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February 12, 2022
About: Cara Gee is a Canadian film, television, and stage actress.
Gee was primarily known as a stage actress in Toronto, Ontario, where her acting credits included productions of Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, Daniel MacIvor's Arigato, Tokyo, Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters, Cliff Cardinal's Stitch, Birdtown and Swanville's 36 Little Plays About Hopeless Girls and Louise Dupré's Tout Comme Elle.
She made her feature film debut in Empire of Dirt for which she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. The film also won a Special Jury award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and Cara won Best Actress at the American Indian Film Festival. In 2013, Gee was named one of TIFF's annual Rising Stars.
As of 2016, Gee stars in the 33-episode web series Inhuman Condition, which airs on the KindaTV YouTube channel. In 2017 she began to star in the recurring role of Camina Drummer on the Amazon television series The Expanse.
Gee was born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in Bobcaygeon, Ontario.
Known For: The Expanse (2017-2022), Empire of Dirt (2013), Red Rover (2018), Strange Empire (2014-2015)
You can watch The Expanse, Empire of Dirt, Red Rover, and Strange Empire all on Amazon Prime
Heritage: Maori & Settler
About: After training in drama under the New Zealand Special Performing Arts Training Scheme. One of Temuera Morrison's earliest starring roles was in the 1988 film Never Say Die, opposite Lisa Eilbacher.
He has gained attention for his role as the bounty hunter Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002). Part of the film's plot involves an army of clones created with Jango's DNA; Morrison also provided the voice acting for the clones. He reappeared as a number of clones in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and re-recorded the lines of the character Boba Fett (Jango's "son") and another clone in the 2004 DVD re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy, replacing the voice of Jason Wingreen.
Most recently, he became known for voicing Chief Tui, the father of the title character in Disney's Moana (2016). Morrison is currently playing Aquaman's father in the Warner Bros. Feature Aquaman 1 & 2.
Known For: Once Were Warriors (1994), Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002), Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Moana (2016), Aquaman (2018)
About: Loretta Sarah Todd is a visionary leader in Indigenous media, an artist with entrepreneurial energy and cultural knowledge. Ms. Todd creates space for Indigenous production and storytelling, including the IM4 Media Lab, an Indigenous XR Lab, where she is the Creative Director.
Ms. Todd is a director of over 100 projects including award-winning documentaries, and she's created apps, digital media, games and animation. Monkey Beach, her first feature, from the novel by Eden Robinson, launched to strong audience and critical response, screening at TIFF, ImagineNative, opening VIFF, sweeping the drama awards at the American Indian Film Festival, was honoured with 4 awards at Red Nation Festival and was the #1 Canadian film at the box office for 4 weeks.
Her many honours include a Rockefeller Fellowship to NYU, Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab, Mayor's Award for Media Arts (Vancouver), Women in Film and Video Innovator Award and Women of Excellence: United Nation's Women's Economic Forum.
“A central figure in what might be considered the second wave of aboriginal directors, Todd brings insight, discipline, resistance to sentimentality and a sense of adventurousness to her non-fiction films” (Source)
Known For: Monkey Beach (2020) & Forgotten Warriors (1997)
Writer (& Director): Taika Waititi
Synopsis: A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism
49 Wins and 193 nominations
Director: Christopher Auchter
Synopsis: In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable
“Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences - Ages 6-12” - Albert Ohayon from the Ottawa International Animation Festival Award Winners
Cinematography: Jim Denault
Director: Miranda de Pencier
Synopsis: The Grizzlies is an inspiring true story based on a group of Inuit students in the small Arctic town of Kugluktuk. Suffering from widespread drug use, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world, this northern community is periled by the legacy of colonialism. The students are naturally skeptical when Russ Sheppard, yet another ignorant and unprepared white rookie teacher, arrives from the South on a one-year teaching contract. With much to learn, but deeply shaken by the death of one of his students, Russ introduces his class to the sport of lacrosse in an effort to help lift the dangerous fog of trauma existing in his students. While initially resistant, the students gradually come together to embrace the sport, form Team Grizzlies, and find inspiration to make shifts in their own lives. Together with Russ, the team gains the support of a deeply divided town and eventually negotiates its way to the National Lacrosse Championships in Toronto. Despite their ultimate defeat, The Grizzlies discover that success doesn't lie in the outcome of a lacrosse game; but instead, in the spirit of community.
Streaming: Netflix & Prime Video
Director: Christine Welsh
Synopsis: Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
Director: Chris Hsiung
Synopsis: Two young urban dwellers, one a Blackfoot aboriginal named Cowboy and the other a Chinese- Canadian newcomer named Chris, embark on a spiritual journey across traditional Blackfoot territory. Through thousands of years of ancient history guided by the wisdom of modern day elders, they find the beginnings of the long road to reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
“Elder in the Making” is a feature documentary inviting all residents of North America to explore the tragic and hopeful history of their home. Through the journey of two unlikely travel companions, this film uncovers our responsibility as stewards of the land and of the generations yet to come.
Director: Stephen S. Campanelli
Fun Fact: Animikii (that's us!) designed the Movie poster, Website & Promotional Material
Adult Saul: Ajuawak Kapashesit, Anishinaabe and Cree
Young Saul: Sladen Peltier, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Reserve located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
Synopsis: In the late 1950’s Ontario, eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway family and committed to one of the notorious Catholic Residential Schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Indigenous heritage while he witnesses horrendous abuse at the hands of the very people entrusted with his care. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and favourite winter pastime -- hockey. Fascinated by the game, he secretly teaches himself to play, developing a unique and rare skill. He seems to see the game in a way no other player can.
His talent leads him away from the misery of the school, eventually leading him to the Pros. But the ghosts of Saul’s past are always present, and threaten to derail his promising career and future. Forced to confront his painful past, Saul draws on the spirit of his ancestors and the understanding of his friends to begin the process of healing.
Streaming: Netflix & Amazon Prime
Heritage: Maori, Ashkenazi Jew, & Settler
About: Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, hails from the Raukokore region of the East Coast of New Zealand, and is the son of Robin (Cohen), a teacher, and Taika Waititi, an artist and farmer. His father is Maori (Te-Whanau-a-Apanui), and his mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish, Irish, Scottish, and English descent. Taika has been involved in the film industry for several years, initially as an actor, and now focusing on writing and directing.
Two Cars, One Night is Taika's first professional film-making effort and since its completion in 2003 he has finished another short "Tama Tu" about a group of Maori Soldiers in Italy during World War 2. As a performer and comedian, Taika has been involved in some of the most innovative and successful original productions seen in New Zealand. He regularly does stand-up gigs in and around the country and in 2004 launched his solo production, "Taika's Incredible Show". In 2005 he staged the sequel, "Taika's Incrediblerer Show". As an actor, Taika has been critically acclaimed for both his Comedic and Dramatic abilities. In 2000 he was nominated for Best Actor at the Nokia Film Awards for his role in the Sarkies Brother's film "Scarfies".
Taika is also an experienced painter and photographer, having exhibited both mediums in Wellington and Berlin, and a fashion designer. He attended the Sundance Writers Lab with "Choice", a feature loosely based on "Two Cars, One Night".
Known For: Taika Waititi is a New Zealand Actor, Producer, Writer, and Director known for What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Jojo Rabbit (2019), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Night Raiders (2021), Free Guy (2021)
February 12, 2022
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