous topics while breaking down stereotypes and racial barriers. WIFF creates an important venue where emerging talents and varying perspectives can be exposed to audiences, and where people can become educated about First Nations, Métis and Inuit issues in Canada and around the world.