INDIGENOUS FILM PROGRAM WAPIKONI, CINEMA ON WHEELS
LAUNCHES CROSS-CANADA TOUR AT VIFF
On April 23, Vancouver will be the starting point for the pan-Canadian tour of Indigenous short films: Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels. To celebrate this new adventure, Wapikoni Mobile, who’s been active since 2004 and is a cultural staple in Quebec, partners up with the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) to present a special selection of 13 short films directed by young Indigenous filmmakers who have participated in Wapikoni mobile’s creative workshops. The choice of these works, with their unique stories, is aimed at discovering dynamic Indigenous voices and incredible talents coming straight from the communities.
The launch will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre and members of Wapikoni mobile will be present to do a Q&A. Prior to the screening, the caravan will be parked across the street for a meet-and-greet with the public and the press.
“We believe in the power of film to affect change. That’s why a program like Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels is so important. It helps amplify the voices of these emerging Indigenous creators,” says Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director of VIFF. “We believe in supporting the talent that exists here in Canada and are always on the lookout for good stories and innovative ways of creating them. We are honoured to partner with Wapikoni in sharing the often unheard stories created by Indigenous youth across Canada.”
After its stopover at VIFF, Cinema on Wheels will continue to tour B.C. until mid-May before leaving for Alberta on its pan-Canadian tour that will end in Eastern Canada in November 2017.
Cinema on Wheels is part of “Wapikoni From Coast to Coast: Reconciliation Through the Media Arts”, a project supported by the Government of Canada and under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.
On top of Cinema on Wheels, for the first time in 12 years of operation, Wapikoni mobile will also undertake a second tour, a nation-wide Audiovisual Creation Workshop Tour, to reach out and give a voice to Indigenous youth across Canada. With new partnerships and a new mobile studio, Wapikoni will set up 16 audiovisual and 4 musical workshops lasting one month each, in 20 Indigenous communities in 8 provinces. At the end of each workshop, a community screening is organized allowing the youth to present their films to friends, family members, teachers and council members. These workshops will also be an important opportunity for Indigenous youth from the East to meet and share experiences with their peers from the West.
Wapikoni’s First Nations Travelling Audiovisual and Creation Studio Demo:
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About Wapikoni mobile
For over 12 years, Wapikoni Mobile has been travelling to remote Indigenous communities, mainly in Quebec and Latin America, offering support, empowering activities and providing platforms of expression for Indigenous youth. With its unique studios on wheels and state-of-the-art equipment, Wapikoni’s audiovisual and musical workshops offer participants resources and mentorship that are seldom available or accessible in their communities. Since 2004, over 4,000 Indigenous youth from 30 communities and 10 nations have participated in the creative process of 950 short films.
Beyond creation and intervention, Wapikoni’s mandate is also about building bridges, fighting racism and prejudice against Indigenous peoples. Wapikoni thus helps participants present and screen their works in over 200 public events in Canada and all over the world, raising awareness about contemporary issues and Indigenous rights. These activities contribute to break the isolation and the barriers that often exist between cultures, with mobilizing and positive effects and by celebrating Indigenous creativity and cultures. Since 2004, a new generation of Indigenous youth and artists has emerged, taking pride in sharing their views, cultures, and languages with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous publics.
With the financial support of the government of Canada, Wapikoni mobile will undertake a nation-wide project in 2017, based on Reconciliation, in a hope to reach out to Indigenous youth across Canada, and to build positive bridges between Indigenous peoples and Canadians of all origins.
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