THE Ra11n © Brendan, Photographer Without Borders
Within the ever-evolving film and television industry, the demand for authentic on-screen representation of Indigenous stories is increasingly prominent. This commitment to authentic stories and artistry is the driving force behind imagineNATIVE, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content.
For the past 24 years, imagineNATIVE has been at the forefront of promoting Indigenous stories and art through its annual Festival, which brings together Indigenous artists, filmmakers, and media creators worldwide.
This year, imagineNATIVE is excited to announce that their 24th annual Film and Media Arts Festival will be held in person from October 17 to 22 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto. The Festival will include film screenings, exhibitions, audio works, digital and interactive media, live performances, and industry events and panels. For those unable to attend in person, imagineNATIVE will also present their Online Festival from October 23 to 29 on their streaming platform.
At imagineNATIVE, inclusivity and accessibility are at the forefront of everything they do. The Festival aims to create a welcoming and celebratory atmosphere for artists, audiences, and delegates alike. Since 2020, imagineNATIVE has moved into digital and hybrid presentations of these works. Artistic programming comprises works selected through the general Call for Submissions, guest-curated programs, partnership exhibitions, and specially curated initiatives.
The team at imagineNATIVE believes that every voice deserves to be heard and that by creating a space for Indigenous stories to be shared, they can create a world where these stories are not only heard but celebrated. To that end, works submitted to the Festival can be productions made at all budget levels. This diversity in creation and content serves to represent a variety of ideas, themes, and genres, in addition to a diversity of Indigenous languages, nations, and cultures.
Each Festival has a unique theme, which is reflective of the curated film programs, exhibitions, and other artistic offerings for that year.
The 2022 Festival celebrated the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the cosmos, informed and inspired by teachings gifted to the imagineNATIVE staff by Grandmother Pauline Shirt.
But imagineNATIVE’s commitment to Indigenous stories and art continues beyond their Festival…
Throughout the year, imagineNATIVE hosts a variety of programming, including an imagineNATIVE Tour, which invites community and school groups to host screenings of imagineNATIVE-curated film programs and VR experiences, as well as special screenings and events in June to honour Indigenous Peoples’ Month. They are also proud to house the imagineNATIVE Institute, which develops an array of year-round mentorships, filmmaking labs, and other professional development opportunities for filmmakers.
With their commitment to Indigenous stories and art, imagineNATIVE is paving the way for a more inclusive world, which embraces a greater range of authentically told stories. Through their Festival, Institute, and year-round programming, they are creating a space where Indigenous voices are celebrated. This year’s Festival promises to showcase Indigenous cultures through media arts and is an opportunity for audiences to experience the richness of Indigenous storytelling from all over the world.
imagineNATIVE promotes Indigenous-made media by developing platforms for artists to assert their voices, express their perspectives, and share their cultures.