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Saami Films at imagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto

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It's an exciting time in Toronto as imagineNATIVE Film Festival returns to Toronto from October 22 – October 26, 2014. You find more about the program and ticket information here.

Prepare to fill your head and heart with unique, inspiring, Indigenous-themed film and panels.

While of course this film festival is awesome for everyone involved, I wanted to highlight to few Saami focused films playing through the festival. These will be presented in order of date.

**

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:45 p.m.

Ealli Guoddá Joavkkus (Leaving the Herd) 

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Norway • 5 minutes • 2013 Ontario Premiere

Film: Hearing his own calling, a man attempts to leave his group of friends only to get brought back home and punished in this experimental rendition of a Sámi universe in northern Norway.

Directed by: Egil Pedersen

Egil Pedersen (Sami) has been working in film since his teens. A graduate of the Norwegian Film School, he has directed numerous music videos, commercials, corporate and short films while developing feature film scripts. Distributor : Snöfokk Film

***

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Áigin

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Finland/Norway • 10 minutes • 2014

Toronto Premiere

Film: In this animated comedy, a boy finds himself face to face with a merciless group of bandits, but soon he realizes that his toughest opponent just might be his little sister.

Directed by: Jouni West

Born in Utsjoki, Finland, Jouni West (Sami) studied media and film at the Sámi Education Institute and teaches children's workshops in film and animation.

Distributor : Mutant Koala Pictures

***

Friday October 24, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

Olga - To My Friends

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Finland/Sweden/Norway • 2013

Film: In one of the northernmost tips of Russia, where temperatures drop to the negative double digits, Olga is left alone to watch over the rations of the reindeer herders who won't return until spring. She is the only woman in the Reindeer Brigade, an often treacherous life of isolation but the only one she truly knows and wants. Olga – To My Friends is a masterful documentary and a captivating story of a strong and complex woman whose only way of life is threatened as rumours spread that the brigade could shut down.

Directed by: Paul-Anders Simma

Paul-Anders Simma (Sami) was educated at the Swedish Film Institute. His films include Let's Dance! (1991), a humorous story about a Sámi boy going to his first dance, The Minister of State (1997) and The Legacy of the Tundra (1995), which explores the psychological dimensions of reindeer herding, and his celebrated work, Us Our Skeletons! (1999), about Sámi activist Nils Somby.

Distributor : Taskovski Films

***

Friday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m.

Ahpi (Wide As Oceans)

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Sweden • 4 minutes • 2013

North American Premiere

Film: Addressing land exploitation and societal pressures, this musical collaboration between Sofia Jannok and Oskar Òstergren gives memory to Sámi youth who have taken their lives.

Directed by: Oskar Òstergren

Filmmaker Oskar Östergren (Sami) directs and produces both fiction and documentary. He is based in Tärnaby and is the director of Dellie Maa, Sápmi Indigenous Film & Arts Festival in Sweden.

Distributor : Bautafilm

***

Saturday, October 25 @ 12:15 pm

Bonki

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Norway • 19 minutes • 2014

World Premiere

Film: An elderly patient's plea to a young nurse sends her on an unexpected journey that will change both their lives forever.

Directed by: Silja Somby

Silja Somby (Sámi) graduated from Lillehammer University College with a BA in directing. She has directed short films for children for the Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation, as well as educational documentaries. She is also an experienced dubbing director, for animation films into Northern Sámi. She has been creatively managing numerous film workshops for children and youth as well. Somby is also active within film politics and holds board positions in the Sámi Film Association and the North Norwegian Film Centre. She created the programming of the Sámi Film Festival with an extensive focus on indigenous storytelling. Somby is currently writing and developing her first feature film Sáráhkká as well as a TV series for children and several shorts.

Distributor : Norwegian Film Institute

***

Saturday October 25, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

Jorindas Resa (Jorinda's Journey)

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Sweden/Norway/Finland • 16 minutes • 2014

International Premiere

Film: Inspired by Ann-Marie Ljungberg's book Resan till Kautokeino (The Journey to Kautokeino), this captivating film intertwines Butoh and Sámi joik, capturing a young girl's journey through a frozen – and often threatening – landscape.

Directed by: Liselotte Wajstedt

Filmmaker Liselotte Wajstedt (Sami) was born 1973 in Kiruna, Sweden. She has a background in visual arts as well as animation and experimental filmmaking, with special emphasis on documentary storytelling and scriptwriting.

***

Saturday, October 25 at 2:30 p.m.

Várjjatvuotnalaččat (Portraits from Varangerfjord)

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Norway • 13 minutes • 2013

Ontario Premiere

Film: With beautiful cinematography, this touching portrait from Nesseby, Finnmark, shows the strong connections to nature and Sámi traditions held by those who live in the small community.

Directed by: Egil Pedersen

Egil Pedersen (Sami) has been working in film since his teens. A graduate of the Norwegian Film School, he has directed numerous music videos, commercials, corporate and short films while developing feature film scripts.

Distributor : Snöfokk Film

***

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.

8 seasons

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Sweden • 43 minutes • 2014

Canadian Premiere

Film: Through the backdrop of endlessly shifting seasons, eight Sámi artists discuss their relationship to their practice, land and nature while revealing glimpses into Sámi culture, past and present. This stunning film uses the eight-season Sámi calendar as the framework to explore the land, culture and climates of Sápmi and takes viewers on an unforgettable journey to a deeply Indigenous landscape. 8 Seasons is a feast for the senses and the soul.

Directed by: Oskar Òstergren

Filmmaker Oskar Östergren (Sami) directs and produces both fiction and documentary. He is based in Tärnaby and is the director of Dellie Maa, Sápmi Indigenous Film & Arts Festival in Sweden.

Distributor : Bautafilm

***

Sunday, October 26 at 11:00 a.m.

Sumé - Mumisitsinerup Nipaa (The Sound of a Revolution)

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Greenland • 73 minutes • 2014

International Premiere

Film: As one of the most captivating – and rarely visited – nations on Earth, Greenland's history is not widely known. Perhaps less known – at least to those outside its stunning borders – is the rock band Sumé and their remarkable impact on the formation of contemporary Greenlandic identity. As the first band to record in the Greenlandic language, the Indigenous group recorded three albums in the early 1970s filled with political anthems that stirred the spirit and pride of their fellow Greenlanders. Their songs were a rallying cry against two and a half centuries of Danish colonization and remain a source of pride for Greenlanders today. Sumé is an entertaining, enlightening documentary that explores the power of language and song in shaping the destiny of an ancient nation.

Directed by: Inuk Sils Høegh

Inuk Silis Hoegh (Inuk) is a film director and artist born in Qaqortoq, Greenland. He received his Master of Fine Arts at the Royal Danish School of Visual Arts and a Mater of Arts in Film and TV Production at the University of Bristol. As an artist, he has had numerous exhibitions in Greenland, Denmark and internationally.

Distributor : Emile Peronard

***

Closing Night Sunday October 26, 2014

Bihttoš (rebel) at 6:30 p.m.

TIFF Bell Lightbox -- 350 King St W, Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Canada • 12 minutes • 2014

World Premiere

Film: Bihttoš is an unconventional documentary that explores the complex relationship between a father and daughter. Through animation, re-enactments, and archival photos, writer/director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers delves into the dissolution of her parents' mythic love story and how it has colored her perception of love in her adult life.

Directed by: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sami) is an emerging filmmaker, actor, and writer. Her films have screened at numerous international festivals including imagineNATIVE and the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2012, her short film A Red Girl's Reasoning won the Best Canadian Short Drama at imagineNATIVE. In 2013, she was selected for the Indigenous Film Fellowship by the International Sámi Film Centre in Norway to develop her first feature-length screenplay. She is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Distributor : imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 

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