FILM DESCRIPTIONS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
by Lana Šlezić / 2017 / Canada / 79 min / PG
Lana Šlezić’s Bee Nation is a heart-warming and inspiring film about the First Nations youth and their families in Saskatchewan who compete at their first-ever provincial and national Canadian Spelling Bee. Bee Nation will premiere on Sunday, September 24 at 9 p.m. ET / 9:30 p.m. NT, across Canada on CBC’s weekly point-of-view documentary series CBC DOCS POV.
The Canadian documentary Bee Nation was selected as the opening night film at the 2017 Hot Docs Film Festival. The film has been screened across Canada and has developed collaborative partnerships including Indspire, an indigenous-led charity investing in education and fostering bright futures for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit youth.
It is set within the framework of the first-ever First Nations Provincial Spelling Bee in Canada. Out on the breathy landscapes of Saskatchewan Reserves, meet students, parents, and teachers in the weeks leading up to the spelling bee.
Go ice fishing on a school outing, revel in a dance at a powwow, see best friends study together and hover in the excitement as the day draws nearer. See the hardships the children face and feel the love and support that exists within their family homes. Witness the intimacy of family life on the reserve set against a backdrop of vast and beautiful landscapes. Spend time with the children as compete, cheer for them and watch them succeed. The future of our children is common ground that everyone can agree is paramount to a better world.
by Catherine Bainbridge, Niles Diamond & Jeremiah Hayes / Canada / 85 min / PG
In this feature-length documentary, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the portrayal of North American Indigenous people throughout a century of cinema. Featuring hundreds of clips from old classics as well as recent releases, the film traces the evolution of the “Hollywood Indian.” Diamond guides the audience on a journey across America to some of cinema’s most iconic landscapes and conducts candid interviews with celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson and Jim Jarmusch. The film is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared in its very first flickering images and have survived to tell their stories in their own way.
SACRED WATER: STANDING ROCK, Part 1
by Michelle Latimer / VICE / 2016 / Canada / 44 min / PG
SACRED WATER is part of a compelling 8 part documentary series called RISE for Viceland showcasing the global Indigenous movement across the Americas which are rising up to protect their ancestral homelands and the environment. Sacred Water is a timely look at Indigenous activism and the impacts of colonization showcasing candid interviews, historical context, and a moving soundtrack. This film delivers profound insight into the struggles around protecting sacred lands and waters which are happening in many places today.
WHEN THEY AWAKE
by PJ Marcellino and Hermon Farahi / 2017
WHEN THEY AWAKE is a vibrant celebration of a remarkable generation of Indigenous musicians in North America, at a watershed moment of social, cultural, and political resurgence.
Picking up the story where ‘Rumble’ left it, and featuring everyone from Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq to EDM outfit A Tribe Called Red, from legendary songstress Buffy Sainte-Marie to northern Folk star Leela Gilday, and from Iskwe to Nunavut’s The Jerry Cans, When They Awake is an empowering sonic engine about a music renaissance happening before our eyes.
We are inspired by the prescient words of Métis leader Louis Riel, who bestowed this film with its title: ‘My people will sleep for 100 years, but when they awake, it will be the artists that give them their spirit back.’ Over a century after he uttered these, we witness the awakening — and it’s nothing short of a revolution.
Covering every genre, from Hip Hop to Rock to Electro Pop to EDM to Country and beyond, this empowered, outspoken, woke generation of musicians is fiercely channeling the darkness of the colonial past, and the resilience of their ancestors, into a stirring, hopeful vision of the future. This powerful kaleidoscope of voices is a remarkable snapshot of a burgeoning music scene.
You won’t see the revolution — but you’ll hear it loud and clear!