Four National Film Board of Canada works screening at the 2021 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. NFB selection includes films by St. John’s filmmakers Monica Kidd and Jennie Williams.
October 8, 2021 – Halifax – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Powerful local stories from Newfoundland and Labrador and acclaimed Indigenous works from across Canada—that’s what the National Film Board of Canada is bringing to the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (October 13–17, 2021) this year in a selection of four outstanding new films.
Two works boast strong ties to St. John’s:
- Jennie Williams is an Inuk visual artist and a throat singer from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, now based in St. John’s, whose short film Nalujuk Night was produced through the Labrador Documentary Project.
- Physician/filmmaker Monica Kidd divided her time between St. John’s and Calgary while creating The Storm, working with St. John’s animator Duncan Major.
Along with Jennie’s short, the rest of the NFB selection amplifies powerful stories by Indigenous women creators, with two festival award winners:
- The feature-length documentary Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy by Kainai First Nation/Sámi filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers.
- The short doc Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again by Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) director Courtney Montour.
NFB titles will be available for streaming in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario.
Films from Newfoundland and Labrador
Nalujuk Night by Jennie Williams (13 mins.)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/nalujuk-night
Jennie Williams plunges audiences directly into the action in this bone-chilling black-and-white short documentary about a winter night like no other. Every January 6, from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appear on the sea ice. They walk on two legs, yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal and otherworldly as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain.
Nalujuk Night is produced through the Labrador Documentary Project, which supports Indigenous storytelling by working with first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers to create and distribute Inuit stories from Inuit perspectives.
The Storm (4 mins.)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-storm
Making her NFB directorial debut, Monica Kidd collaborates with animator Duncan Major on a film that reflects on what it means to bring a baby into a world under a pandemic lockdown, evoking memories of wild summer storms to amplify a sharply etched tale of disruption and rebirth.
Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (125 mins.)
Co-produced by Seen Through Woman Productions and the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/kimmapiiyipitssini-the-meaning-of-empathy
A member of the Kainai First Nation and the Sámi in Norway, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers creates an intimate portrait of her community and the impacts of the substance-use and overdose epidemic. Witness the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction in the Kainai First Nation.
- Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award and Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs 2021
- Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director, DOXA 2021
Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again by Courtney Montour (34 mins.)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/mary-two-axe-earley-i-am-indian-again
Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again shares the powerful story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act, becoming a key figure in Canada’s women’s rights movement. Using never-before-seen archival footage and audio recordings, Mohawk filmmaker Courtney Montour engages in a deeply personal conversation with the late Mohawk woman, who challenged sexist and genocidal government policies that stripped First Nations women and children of their Indian status when they married non-Indian men.
Award: Best Director, 2021 Weengushk International Film Festival
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