Hi-Ho Mistahey!

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey! (Cree for “I love you forever”), is a feature length Canadian documentary that profiles Shannen’s Dream, an activist campaign inspired by the work of Shannen Koostachin, a Cree teenager from Attawapiskat, who wanted to lobby for improved educational opportunities for First Nations youth.  Read more about Shannen’s Dream on the website for the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was short-listed for a Canadian Screen Award.

Alanis Obomsawin is a Canadian filmmaker of Abenaki descent.  Best known documentary is Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, about the 1990 siege at Oka, Quebec, she has produced and directed many National Film Board of Canada documentaries on First Nations culture and history.  She leaned of Koostachin’s story from children’s rights activist Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Continue reading “Hi-Ho Mistahey!”

Ottawa Filmmakers – Season 2

Ottawa Filmmakers web series - Jith Paul ocanfilmfest

I’m pleased to announce that a second season of the Ottawa Filmmakers web series is in the works.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo taken during the set-up / pre-interview chat between Monique Fuller and local filmmaker Stephen Coleman at CKCU in Ottawa from an upcoming episode. – Jith Paul

Past webisodes are available here.

 

Anote’s Ark

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Montreal filmmaker Matthieu Rytz‘s debut film Anote’s Ark details the plight of the tiny island nation Kiribati (formerly called Gilbert Islands), which is in danger of being engulfed by rising water levels or wiped out by patterns of extreme weather.

“The country will be drowned in the next 50 years, no matter the investments and agreements” states Rytz in his Kickstarter pitch for the film.  “Anote’s ark will be the first full-length shot in the Republic of Kiribati. I am so honored and I feel like I need to tell the story of this nation before it completely drown out.”

The film enjoys its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival this week.

Here’s the trailer.

 

In Their Words: The Power of Poetry

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

In Their Words: The Power of Poetry is a documentary by filmmaker Randy Kelly which features local spoken-word artists and their stories.

Originally broadcast on CBC Ottawa TV in the Summer of 2017, the film is now streaming on CBC’s online platform.  Follow the powerful stories as the poets share their hopes, fears, struggles and dreams for the future by clicking on the image below or via this link.

Featured poets include JustJamaal ThePoet (one of Ottawa’s new Poets Laureate), CauseMo, DMP, King Kimbit and Apollo the Child.

Taking My Parents to Burning Man

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Vancouver filmmaker Bryant “Spry Bry” Boesen decided “rip his nearly retired parents from their routine and throw them into an adventure of a lifetime.” Collaborating with filmmaker Joel Ashton McCarthy, they launched a crowd funding campaign to create a documentary following their trip to Burning Man.  Described as a debaucherous arts festival, Burning Man isn’t your average family vacation.  According to the festival’s official website: “Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.”

The resulting documentary Taking My Parents to Burning Man is described as a parental coming-of-age story has had a successful festival run and a theatrical run at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver.   The film is now available on a variety of streaming and VOD platforms.  Here’s the trailer.