Redwire at VIMAF 2011


In case you missed the inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, Redwire was in the house. Check out our original video and review and be sure to check out VIMAF next year!


REDWIRE ON SCENE, Check out our video


The inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival was a beautiful and well-balanced array of film and dialogue carrying with it the spirit of togetherness. It showcased the gems that Indigenous film has to offer, knowing no hierarchy and honoring each film regardless of each filmmaker’s legacy in the industry in a true spirit of egalitarianism. Each program encompassed a wide range of expression from evocative and experimental, to the traditional narrative, and documentary forms. Outside of showcasing the gems that Indigenous media has to offer there were many opportunities offered to engage in the inescapable and enriching dialogue that comes hand in hand with a people possessing a culturally rich heritage intertwined with the continuing dynamic of colonialism.

Among the dialogues that took place, were Loretta Todd speaking on mainstream portrayals of First Nations People in mainstream media, an incredibly well informed and eloquent presentation, as well as the future of Indigenous media a panel facilitated by Cowboy Smithx (in lieu of Dana Claxton who unfortunately had fallen ill), where those present expressed desires to see more Aboriginal representation in mainstream media and control of their own production. Many were left inspired by Ernie Panicolli, hip-hop photographer and activist’s, talk following his biographical documentary. In remaining true to a theme that was emerging throughout the festival, one that was clear in the spirit of his work, was his ability to see past the pedestals imposed on others and ideas of success. Rather he looked on everyone in the room as an equal, the same way you could imagine that he looks at anyone who encounters his path. It was clear through his words that the urgency and love in his heart carried a special place for all youth struggling with social problems. He challenged the audience that before they could decolonize the environment they live in they first needed to decolonize themselves, making passing references to facebook and modern forms of communication.

These heartfelt discourses coupled with film, a profound tool of communication, created a vibrant and loving atmosphere, which in the greater scope of things revealed all the strengths and longings of Indigenous peoples around the world. In a small room we celebrated our achievements together, we sympathized and lent our heartfelt compassion to our common struggles, and that space has probably never seen so much laughter. This festival is a strong reminder of the power of art and VIMAF can only grow from here.

Chandra Melting Tallow, Siksika Nation
Arts Outreach Coordinator
Redwire Native Youth Media

Video Coordinator/Videographer
Cheyanna J.V. Kootenhayoo
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