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Saskatoon, SK

Tawāw! Welcome!

ᑕᓂᓯ! Tansi! Tawnshi! Edlanat’e! Aba washded! 
Ācimowin Film Festival is located in Treaty 6 territory – the traditional lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and Métis nations.

Submissions are closed!

About

The first Indigenous film festival in Saskatchewan, named Mispon, was organized by Janine Windolph and the late Trudy Stewart, and held in Regina, Treaty 4. The final edition of Mispon took place in 2016. The inaugural Ācimowin Film Festival emerged as Saskatoon's premier Indigenous film festival, currently standing as the sole event of its kind in all of Saskatchewan.

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This festival is dedicated to elevating Indigenous narratives, fostering Indigenous language revitalization, and empowering the youth. We advocate for artists and storytellers to establish roots and contribute to Treaty 6 Territory. Moreover, the festival extends its impact beyond its annual event by providing year-round film programming tailored for youth audiences, investing in storytelling for generations to come.

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Saskatchewan currently lacks a film festival that authentically represents Indigenous perspectives both on and off the screen. Our mission is to provide Indigenous individuals with a platform to share their stories, facilitate learning opportunities for allies, and address the urgent need for accurate representation of Indigenous youth.

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The Ācimowin Film Festival envisions a future where Indigenous filmmaking is not only normalized but celebrated, contributing to the cultivation of a robust film industry accessible to all and providing a vital platform for Indigenous cinema to thrive on the prairies.

History of Indigenous Cinema

Indigenous Cinema began during the creation of the first moving pictures (1894, Black Maria Studios). The first Indigenous filmmaker to make a feature film was Merita Mita, a Maori from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Alanis Obomsawin has been a trailblazer in Indigenous cinema with 50 films since she started with NFB. Indigenous people have been taking their rights as traditional oral storytellers on a big screen by sharing their visual stories for social impact, and representation, and for the next generation of Indigenous filmmakers. Indigenous cinema has been reaching people globally, and yet there is still so much more work to do.​There was once a film industry in Saskatchewan that ended almost immediately after the film tax credit cut off. Big Bear was filmed in 1998. This was a prominent mini-series that started many Indigenous actors and filmmakers' careers. Notably, Tasha Hubbard and Danis Goulet, two Indigenous women who have been successful filmmakers started their journeys within Saskatchewan. Since then, a new generation such as our Festival Team Leaders have begun making their careers within Saskatchewan. The need for visual storytellers is there and is necessary for Indigenous people in Treaty 6, Saskatchewan.

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