The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival returns for another year of incredible storytelling, events, and digital programming


Audience clapping at the 2022 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival awards © Stella Huang

Returning for another year of celebrating Indigenous film and digital media works, the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (imagineNATIVE) will showcase 14 feature films, 70 short films across 11 short film programs, 21 digital and interactive works, and 17 audio works by Indigenous artists from around the world. From October 17-22, 2023 (Toronto) and October 23-29, 2023 (online), this year will proudly feature works spanning 74 Indigenous Nations and 40 Indigenous languages.

The festival is not just intended for Indigenous audiences — imagineNATIVE welcomes everyone to enjoy Indigenous-made screen content! This year’s theme of “homecoming” will ensure feelings of welcoming, warmth, and kindness are interwoven into every space of the festival week in Tkaronto (Toronto) and aims to showcase works that “make our spaces feel like visiting grandma/totah/kookum.”

Kicking off the festivities will be this year’s Welcome Gathering featuring Manitou Mkwa Singers, Cotee Harper, Skye Dancers, and Poet Jennifer Alicia, followed by the Opening Night Party, sponsored by CBC, with multiple DJs performing, including headliner Boogey The Beat.

Fancy Dance from director Erica Tremblay will open this year’s festival, sponsored by CBC, with Cody Lightning’s irreverent comedy Hey, Viktor! closing out the festival, sponsored by the Director’s Guild of Canada. Each work presented is created by Indigenous artists. The festival will also present 7 exhibitions throughout the city, and many live musical performances.

With 70 short films featured at imagineNATIVE this year, there’s something for all audiences. Grouped thematically, the short films will be showcased in short film programs including the Witching Hour, Queerdom, “That’s My Baby!”, From Land to Water, For The Grandbabies, Into The Unknown, Staying Vigilant, Embracing Loss, Long Line of Ladies, A Mother’s Love, and You Know Who You Are

On October 18, 2023 imagineNATIVE’s Art Crawl will take over multiple venues and gallery spaces to bring 7 exhibitions and 19 artists to the city for an interactive multi-gallery experience.

Back for another year is the iNdigital Space and imagineNATIVE Arcade open from October 18 to October 21, 2023 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Gallery for free. Presented alongside iNdigital Space partners SEGA, East Side Games, and Ontario Creates,  this large-scale presentation invites you to see, listen, and play with the diverse Official Selection, which includes VR, 360, AR, video games, and interactive web and digital media works.

For Indigenous screen industry professionals, imagineNATIVE’s Industry Days is hosting several meetings, panels, and networking events throughout the festival including the imagineNATIVE + APTN lumi Web Series Pitch, the New Media Masterclass, a Two-Spirit + Indigiqueer Storytelling panel, an AI + the Industry panel and a Directing from Film to TV panel.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is supported by its presenting partner the Canada Media Fund. 

With affordable ticket prices and a range of programming to suit anyone’s favourite genres, you won’t want to miss out on this incredible event! For more information on this year’s festival, visit To purchase tickets to the festival, visit

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As the largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, we invite you to participate in Artistic and Industry programs over the Festival, showcasing Film + Video, Digital + Interactive, and Audio works created by Indigenous artists (including directors, producers, writers, and designers) at all levels of experience. 


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