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The Book of Negroes

Director Clement Virgo
Year 2015
Run Time 265min
Genre Drama

This CBC mini-series is based on the internationally celebrated novel by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. A compelling tale of loss, courage, love and the triumph of the human spirit, it follows the extraordinary journey of Aminata Diallo (Ellis), an indomitable African woman.

In 1750, 11-year-old Aminata is kidnapped from her village in West Africa and begins a rich journey that takes her through the harrowing ordeal of slavery, to the turmoil of the American Revolution and ultimately to freedom in the British colony of Nova Scotia. Brilliant and determined, Aminata is a remarkable heroine whose unshakeable connection to her own African heritage guides her over unimaginable obstacles in her quest for freedom and ultimately allows her to assume the mantle of leadership for which she is destined.

Deeply moving and inspiring, The Book of Negroes explores painful historical realities through the unblinking eyes of a strong female protagonist whose story will stay with you long after the telling.

Director

Clement Virgo

Virgo rose to prominence with his first feature, Rude, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered two Genie nominations. He has also directed the films Poor Boy’s Game and Lie With Me, and hit TV shows such as The Wire, Regenesis and The Listener. He recently produced the show Greenleaf and directed episodes of Empire and Billions. His most recent film, Brother, premiered at TIFF 2022. 

Writers

Lawrence Hill, Clement Virgo

Cast

Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Cuba Gooding, Jr, Ben Chaplin, Allan Hawco

Producers

Damon D'Oliveira, Clement Virgo

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

The Skin We’re In

Director Charles Officer
Year 2017
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

An urgent exploration of race relations, this documentary from acclaimed director Charles Officer follows award-winning journalist and activist Desmond Cole as he pulls back the curtain on racism in Canada, inviting all Canadians to understand the experience of being in his skin. Cole won a National Magazine Award for his impactful and incisive Toronto Life cover story about carding and racial profiling. Now, in Officer’s starkly honest doc, he journeys across North America, exploring what it’s really like to be Black in the 21st century.

“Cole’s journey is not just toward discovery, but toward the unveiling of a desperate, hidden truth: the truth about the skin he’s in. And the Canada we thought we knew.” – CBC.ca 

Director

Charles Officer

Actor, writer and filmmaker Officer’s first feature, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, was nominated for 10 Genies, winning one. Officer also directed the docs Mighty Jerome, The Skin We’re In, Unarmed Verses, and Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, as well as the feature Akilla’s Escape, which won five CSAs. He has recently directed episodes of Coroner, and executive produced and co-directed The Porter. He’s also the executive producer of the upcoming docs The Art of Dance and Emmanuel.

Cast

Desmond Cole

Producer

Stuart Henderson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

The Secret Path

Director Gord Downie
Year 2016
Run Time 60min
Genre Drama

Gord Downie began Secret Path as ten poems incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve year-old boy who died fifty years ago on October 22, 1966, while fleeing from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, and attempting to walk home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Gord discovered the story of Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by his brother Mike, who introduced him to Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story from February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.” This project is an album, an accompanying graphic novel, and also an animated film. 

Director

Gord Downie

Writers

Gord Downie, Mike Downie

Producers

Gord Downie, Jeff Lemire, Justin Stephenson

Genre

Drama

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

The Arrow

Year 1997
Run Time 180min
Genre Drama

Based on the true story of how Canada built — and then destroyed — the world’s most advanced fighter plane at the height of the Cold War, this gripping and critically acclaimed miniseries follows the Avro team under the leadership of charismatic president Crawford Gordon (Aykroyd), as they race to build the supersonic jet. Unfortunately, conflicting political agendas and pressure from the US ultimately unravel their dream, and the program is cancelled in 1959. Though the record-breaking Arrow itself does not survive, its creation remains a high benchmark in Canadian and international aerospace achievement.

The Arrow won nine awards, including six Geminis. Please note the long running time of this film.

 

The Arrow was originally aired as a miniseries and can be watched as a film or in two parts. 

Directors

Genre

Drama

Interest

History

Original Language

English

Canada: A People’s History

Year 2000
Run Time 150min
Genre Documentary

Dramatic and gripping, this popular series illustrates pivotal moments in Canada’s history, bringing a compelling intimacy to grand, historic developments. From the stories passed down through oral tradition to the first encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, through the battles that engulfed the continent and the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, to the modern era of feminism, multiculturalism and globalization, this captivating series brings to life the moments that have shaped our nation, telling Canada’s story through the eyes of the people who lived it.

Canada: A People’s History won the Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series and attracted over 14 million viewers. It is a collaborative production between the CBC and Radio-Canada and is available in both English and French.

Students can explore Canadian history further by delving into the series’ award-winning website (www.cbc.ca/history), which features behind-the-scenes footage, games, puzzles, lesson plans and links to other historical resources.

Each 105 minute episode is made up of several 10-to-15-minute segments, which can be shown independently. For a more detailed breakdown of the topics covered in each episode, please see www.cbc.ca/history.

 

SERIES 1: 15,000 B.C. to 1800 A.D. For centuries, the territory now known as Canada is home to over 50 Indigenous nations, each with unique traditions and culture. In the 16th century, European explorers arrive, creating Canada’s first colonies, and forever changing the landscape and the lives of the First Peoples.

SERIES 2: 1670 to 1873 By the 1800s, British exploration opens the West to settlement, laying the foundation of a new nation, but also displacing and devastating Indigenous inhabitants. Confederation soon follows, with the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

SERIES 3: 1873 to 1940 Canada’s early years are fraught with economic depression, rebellions and tension between English- and French-speaking Canadians. Immigration, rapid growth and sociopolitical change follow, ending abruptly with World War II, a pivotal moment in Canada’s quest for autonomy that comes at the enormous cost of 60,000 lives.

SERIES 4: 1940 to 1990 The end of the Great Depression and the flames and ravages of World War II give way to a new era of peace, progress and prosperity, as well as free trade, globalization, feminism, Indigenous land claims, multiculturalism, Québec nationalism and the explosion of computer technology.

Directors

Writers

Hubert Gendron, Mark Starowicz, Gene Allen

Producer

Mark Starowicz

Genre

Documentary

Interests

History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, French

  • Own Voice

Future History

Directors Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)
Year 2018
Run Time 546min
Genre Documentary
In this incredible APTN docuseries, artist and activist Sarain Fox teams up with archeologist Kris Nahrgang to travel across the country to discover various ways that Indigenous peoples are shaping the future. Through conversations with artists, activists, community leaders and more, the series covers a wide range of themes including Indigenous identity, culture, land rights and intergenerational trauma.

Beautifully shot and packed with powerful interviews, Future History celebrates and explores diverse Indigenous perspectives to create a deeper understanding of our shared history as well as a positive path forward. It is a journey that can’t be missed.

Each 21-minute episode can be viewed independently, or you can watch it as a complete series. Contact us for specific programming recommendations.

Directors

Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis)

Podemski is an award-winning film and television producer and actor. She produced and starred in Empire of Dirt, is the creator and producer of APTN’s The Other Side, and most recently produced and directed the series Unsettled.

Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)

Innuksuk is a director, writer, producer, and VR creator. She co-created the Inuk character Snowguard with Marvel and has written several short films and documentaries. Her first feature was Slash/Back, released in 2022.

Writer

Tamara Podemski (Anishinaabe)

Cast

Kris Nahrgang (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe), Sarain Fox (Anishinaabe)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

Trickster

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2020
Run Time 264min
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Jared (Oulette), a teenaged drug dealer in Kitimat, BC, finds his life upended by a series of preternatural events that expose the magical undercurrent both in his community and in his own family. When a mysterious stranger (Queypo) comes into town looking for his mother (Lightning, in a CSA-winning performance), Jared is forced to come to terms with his own powers in order to save the people he loves.

Based on the critically-acclaimed novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson (Haisla/Heiltsuk) and steeped in Haisla mythology, Trickster was named by Playback as the top scripted series of 2020 and received 11 CSA nominations, winning three.

Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Crystle Lightning (Cree), Joel Oulette (Cree/Métis), Kalani Queypo (Blackfoot), Anna Lambe (Inuk)

Genres

Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Literary Adaptation, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

Rise: The Urban Rez

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

Winnipeg is home to the largest urban Indigenous population in the country, with a high percentage living in a low-income neighbourhood with the highest crime rate in the city. In the face of a staggering number of cases of missing Indigenous women and girls, the community has decided to take a stand, working on an individual level to support, protect and improve the lives of its residents.

Hosted by Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot, Dene) this documentary shows the brave fighters who have dedicated themselves to the cause and delves into the underlying factors and intergenerational trauma that has allowed this environment to develop in the first place.

Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe), Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

Rise: Red Power – Standing Rock Part 2

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary series from VICELAND gives viewers a rare glimpse into the frontline of Indigenous-led resistance, examining Indigenous life through the stories of people in diverse communities who are working to protect their homelands. Several episodes of this urgent and timely show debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and were hailed as “persuasive and poignant” by The New York Times.

Red Power: Standing Rock Part 2 As the #noDAPL movement grows in size and reaches a boiling point, over 5,000 people descend on the Standing Rock camp. Using the unprecedented occupation at Standing Rock as its starting point, this episode delves into the evolution of the Red Power Movement, combining history lessons about Indigenous-led resistance with explosive footage of this urgent and historic moment.

Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe), Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

Rise: Sacred Water – Standing Rock Part 1

Director Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)
Year 2017
Run Time 45min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary series from VICELAND gives viewers a rare glimpse into the frontline of Indigenous-led resistance, examining Indigenous life through the stories of people in diverse communities who are working to protect their homelands. Several episodes of this urgent and timely show debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and were hailed as “persuasive and poignant” by The New York Times.

Sacred Water: Standing Rock Part 1 The residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of South Dakota are fighting to stop a pipeline from being built on their ancestral homeland. In this absorbing account of the events leading up to the protests, Anishinaabe host Sarain Carson-Fox provides context and background, telling the water protectors’ side of the story as the conflict develops right before our eyes.

Director

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin)

A filmmaker and actor, Latimer’s first short, Choke, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her credits include several documentaries and dramatic shorts, such as The Underground and Nuuca. She has directed the television series Rise, Burden of Truth and Trickster.

Cast

Gitz Crazyboy (Blackfoot/Dene), Sarain Carson-Fox (Anishinaabe)

Producer

Jarrett Martineau (nēhiyaw/Dene Sųłiné)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Environment, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Alias Grace

Director Mary Harron
Year 2017
Run Time 267min
Genre Drama
Inspired by true events, Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks (Gadon), a housekeeper who is convicted of the murders of her employers in the mid-1800s. When a psychiatrist, Dr. Jordan (Holcroft), is brought in to make a report on her condition, Grace is given the opportunity to tell her side of the story and plead her innocence. As a high profile case with the general public waiting on the outcome of their sessions, Dr. Jordan attempts increasingly radical procedures, while at the same time slowly developing romantic feelings for Grace. As their relationship reaches a head, new truths come to light and both of their lives are changed forever.

Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s Giller prize-winning novel of the same name, this miniseries has received universal acclaim, earning 5 Canadian Screen Awards including best limited series.

Director

Mary Harron

Harron is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter, and former entertainment critic. She gained recognition for her role in writing and directing several independent films, including writing I Shot Andy Warhol, and co-writing as well as directing American Psycho. Her most recent film, Daliland starring Sir Ben Kingsley, premiered at TIFF 2022.

Writer

Sarah Polley

Cast

Edward Holcroft, Rebeccah Liddiard, Sarah Gadon

Producers

Sarah Polley, D.J. Carson

Genre

Drama

Interests

Biography, Female Filmmaker, History, Literary Adaptation

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

The Porter

Directors Charles Officer, R.T. Thorne
Year 2022
Run Time 45min
Genre Drama
Shining a light on a rarely discussed chapter of Canadian history, The Porter tells the story of Junior (Ameen) and Zeke (Rowe), two railway porters and best friends whose lives diverge following a tragedy. Inspired by the real stories of railway porters following the First World War, and culminating in the establishment of the first Black union in North America, this incredible historical drama is both thrilling and eye-opening.

This acclaimed eight-episode series won a Directors Guild of Canada award for Charles Officer, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
 

Directors

Charles Officer

Actor, writer and filmmaker Officer’s first feature, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, was nominated for 10 Genies, winning one. Officer also directed the docs Mighty Jerome, The Skin We’re In, Unarmed Verses, and Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, as well as the feature Akilla’s Escape, which won five CSAs. He has recently directed episodes of Coroner, and executive produced and co-directed The Porter. He’s also the executive producer of the upcoming docs The Art of Dance and Emmanuel.

Cast

Aml Ameen, Ronnie Rowe, Mouna Traoré, Loren Lott

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English