• Own Voice

Treading Water: Plight of the Manitoba First Nation Flood Evacuees

Directors Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)
Year 2014
Run Time 60min
Genre Documentary

In 2011, close to 4000 First Nation people in Manitoba were forced from their homes after artificially diverted floodwater swamped their communities to save the city of Winnipeg. Most of the evacuees, the majority from Lake St. Martin and Little Saskatchewan First Nations, checked into Winnipeg hotels, assuming they would return to their homes within a couple of weeks. Shockingly, nearly 7 years later over 1700 evacuees remain displaced and continue to be stranded in a political firestorm between First Nation band councils, the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters, hotel owners and the federal and provincial governments. The displacement has triggered a rise in substance abuse and suicide rates. Plans for getting people home seem to be at a standstill. Interspersing intimate clips of everyday life with footage of heated political debates, this deeply intimate documentary tells the unexpected story of the real people behind the national headlines of the 2011 Manitoba flood.

Directors

Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)

Writers

Janelle Wookey (Métis), Jérémie Wookey (Métis)

Producer

Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

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

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Canadian Distributor

APTN

Où est Maurice?

Directors Matthew Rankin, Alek Rzeszowski
Year 2006
Run Time 5min
Genre Comedy
A woman searches for her lost dog and instead finds a Parisan man eager to take its place. 

Directors

Matthew Rankin, Alek Rzeszowski

Writer

Eve Majzels

Cast

Eve Majzels, Alek Rzeszowski

Genre

Comedy

Interests

Arts and Culture, Global Experiences

Original Languages

English, French

  • Own Voice

Mémére Métisse

Director Janelle Wookey (Métis)
Year 2008
Run Time 30min
Genre Documentary
A young filmmaker explores her family's past as she schemes to convince her grandmother to accept her Métis heritage. Wookey's mischievous persistence uncovers a legacy of shame and the profound courage needed to overcome it. 

Director

Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Writer

Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Cast

Cecile St. Amant, Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Producer

Janelle Wookey (Métis)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Languages

English, French

Canadian Distributor

Winnipeg Film Group

Vinyl

Director Alan Zweig
Year 2000
Run Time 110min
Genre Documentary
Alan Zweig’s cult favourite documentary mines the comedy and tragedy of obsessive record collecting, assembling an all-star lineup of audiophiles, store clerks, DJs, Elvis fanatics and hot jazz enthusiasts. A hard-core collector himself, Zweig uses mirror confessionals to excoriate his anti-social compulsion, while approaching his interview subjects with open-hearted compassion.

With this film, Zweig established his voice as a documentarian who is not content to be merely a fly on the wall in the lives of his subjects. Instead, he deploys the camera as a tool for engagement, rooting around in the margins of contemporary society to explore themes of beauty, addiction, love and longing in a profound and unique way.

Director

Alan Zweig

Writer

Alan Zweig

Cast

Alan Zweig, Harvey Pekar, Alan Williams, Don McKellar

Producers

Alan Zweig, Greg Klymkiw, Bruce McDonald, David McCallum

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

The Asylum

My Winnipeg

Director Guy Maddin
Year 2007
Run Time 80min
Genre Comedy, Documentary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
The geographical centre of North America and the birthplace of director Guy Maddin, Winnipeg is the frosty and mysterious star of this (self-described) “docu-fantasia.” A hypnotic love letter to his hometown, My Winnipeg is equal parts historical chronicle and personal portrait, seamlessly weaving real facts with wild fiction.

What is real and what is fantasy is left up to the viewer to sort out, but don’t be fooled by Maddin’s fantastical approach — some of the most shocking stories in My Winnipeg are the true ones! Shot in Maddin’s signature black-and-white style and narrated by the director, the film is funny, touching and mesmerizing.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching a Guy Maddin film, this delightfully strange ode to a surprisingly fascinating Canadian city is a great place to start.

My Winnipeg won the Toronto International Film Festival’s award for Best Canadian Feature and the Toronto Film Critics’ Association Award for Best Canadian Film.

Director

Guy Maddin

Writers

Guy Maddin, George Toles

Cast

Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin

Producers

Michael Burns, Phyllis Laing, Guy Maddin, Jody Shapiro

Genres

Comedy, Documentary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

eOne

  • Own Voice

Lost Moccasin

Director Roger Boyer
Year 2018
Run Time 11min
Genre Documentary

Bradford Bilodeau tells the story of how he reconnected with his birth family after being raised apart from them due to his forced adoption in the Sixties Scoop.

Director

Roger Boyer

Writer

Roger Boyer

Cast

Bradford Bilodeau

Producer

Darcy Waite (Cree)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Manborg

Director Steven Kostanski
Year 2011
Run Time 60min
Genre Comedy

In a dystopian future, the evil Count Draculon (Brooks) has taken over the world with his horde of vampire demons. The fate of the universe rests on the shoulders of a single soldier, brought back to life as MANBORG (Kennedy), the man-machine hybrid that the world has been waiting for. Together with his gang of misfit resistance fighters from Mega-Death City, Manborg sets out for his ultimate battle, facing impossible odds and near-certain death.

A hilarious sci-fi parody, Steven Kostanski’s debut feature was an instant classic and remains a goofy epic for the ages.

Director

Steven Kostanski

Writers

Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Producer

Steven Kostanski

Genre

Comedy

Interest

Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Raven Banner Entertainment

The Saddest Music in the World

Director Guy Maddin
Year 2003
Run Time 100min
Genre Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

When Winnipeg is named the ”saddest city in the world” for the fourth year running, Baroness Port-Huntley (Rossellini) concocts an elaborate scheme to promote her beer by advertising a contest to find the saddest music in the world.

With a $25,000 prize up for grabs, composers from all over the world are soon pouring into Winnipeg to play her their woeful tunes. Things get even more interesting when her own former lover, Broadway producer Chester Kent (McKinney) enters the competition.

Realized in Guy Maddin’s signature black-and-white style that imitates the look of ’20s and ’30s cinema, this delightfully quirky film is a triumph of the imagination. A cross between a silent film and a Hollywood musical, The Saddest Music in the World is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!

Director

Guy Maddin

Writers

Kazuo Ishiguro, George Toles, Guy Maddin

Cast

Isabella Rossellini, Mark McKinney, Maria de Medeiros, David Fox

Producers

Atom Egoyan, Niv Fichman, Daniel Iron, Jody Shapiro

Genres

Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

Arts and Culture, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN Subtitles, FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

TVA Films

One Week

Director Michael McGowan
Year 2008
Run Time 94min
Genre Drama
Ben Tyler (Jackson) is a young guy with a comfortable life, a good job as an English teacher and a sensible fiancée, Samantha (Balaban). When his doctor unexpectedly tells him he has cancer and “maybe two years, maybe one week” to live, Ben’s only chance is to start treatment immediately. Instead, he decides to buy a motorcycle and head out west.

A classic road trip movie featuring lots of Canadian icons (like Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip), One Week follows Ben’s journey from Toronto to Tofino. Along the way, Ben makes new friends and re-evaluates his life, his job and his upcoming marriage. As his fiancée and family back home struggle to understand his decision, Ben rediscovers himself, reawakens his old passion for writing and ultimately learns to appreciate life.

Director

Michael McGowan

McGowan made his film debut as a writer, director and producer with My Dog Vincent, and directed Saint Ralph, One Week, Score: A Hockey Musical and Still Mine, which was named by TIFF as one of Canada’s Top 10 films in 2012. He recently directed TV shows Reign and Between and wrote the film The Etruscan Smile. His most recent film, All My Puny Sorrows, premiered at TIFF 2021.

Writer

Michael McGowan

Cast

Joshua Jackson, Liane Balaban, Campbell Scott, Fiona Reid

Producers

Nicholas de Pencier, Jane Tattersall, Michael McGowan

Genre

Drama

Interests

ESL, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

Canadian Distributor

Mongrel Media

The Snow Walker

Director Charles Martin Smith
Year 2003
Run Time 110min
Genre Drama
When Arctic bush pilot Charlie Halliday (Pepper) is given two rare walrus tusks by a group of Inuit, he agrees to fly a mission of mercy, transporting a sick girl (Piugattuk) to a hospital. It’s the early 1950s, and the brash pilot has flown through the Arctic for years without seriously thinking about the people who live there or how they survive.

Everything changes when Charlie’s plane goes down in the wilderness, leaving him alone with the young girl. Forced to rely on each other, the two form a bond of friendship as the summer months quickly end and winter’s harsh conditions begin to take hold. Based on a story by acclaimed Canadian author Farley Mowat, this is a beautifully rendered tale, set in the gorgeous but desolate Arctic. Director Smith played a key role in an earlier Mowat adaptation, Never Cry Wolf.

The Snow Walker is a powerful, poignant and transcendent film.” — Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies

Director

Charles Martin Smith

Actor/director Smith is known for roles in the 1973 classic American Graffiti and The Untouchables. He has directed episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Da Vinci’s Inquest, and his films include Stone of Destiny and Dolphin Tale. He directed A Dog’s Way Home, and most recently A Christmas Gift From Bob. He is currently completing the film Maybe This Time.

Writer

Charles Martin Smith

Cast

Barry Pepper, Annabella Piugattuk, James Cromwell

Producers

Rob Merilees, William Vince

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, ESL, Literary Adaptation, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

eOne