film festival

Indigenous-directed films among award-winning features coming to Fort McMurray

Apr 01, 2019

Lights, camera, action! From April 4-6, the Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) will bring “A Slice of EIFF” to the Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre in Fort McMurray. Sponsored by Syncrude, the festival highlights films from across the globe, including an opportunity for the community to learn more about Indigenous perspectives and reconciliation.

This year’s feature film is an inspirational documentary titled The Push. Just five months after marrying the love of his life, Grant Korgan burst-fractured his L1 vertebrae while filming a snowmobile segment in the Sierra Nevada backcountry. The Push follows Grant on his journey to recovery and his amazing feat to become the first spinal cord athlete to, literally, push himself nearly 100 miles to one of the most inhospitable places on earth: the South Pole. In addition to The Push, festival attendees will have a chance to view several films directed by Indigenous filmmakers including: 

  • Cree Code Talker; directed by Alexandra Lazarowich. This short film tells the story of Canadian Cree code talker, Charles ‘Checker’ Tompkins, who fought in the Second World War and developed the code talkers communication system which became a vital secret weapon of combat. 
  • Gods Acre; directed by Fort McMurray’s own Kelton Stepanowich, follows an Indigenous Elder living in isolation who is forced to adapt to a constantly changing world. 
  • Turning Tables; a documentary style film directed by Chrisann Hessing, explores the world of Joshua DePerry, a Toronto-based music producer and performer, pioneering “PowWow Techno.”

“Our favorite part of this festival is the beautiful film programs we have created which showcase Indigenous artists and creators,” says Kerrie Long, Festival Producer & Writer. “In our first year, we hope to build relationships with the community and leaders of Fort McMurray and bring new audiences to cinematic storytellers from around the world.” 

The festival kicks-off April 4 with an opening reception, followed by two full days of thought-provoking films. Advance ticket sales for individual films and short film programs are available online at www.keyano.ca Tickets can also be purchased one hour prior to film start time at the box office located at Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre.