As part of Screen’s focus on indigenous film, we profile the hot projects from Greenland, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Australia.
- Dir. Pipaluk K Jorgensen
This first feature film from Greenland directed by a female filmmaker is a tragic love story inspired by Greenlandic myths. The modern drama is set in Greenland and New York. Greenlandic singer and actress Nukaaka Coster-Waldau (the wife of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) leads the cast playing a woman whose boyfriend falls into a coma. The film is finishing post-production now.
Blood Quantum (Can) - Jeff Barnaby
Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, whose credits include Rhymes For Young Ghouls, is now at the casting stage for his new genre film Blood Quantum. John Christou produces for Montreal-based Prospector Films. The story is about Native inhabitants of the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow being immune to a zombie plague raging outside. A local tribal law enforcement officer, armed with a samurai sword, tries to protect his loved ones from hordes of walking corpses.
The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open (Can) - Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn
Norwegian Sami and Canadian Black- foot filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers — who is the recipient of this year’s Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship — co-writes and co-directs with Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still). The film is currently in production and the filmmakers are working to mentor indigenous youth on the Vancouver set. The story is about the chance encounter between two indigenous women with drastically different life experiences, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse. Tailfeathers is also finishing a feature doc about the opiate crisis in her home community of Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve).
The Edge Of The Knife (Can) - Helen Haig-Brown, Gwaai Edenshaw
This film marks the first feature shot entirely in the Haida language, set on the remote islands of Haida Gwaii, off the west coast of British Columbia. The 1800s-set story is about two extended families in conflict. One man’s grief causes him to descend into madness and transform into a supernatural being. The film is currently in post-production, with backers including Telefilm Canada. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inconvenient Indian (Can) - Michelle Latimer
This feature documentary is inspired by the best-selling book, of the same title, written by leading indigenous Canadian intellectual and storyteller Thomas King. The film follows King’s voice on a journey through time illuminating his “curious account of Native People in North America”. The film is produced by 90th Parallel Pictures in co-production with NFB and support from Bell Media/ HBO Canada. Director Michelle Latimer is a Métis/Algonquin actor and filmmaker whose credits include the award-winning shorts The Underground and Choke.
Merata: How Mum Decolonized The Screen (NZ) - Hepi Mita
Chelsea Winstanley (What We Do In The Shadows) and actor Cliff Curtis produce this documentary about Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, who was the first indigenous woman to write and direct a feature film, Mauri, in 1988. Mita, who died in 2010, was also an activist, a socialist, a mentor and a mother (including to director Hepi Mita). The film is now in post.
My Father Is A Danish Caveman (Nor) - Egil Pedersen
A 12-year-old Sami girl is told her mother was impregnated at a fertility clinic with sperm from an anonymous donor. But then a Sami man shows up claiming to be her father, making her question her identity. This comedy-drama is currently in development (for a 2019 shoot) with funding from the International Sami Film Institute as well as the Norwegian Film Institute and Filmfond Nord.
Top End Wedding (Aus) - Wayne Blair
The Sapphires director Wayne Blair and star Miranda Tapsell reunite for this comedy, which Tapsell co-wrote with Joshua Tyler (Plonk). The story follows a couple who have to find the bride’s mother before they can pull off their dream wedding. Screen Australia is backing the Goalpost Pictures Australia production, which eOne will dis- tribute in Australia and New Zealand. The film is in pre-production.
Vai (NZ) - various
Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton, producers of lauded Toronto 2017 title Waru, are planning another portmanteau film. This one will be the story of one woman’s lifetime, told from the perspectives of eight different Pacific Island writer/directors and filmed on eight different islands, including New Zealand. Shooting begins in July. Contact: email@example.com