NFB works by Indigenous creators Ossie Michelin, Jennie Williams, Asinnajaq and Jerry Evans amplify culture and tradition at the Spirit Song Film Showcase.  FREE screening includes two in-person premieres by Newfoundland and Labrador directors.

News release

November 18, 2021 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Four National Film Board of Canada (NFB) works by Indigenous filmmakers will screen on November 22 in St. John’s at the Spirit Song Film Showcase, in a special evening of Indigenous short cinema. The free event starts at 7:30 p.m., with tickets available through the Arts and Culture Centre.

The Spirit Song Festival is a celebration of Indigenous Arts and Culture that has been running annually in St. John’s since 2013.

From the Labrador Doc Project

The Film Showcase features the Newfoundland and Labrador in-person premieres of two films from the NFB’s Labrador Doc Project, which works with Labrador Inuit filmmakers to create and share stories from Inuit perspectives.

An adventurous seven-year-old boy and his determined mother share a passion for Inuit drum dancing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. After generations of silence, the rhythm of the traditional Inuit drum has returned to Labrador, and young Evan is part of the new generation that will keep its heartbeat strong. The first-ever film on Labrador Inuit drum dancing, Evan’s Drum is a joyful visit to a family’s loving home and an uplifting story of cultural pride.

Fun fact: Also appearing in the film is Jennie Williams, director of Nalujuk Night, who is also a drum maker.

Nalujuk Night is an up-close look at an exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, Labrador Inuit tradition. 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. Snow crunches underfoot as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain. Rarely witnessed outside of Nunatsiavut, the event is an exciting chance for Inuit, young and old, to prove their courage and come together as a community to celebrate culture and tradition.

Fun fact: Nalujuk Night was named Best Atlantic Short Documentary at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival and is making its US premiere at DOC NYC from November 10 to 18.

Named Best Experimental Work at imagineNATIVE 2017, this acclaimed film plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recasts the past, present and future of Inuit in a radiant new light. Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, Asinnajaq parses the complicated cinematic representation of Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources, conjuring up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.

Combining archival photos with new and found footage, Red Ochre presents a personal, impressionistic rendering of what it’s like growing up Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland while living in a culture of denial. The film was produced in 2009 as part of Vistas, a collaborative project between the NFB and APTN featuring 13 short films on Nationhood by Indigenous filmmakers from St. John’s to Vancouver.

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Curator’s perspective | Director’s notes

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Contacts

Osas Eweka-Smith
NFB Publicist
C.: 587-385-9771 | o.eweka-smith@nfb.ca

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
C.: 514-296-8261 | l.robert@nfb.ca

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