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Victoria Film Festival features new indigenous film program

01/27/2015 08:19 EST | Updated 03/29/2015 05:59 EDT
The Victoria Film Festival is introducing an indigenous film program for the first time, presenting five feature-length films and one short focusing on indigenous stories and issues between February 6 and 15.

"I'm always very supportive when people put resources to telling indigenous stories," said Michelle Latimer, a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker, actor, and curator brought in from the imagineNATIVE film and media festival in Toronto.

"I'm very excited to be helping at the grassroots level helping with the first program that they've done at the festival."

Latimer said for a long time there's been a "pervasive idealism or romanticism" around how indigenous people have been portrayed in media.

She's especially excited the festival specifically asked for films made by indigenous people and says she believes that allows for a more honest and nuanced interpretation of indigenous narratives.

"That's telling stories from the inside out, rather than having someone look within and interpret someone else's stories."

Victoria Film Festival - 2015 Indigenous Program

Sumé - 8:45 p.m. PT on February 6 at the Vic Theatre

This documentary looks at how Greenland's Inuit community were inspired to fight for their own identity by the politically-charged rock music of the band Sumé, the first band to ever record in the Greenlandic language.

My Legacy + Short: Rebel (Bihttoš) - 6 p.m. PT on February 7 at the Vic Theatre

Documentary My Legacy explores the inter-generational legacy of residential schools. The film is the personal portrait of the director and her relationship to her mother, a residential school survivor.

Rebel (Bihttoš) delves into the mythic love story of director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers' parents, spanning continents and cultures.

Trick or Treaty - 6:00 p.m. PT on February 8 at the Vic Theatre

Premiered at TIFF in 2014, this film looks at Treaty 9 and speaks more broadly about indigenous land claims and their historical context.

The Lodge - 7:15 p.m. PT on February 9 at Parkside

Filmmaker/animator Terril Calder presents the untamed Canadian wilderness as seen through the eyes of an eccentric British war bride, Pearl - and surreal, stop-motion animation.

Drunktown's Finest - 6 p.m. PT on February 10 at the Vic Theatre

A feature film debut from director Sidney Freeland, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Fest. The film explores the lives of three Navajo youth who want to leave their reserve behind.

To listen to the full interview about the festival, click on the audio labelled: Victoria Film Festival's indigenous program.

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