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Our Top 10 Oscar-worthy Nominees

February 12, 2022

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Global Movie Day takes place each year on the second Saturday of February. To celebrate Global Movie Day this year we asked our fellow Thunderbirds to give us their picks for some popular Oscar categories - with a twist!

Have a look at which Indigenous Actress’, Actors, Writers, Producers  and industry game changers we would nominate! 

And the Oscar goes to!


1. Best Actress - Cara Gee

Heritage: Ojibwe 

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.
CaraGeeShe 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)


  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
    Best Canadian Feature Film for Empire of Dirt
  • 2014 American Indian Film Festival
    Best Actress Winner for Empire of Dirt
  • 2018 Whistler Film Festival
    Winner for Rising Star
  • 2018 Whistler Film Festival
    Winner for Red Rover & Trouble in the Garden


You can watch The Expanse, Empire of Dirt, Red Rover, and Strange Empire all on Amazon Prime


2. Best Actor - Temuera Morrison

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.
TemMHe 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)


  • 1994 Film Award Winner 
    Best Performance in a Dramatic Role for Once We Were Warriors
  • 1999 Film Award Winner 
    Best Actor for What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
  • 2017 BTVA  
    People's Choice Voice Acting Award Winner for Moana


  •  Star Wars, Moana:  Disney+
  • Aquaman: Netflix 
  • Once Were Warriors is available for purchase through  Google Play, ITunes, and Amazon Instant Video


3. Best Director - Loretta Todd

Heritage: Cree/Metis
: 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.
Loretta toddMs. 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)


  • American Indian Film Festival 2020
    Winner for Best Director
  • American Indian Film Festival 2020
    Winner for Best Film
  • American Indian Film Festival 2013
    Winner for Best Live Short Subject
  • Women in Film and Television Vancouver’s Spotlight Awards 2018
    Winner for their  Innovation Award


  • Monkey Beach: Crave 
  • Forgotten Warriors: Watch here


4. Best Screenplay - Jojo Rabbit

jojoWriter (& Director): Taika Waititi

Year: 2019

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

  • Oscars 2020 Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • BAFTA 2020 Winner for Best Screenplay
  • Hollywood Critics Association 2020 Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2019 Winner for Grolsch People’s Choice Award


  • Prime Video 


5. Best Short - The Mountain of SGaana

mountainsgaanaDirector: Christopher Auchter

Year: 2017 

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



6. Best Cinematography - The Grizzlies

GrizzliesCinematography: Jim Denault

Director: Miranda de Pencier

Year: 2018

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.


  • 2018 Directors Guild of Canada Winner for feature film
  • 2019 Kingston Canadian Film Festival Winner best feature
  • 2019 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival Winner International competition
  • 2019 Nuuk International Film Festival Winner for Best Feature Film
  • 2018 Toronto International Film Festival Nominee 

StreamingNetflix & Prime Video


7. Best Documentary - Finding Dawn

FindingDawnDirector: Christine Welsh

Year: 2006

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.

Streaming: FindingDawn


8. Best Story - Elder in the Making 

ElderinthemakingDirector: Chris Hsiung

Year: 2015

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.




9. Best Picture - Indian Horse

Indian HorseDirector: Stephen S. Campanelli 

Year: 2017

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.


  • Calgary International Film Festival 2017 Winner for Best Narrative Feature
  • Edmonton International Film Festival 2017 Winner for Audience Choice
  • Leo Awards 2018 Winner for Best Visual Effects in a Motion Picture, Best Documentary, Best Sound in a Motion Picture
  • SOCAN Awards 2020 Achievement in Feature Film Music

Streaming: Netflix & Amazon Prime


10. Special Achievement - Taika Waititi

TaikaHeritage: 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) 


  • Oscar 2020 Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • BAFTA 2020 Winner for Best Screenplay
  • AACTA International Awards 2020 Winner for Best Screenplay
  • Hollywood Critics Association 2020 Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • Aspen Filmfest 2019 Special Mention
  • ImagineNative Film & Media Art Festival 2010 Winner for Best Dramatic Feature
  • Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016 Winner for Best Narrative Feature 
  • CinEuphoria Awards 2021 Winner for Best Film - International Competition, Best Ensemble - International Competition, Top Ten of the Year - International Competition, 
  • Sundance Film Festival 2005 Winner for Short Filmmaking Award
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2019 Winner for Grolsch People’s Choice Award and TIFF Ebert Director Award


  • Thor Ragnarok, Free Guy: Disney +
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Netflix, Prime Video, and Crave
  • Jojo Rabbit, What We Do in the Shadows: Prime Video

February 12, 2022

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