Featuring: Tantoo Cardinal, Tina Keeper, Gail Maurice, Johnny Issaluk
Language: English/ Ojibwa
Runtime: 98 minutes
We are very sorry to announce that Jesse Wente is not able to attend due to unexpected circumstances — we’ll hope that he can return another time soon! We are working on finding a new moderator for an extended Q+A with Tantoo Cardinal — details announced shortly.
A trailblazer when it comes to indigenous representation on screen, Tantoo Cardinal has been a very welcome presence in movies and television for four decades, starring in everything from TV series like NORTH OF 60 and MOHAWK GIRLS to films like DANCES WITH WOLVES, WIND RIVER and THE GRIZZLIES (also at this year’s KCFF). That’s why it’s so astonishing that this beautifully nuanced debut feature by Darlene Naponse marks the first time the Métis actor has played the leading role. Cardinal is at the top of her form as Mary, a famous musician who inexplicably gives up the spotlight and returns to the northern First Nation she left behind years before. But whatever peace Mary may be hoping to find is inevitably complicated by secrets of the past and troubles in the present. While Cardinal gets great support by fellow performers like Tina Keeper (as Mary’s scrappy sister Betty), there’s no question about who deserves the foreground in Naponse’s enthralling drama.
Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek – Northern Ontario. She was born and raised in her community and now works out of her studio located in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. She is a passionate and pure as an independent artist, writer, film director, and video artist. Darlene remains creative control in all her films and continues to work with dedication to the protection of story, appropriation and respect to imagery, history, and tradition of First Nations people. Her art based video work was installed in various galleries and programs nationally/internationally. She worked with community leaders and elders to write and ratify the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Gchi-Naaknigewin (Constitution). She continues governance and First Nations land/human rights work in her community. She owns Pine Needle Productions an award-winning boutique Film/Video/Audio Recording Production Studio, located in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. Darlene has built a wide range of work. She remains creative control in all her films and continues to work with dedication to the protection of story, appropriation and respect to imagery, history, and tradition of First Nations people. Her work is deeply connected to her community, First Nations realities of the 21st century and Mother Earth. Darlene is honored to listen to stories of sadness, rejoice, hope, rejection, reflection, optimism and an understating of just who we are as Native people living on Mother Earth. As a storyteller, Darlene is in search of imaginative images giving truth through word, film, art and song.