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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 14, 2003 - Issue 89


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Four NFB films to be screened at
First Peoples' Festival

by The National Film Board of Canada Press Release

Montreal:  The National Film Board of Canada is pleased to participate in the First Peoples' Festival, organized by Land InSIGHTS, from June 10 to 22, at the NFB Cinema in Montreal. Four NFB documentaries will be featured, including the Montreal premiere of Si le temps le permet, which will close the festival.

Si le temps le permetSi le temps le permet, directed by Elisapie Isaac and produced by Yves Bisaillon, will be screened in French on Sunday, June 22 at 8:30 pm. In this documentary, Isaac, a young filmmaker from Nunavik who lives in Montreal, examines what the future holds for her people. As Inuit youth experience the strangeness of modern life and their elders die off, taking their wisdom with them, Isaac poses a vital question: how can the Inuit embrace their culture while still taking an active part in today's world? Elisapie Isaac won the 2001 Cinéastes autochtones competition.

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The Spirit of Annie MaeThe Spirit of Annie Mae traces the remarkable life of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, a 30-year-old Nova Scotia-born Mi'gmaq who was brutally murdered in South Dakota in 1975.  Directed by Catherine Anne Martin and produced by Kent Martin, this film is a moving tribute to Aquash, a high-ranking member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), a radical First Nations organization that took up arms in the 1970s. Mi'gmaq filmmaker Martin follows Aquash's two daughters as they celebrate a woman who inspired a generation of First Nations people. The screening of this documentary is particularly timely since an arrest has finally been made 27 years after her brutal murder. Showing in English on Sunday, June 15 at 8:30 pm.

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Ceux qui attendentCeux qui attendent relates the experiences of the Acadians and the Mi'gmaq of New Brunswick in the fierce 1999 conflict over lobster stocks that broke centuries of peaceful coexistence between the two communities. Directed by Herménégilde Chiasson and produced by Cécile Chevrier for Productions Phare-Est and Jacques Turgeon for the NFB, this documentary looks at both sides of the dispute, providing insight into the lives of the men and women who lived through this crisis. Showing in French on Friday, June 20 at 8:30 pm.

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Is the Crown at war with us? (La Couronne cherche-t-elle à nous faire la guerre?) is a powerful and painstakingly researched look at the conflict over fishing rights between the Mi'gmaq of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church), New Brunswick and their non-Native neighbours. Directed and produced by internationally acclaimed National Film Board filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, the documentary offers a persuasive defence of the Mi'gmaq position and is a gripping portrait of a community under siege. Obomsawin observes the conflict at Esgenoopetitj with passion and clarity, providing invaluable insight into the complex relationship between Canada and its First Nations. Showing in English and in French on Sunday, June 22 at 6:30 pm. The screening will be followed by a vernissage for an exhibition of prints by Obomsawin at the Cinémathèque Québécoise.

Is the Crown at war with us?

Since its creation in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada has produced over 10 000 films and won over 4000 awards - including 10 Oscars®. As Canada's public film producer, the NFB produces and distributes distinctive, culturally diverse, challenging and relevant audiovisual works that provide Canada and the world with a unique Canadian perspective.


Mahalia Verna
NFB Public Relations
Tel: (514) 283-2469

Monika Ille
NFB Public Relations
Tel: (514) 283-9607

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