• Anthony Nadeau

Michelle Latimer, Director of Inconvenient Indian, Paying It Forward To Other Indigenous Artists

Updated: Nov 14

Toronto. October 21, 2020. The documentary, Inconvenient Indian, won the TIFF/Canada Goose 2020 Amplify Voices Award at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize. Latimer and producers Jesse Wente, Stuart Henderson, and Justine Pimlott wish to pay this support forward to Indigenous artists.

Each of the five selected artists will receive an unrestricted cash grant of $2000.00 to support their ongoing artistic work.

"In the spirit of this award, meant to amplify creative voices, I wanted to pay this forward by supporting other Indigenous artists who are making an impact with their art. The artists selected here represent different mediums within the media and performing arts landscape and, in my opinion, their work exemplifies exceptional vision as well as a commitment to community engagement. Their unique voices are contributing to a much-needed change in this industry, and it is an honor to support these visionary artists in their journey," says Latimer.

The selected artists are:

Ziibiwan is an Anishinaabe electronic music producer and composer from Wiikwemkoong First Nation who’s currently based in Tkaronto. With a no-holds-barred approach to production, their ethereal, sonics opens into deeply hypnotic spaces where land, sky, and deep-sea meet. Whether in their own music or in DJ sets, their spacious rhythmscapes evoke tranquility, the natural world, and wisdom from elder generations within modern contexts. Ziibiwan has composed music for two short animations by Amanda Strong which premiered at TIFF, and London Fashion Week 2019, and has provided music for shows RISE (Viceland) and Trickster (CBC). Ziibiwan is currently working on their new LP, GIIZIS, which is set to release early 2021.

Bretten Hannam is a Two-Spirit L’nu filmmaker living in Kespukwitk, Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) where they were raised. Their films deal with themes of community, culture, and language with a focus on Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ identity. They co-wrote the short Champagne which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and wrote/directed North Mountain, a Two-Spirit thriller that won Best Original Score at the Atlantic Film Festival and the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature. They also wrote/directed the short film Wildfire which premiered at BFI Flare and went on to play at Frameline LGBT Film Festival, as well as Vancouver International Film Festival, ImagineNative, and Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. Bretten is a Fellow of the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters, Outfest Screenwriting Lab, Whistler’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, and the CFC writer’s lab. They recently finished filming Wildhood, a feature-length Two-Spirit road movie now in post-production.

Angela Miracle Gladue aka Lunacee, is a Cree/Greek Mother, Dancer, and Beadwork Artist from Frog Lake First Nation, who started cultural dancing (Metis & powwow) at age six and continued her dance career as a Hip-hop artist since 2003. She has been invited to perform, teach and speak to countless countries throughout the world and now tours as one of the lead dancers for A Tribe Called Red. Her work was recently featured at A Space Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, in an exhibition called ‘Thunderstruck: Physical Landscapes’ which was also presented at the Âjagemô Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario. Selected accomplishments include: Choreographing and performing at the 2017 Juno Awards, first place at the Canadian HipHop Championships, and World Hip-Hop Championship Bronze Medalist with her crew the FlyGirlz, and recipient of the 2015 Chief David Crowchild Memorial Youth Award for demonstrating outstanding community leadership through Hip-hop and Powwow dance. She has also opened up for major recording artists such as TLC, Sean Paul, Lil'Kim, Maestro, Grand Master Flash, and Busta Rhymes to name a few.

Lisa Cromarty is an Anishnabe and Oji-Cree actress, writer, and voice coach residing in Northern Ontario and is a member of Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve located on Manitoulin Island. She trained at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Canada’s National Voice Intensive, and as a vocal coach trainee, Lisa was mentored for two seasons by the coaching team at the Stratford Theatre Festival and for one year with the Head of Voice at the National Theatre School. She was scheduled to serve as a coach for The Rez Sisters at the Stratford Festival for their 2020 season before the COVID-19 epidemic. Lisa is currently teaching voice classes online for the 1st year theatre students at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Select past credits include The Silencing, Burden of Truth, My Roommate’s an Escort and Indian Horse. Upcoming releases: Wild Indian with Michael Greyeyes and Chaske Spencer, Unsettled, Grand Army, and Coroner. Currently, Lisa is developing a First Nations animated series for kids called Wick and Flint with writing partner Jeremy Beal, where she aims to write, produce and contribute as a voice actor. Lisa and Jeremy are ready to pitch this project to broadcasters.

Victoria Anderson-Gardner is an award-winning Ojibwe filmmaker from Eagle Lake First Nation, Ontario. She completed her thesis film for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree under the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. Victoria is focused on creating Indigenous content, showcasing underrepresented communities, and using her skills as a filmmaker to educate. With over four years of experience in the film industry, Victoria is a director and producer who has worked and assisted on a variety of productions which include Tenaya (TIFF’s Big Pitch Audience Choice Award 2020), Becoming Nakuset (CBC Gem and Loud Roar Productions short doc), The Hurt That Binds Us (Voices With Impact short doc; won best documentary at the Ryerson University Film Festival), Mni Wiconi: Mitakuyelo (imagineNATIVE and Netflix commissioned short doc), In Search of a Perfect World (CBC Docs POV hosted by Peter Mansbridge, credited as additional director), and The Inconvenient Indian (directed by Michelle Latimer, credited as a production assistant). She currently sits as an Advisory Board member for Art With Impact where she sits on the jury for their monthly film competitions and is a brand ambassador for the Indigenous-led charity called Indspire.

Inconvenient Indian is produced by Jesse Wente and Stuart Henderson of 90th Parallel Films and Justine Pimlott for The National Film Board of Canada and will air on Bell Media’s TMN channel in early 2021.


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