The 17th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival running October 19 to 23, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario will open with Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk. In this award-winning documentary, Arnaquq-Baril sheds a powerful light on anti–seal hunting campaigns and the relevance of the hunt to the lives of the Inuit. Long a vital source of food and income for the Inuit, the seal hunt has been disrupted by high profile, international campaigns fronted by celebrities and led by well-funded animal rights organizations. The ensuing bans on seal products have caused financial devastation to northern communities, creating what the filmmaker calls the Inuit Great Depression. Angry Inuk follows an emerging group of Inuit activists – armed with their own sense of humor and justice – as they insert themselves into the international discussion.
The closing night gala will be the North American premiere of Bonfire, the debut work by Dmitrii Davydov, a rising Yakut filmmaker from Russia. Deep in the Sakha Republic in eastern Siberia, Ignat is a hard-working widower who keeps to himself and tries to do the right thing. After a tragic accident involving his son, Ignat finds an unlikely friendship with a local boy. Bonfire is a dramatic feature that displays a tender, tactile portrait of the complexities of family and the fragility of life.
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing innovation in film, video, audio and digital media. The Festival presents the most compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and excellence of Native art and culture in contemporary media.