FILMS AND EVENTS

Viewers will be able to watch each Program for up to 24 hours after purchasing! At 9:00AM EST, each ticket holder will be emailed an exclusive password protected link. 

A festival pass is the cheapest way for you to access our entire festival!

 

$35 gives you access to everything the festival has to offer!  

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!

If you have any questions please email:

info@weengushkfilmfestival.ca

OPENING NIGHT

Join us for our Opening Night! One ticket gets you access to all the following:

$15 tickets

GET TICKETS HERE 

 

7:00PM

WELCOME From Ontario Chief Rosanne Archibald

7:05PM

Keynote Speaker from Jesse Wente

RED SNOW 1hr 50 mins

Red Snow is a dramatic feature that begins when Dylan, a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic, is caught in an ambush in Afghanistan. His capture and interrogation by a Taliban Commander releases a cache of memories connected to the love and death of his Inuit cousin, Asana, and binds him closer to a Pashtun family as they escape across treacherous landscapes and through a blizzard that becomes their key to survival. Written and directed by Marie Clements.

 

Q/A with Film Director Marie Clements to follow 

AN EXCLUSIVE LIVE PERFORMANCE BY:

CRYSTAL SHAWANDA

 

 

Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada, Her parents raised her on Country music and taught her to sing and play guitar, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues. He would hang out in the basement cranking Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James, and Crystal would sit at the top of the stairs, straining to hear those soulful sounds. There was a part of her that often wandered if she would ever be able to sing like that. And when no one was home, Crystal would practice singing the blues.  Crystal’s album is a modern take on the blues, but is deeply rooted with heart-wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the north meets the south and captures the resilience of the human spirit — much like the way Crystal does. Crystal Shawanda is reminiscent of a time gone by. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty at the same time.

DAY 2

PROGRAM 1

The Films of Dr. Shirley Cheechoo

$10 Tickets!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

BEARWALKER 2hrs

"Bearwalker is the story of a supernatural force at work in a small community where prejudice, injustice, corruption and revenge are simmering just below the surface. It is a dramatic and compelling tale of four Aboriginal sisters' struggles with the powerful and menacing spirit of the Bearwalker, an evil force that takes possession of and tears apart several lives in the town"

      

JOHNNY TOOTALL 1hr 59 mins   

Discharged from Bosnian war, Johnny carries the weight of this war on his shoulders. He left the war with a dark and frightening secret, the murder of a young boy that haunts him. But Johnny carries many demons: the death of his father, running from his destiny as Chief of the Band and abandoning the love of his life. Nevertheless, Johnny must return home, the wolf spirit has called. Upon his return, he finds a new war. His estranged brother is leading his people in a revolt to save their sacred land. Johnny faces a dilemma; does he fight to save his people, or does he save himself? His journey will guide him to realizing that they are the same. In a blink, his world changes and in death, his brother guides him on a spirit walk to meet his destiny as leader of his people.

Q/A on Facebook Live at 12:45PM! 

PROGRAM 2

$10 Tickets! 

GET TICKETS HERE

 

FAST HORSE 13 mins

FAST HORSE follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horse racing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay.  Siksika horseman Allison RedCrow struggles to build a team with second-hand horses and a new jockey, Cody BigTobacco, to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede. Directed by: Alexandra Lazarowicd by: Niobe Thompson

Standing Rock to the Swamp (Water is Life) 

On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight—to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it.

Q/A on Facebook Live at 1:45PM 

 

PROGRAM 3

$10 Tickets! 

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LONG RIDE HOME 1hr 2 mins

Powered only by their spirit, a brave group of natives set off on a 600 mile horse ride to bring awareness to the inter generational trauma their people have endured since colonization

YOUR NAME ISN'T ENGLISH 15 mins

Each time Tazbah, a young professional woman gets into a ride-share car she takes on the unexpected role of becoming a free history teacher as her drivers struggle to pronounce her name. It's an American history lesson they will never forget.

HAPPY FACE 1hr 28 mins

There are many clichés about physical appearance, personality, and the lack of correlation between the two. Most are designed to pump up self-confidence, suggesting that people who aren’t conventionally good-looking make up for it with great personalty. But that's not always true. People have physical defects. People have personality defects. They can have one or both. It’s rare that they have neither.

Happy Face seeks to explore this complex idea. Centering around members of a support group for people with extreme facial differences, Happy Face drops the audience in the deep end from the get-go. There’s a man with no nose; a woman with incurable warts; a heavily-injured policeman; and people with other congenital or accidental issues that leave them looking different enough to be ostracized by the world. In most other films, these actors would be cast as villains or monsters. In Happy Face, we immediately meet them as real people, Director Alexandre Franchi’s camera treating them

Q/A on Facebook Live at 5:30PM! 

Live Music Performance by

LELAND BELL

Join us on Facebook Live!

Free! 9:30PM 

 

Leland Bell was born in 1953 at Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario (Note: the name Wikwemikong means “bay of beavers”); he was raised there and in Toronto and graduated from Laurentian University in Sudbury where he majored in Native Studies. His spirit name is Bebaminojmat, he is of the Loon Clan, and is a “second degree” member of the Three Fires Midewiwin society. An Ojibwa-Odawa, Bell prefers to identify himself as an Anishinabe, an Ojibwa word for North America meaning literally “from whence man was lowered”.

PROGRAM 4

$10 Tickets!

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JEEDARA: THE GREAT WHITE WHALE 3 mins

For tens of thousands of years, whales have been sacred to the Mirning people, the Traditional Owners of land and sea along the Great Australian Bight. Today, whales and Mirning country are at risk from oil giant Equinor’s plans to drill for oil in the Bight.

HER WATER DRUM 17 mins

Directed by Jon Elliot and Produced by Paper Frame Pictures, Her Water Drum is a

compelling Short Film that brings to light the issues of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In this Film Jolene (a Mohawk Mother), struggles to deal with the world and her son; as she fights to find her missing Daughter.

LAKE 5 mins

Cree director Alexandra Lazarowich riffs off classic verité cinema to craft a  contemporary portrait of Métis women net fishing in Northern Alberta.

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH 4 mins

"Live Love Laugh" is a candid film about an Indigenous women named Dawn and the stigam she has faced since being diagnoes with HIV 25 years ago. It's no longer a death sentence and today she continues to advocate towards educating people. Along her jounry, culture has been a stalple in her well being. 

Q/A on Facebook Live at 2:00PM

PROGRAM 5

$10 Tickets!

GET TICKETS HERE

 

TAWAW? 3 mins

A young Indigenous couple moves into their new house. While unpacking, the nosey neighbourhood welcoming committee pops by with friendly chit-chat and food with a side of racism. Tristan Greyeyes (Muskeg Lake Cree Nation) is an emerging filmmaker currently in her third year at Capilano University. She is a feminist who is determined to empower Indigenous people in Canada using the art of filmmaking.

THE INCREDIBLE 25th YEAR OF MITZI BEARCLAW 1hr 40 mins

Mitzi Bearclaw turns 25 years old, and that means making big decisions for the future. Her dream to design cool hats is put on hold when she decides to move from the city back to her isolated reserve to look after her sick and bitter mother. With the reserve bully constantly at her heels and an old flame in her sights, she is grateful that her cousin is there to help her in the fight to stay sane in such a hard place to keep positive. With spirit guides and laughs along the way, join Mitzi in her battle to get her family back on the right track! shelley.jpg Shelley Niro is a member of Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk. She holds an Honours degree in painting and sculpture and a Masters in Fine Art. Her work has been exhibited across Northern America, and she has received considerable recognition for her work as an independent filmmaker with screenings at the Venice Biennale and Sundance Film Festivals.

THERE ARE NO FAKES 2hrs

So, a rockstar wanders into a gallery…. Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies (Big Bang Theory theme) buys a painting by the world’s first Indigenous art star: Norval Morrisseau the self-taught, self-destructive Native Canadian genius Chagall once dubbed “The Picasso Of The North,' creator of the Woodland School, one of three major strains of Indigenous art. Hearn begins to doubt his painting’sauthenticity, and sues the gallery that sold

it to him. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of two darkly comical feuding factions: all white people, each claiming to be the true defenders of this Native artist’s legacy. At stake is the value of a tranche of 3000 Morrisseau paintings worth some $30,000,000. The film traces the official provenance of Hearn’s painting, representative of this disputed species, finding only suspiciously dead ends. Then, as Hearn’s court case proceeds, an almost-unbelievable new tale emerges about the origin of the paintings, turning the story several shades darker than art fraud.

Q/A on Facebook Live at 5:30PM 

 

Live Music Performance by

NICK SHERMAN

Join us on Facebook Live!

Free! 9:30PM

 

When he was young, Thunder Bay based singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Sherman’s grandfather would pick him up in the wee hours from his parents’ place in Sioux Lookout, and drive up the winter highway to North Caribou Lake First Nation. It was there that Sherman accompanied his grandfather while he tended to his trapline, and also where he heard his grandfather sing and play guitar. “He would have been the first person I ever saw sit down, pick up a guitar, play it and sing at the same time,” Sherman says. Fast forward nearly three decades and countless kilometres later, Sherman has a partner and two boys of his own but a similar spirit still drives his music. Sherman's music has taken him across the country where he has performed at various events and festivals such as Ottawa Bluesfest, Vancouver Folk Festival, Luminato Festival, and more. Sherman worked in radio for nine years, and now spends part of the year in remote Indigenous communities bringing music programming into schools. “Over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s not about what equipment or instruments are available,” Sherman says. “My main focus is figuring out how to teach young people to make meaningful connections through self-expression, and show them how this can counteract the deep sense of isolation so many of them feel.” 

THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE UP

Two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding as one of them, Rosie, is fleeing a violent domestic attack. What begins as an urgent and terrifying escape, tentatively expands as the women weave a fragile bond in their short time together while navigating the complexities of motherhood and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

MY LYRIC I NEVER KNEW​ 

A young Indigenous singer decides whether or not to debut a song internationally that will expose her turbulent past and the adoption of her child.

ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF NOAH PIUGATTUK 

In April 1961, John Kennedy is America’s new President, the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in arctic Canada. In Kapuivik, north Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives at Piugattuk’s hunting camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change. Boss is an agent of the government, assigned to get Piugattuk to move his band to settlement housing and send his children to school so they can get jobs and make money. But Kapuivik is Piugattuk’s homeland. He takes no part in the Canadian experience; and cannot imagine what his children would do with money.

DAY 3

DAY 4

PROGRAM 6

$10 Tickets!

Dr. Shirley Cheechoo Retrospective Part 2

$10 Tickets!

GET TICKETS HERE

 

SILENT TEARS 24 mins

Based on a Cree family's true story, Silent Tears is a gripping drama that chronicles a very tough northern winter for nine-year-old Anne, her parents and siblings. Hunger sets in when her father, Roger, becomes sick and can no longer tend the trap line. When a horrendous tumor begins growing on the back of his neck, Anne's mother, Sarah, has to operate to remove it and save his life. While Sarah cares for Roger and the younger children, Anne takes on more responsibility, checking the traps herself.

MOTHER EARTH (PIKUTISHWAAU) 50 mins

Pikutiskaau is a healing journey following her mother’s death, filmmaker Shirley Cheechoo reconnects with Mother Earth. Stories shared by Cree Elders help explain with humor and humility how appreciating and honoring our mothers also means respecting Mother Earth.

TRACKS IN THE SNOW 50 mins

This compelling doc follows a journey at once physical and spiritual. The director joins a group of James Bay Cree children and their elders as they follow a well-trodden trap line, living the old ways, speaking only Cree, and practicing the time-honored traditions of her people. The journey is also a fundraiser, calling attention to a tragic disease inflicting Cree babies; the unpronounceable leukoencephalopathy.  As with all her films, the director brings a vision of promise to the screen, illuminating an entire way of life in one northern journey.

 

SHADOW IN DEEP WATER

A trip to Peru turned into a life-altering experience that took director Shirley Cheechoo into the shadows of her past and back again.

SWEET BLOOD

This film is to help educate people that going back to traditional way of life, including harvesting traditional foods is a fundamental part of the healing process. This documentary investigates the relationship between diabetes and returning to a pre-contact traditional diet.

Q/A on Facebook Live at 3:30PM  

 

 

CLOSING NIGHT EVENT

Join us for our Closing Night One ticket gets you access to all the following:

$15 Tickets!

GET TICKETS HERE

 

GIANT BEAR 10 mins

A timeless Inuit legend about a solitary man, a giant bear and their daunting foes: each other.

MOOSE RIVER CROSSING 2hrs

Moose River Crossing is a feature film based on the play that examines the premise and asks the question "Does time heal all wounds”.  Six former residential school students meet at the train station to travel to their school reunion. As the minutes move to hours and a derailed train delays their travel, these six adults flash to the past; the love, the lies, the pain of childhood lost and finally resolution. Their reunion insulated in the stark lobby of the train station, proves to be the door that opens a path to healing.

Filmmaker Q/A at 6:30PM

Closing Keynote by

Gary Farmer

Performance by

Adrian Sutherland

7:00PM!

Adrian Sutherland, frontman and founder of roots-rockers Midnight Shine comes from Attawapiskat on the remote coast of the James Bay. He's a singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and the fascinating frontman and founder of roots-rockers Midnight Shine, making meaningful music with important messages that resonate across Canada and beyond. Adrian is a father of four, grandfather to four, and hard-working husband, proud of who he is and where he comes from. He speaks his Cree language, is a respected cultural leader, practices traditional ways of the land, and is a genuine example of someone who lives authentically. With a growing and significant voice on many issues in Canada today, Adrian speaks from his mind and cares from his heart. He is an insightful and resilient advocate with first-hand perspective on many challenges facing Attawapiskat and other First Nations, like contaminated water, critical housing shortages, rampant addiction, and the youth suicide crisis. At this time of increasing awareness around Reconciliation, Adrian is hopeful for all Canadians to continue taking steps together.