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Acimowin Aims to Celebrate and Platform Indigenous Experiences with New Film Festival

By Ezekiel McAdams

June 4th 2024

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  The Acimowin Film Festival, is a new festival that follows on the heels of the first Indigenous film festival of the province, Mispon, that was founded in 2006 and ended in 2016.


  The festival offers eighty films and runs from June fifth to the eighth 2024 in Saskatoon. The films are spread across three different venues, Remai Modern Art Gallery, Roxy Theatre and one final screening at the Broadway Theatre.

The festival's lineup and schedule can be found here.


  Tristin Greyeyes, an independent filmmaker, originally from Saskatoon founded the festival with the intention to both celebrate and provide a platform for the Indigenous community in the province. Greyeyes has a degree in Indigenous film making and a Bachelor degree in Motion Picture Arts from Capilano University. She has previously worked as program manager at the Whistler Film Festival Society and as associate programmer and catalyst programmer at the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society.


 “I saw a need in my community for Indigenous filmmaking, I’m from Saskatchewan area and I had to move all the way to Vancouver just to do filmmaking. I was missing my family, my friends, the land I belong to, my language, my culture and who I am as Nehiyaw, being away is really hard.” Greyeyes said.

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Mispon, was organized by Janine Windolph and the late Trudy Stewart, who passed away in 2019. It was important to Greyeyes to continue the legacy that started before. “I think that one of the reasons I founded this festival, was to bring filmmakers here to contribute to the growing film industry in Saskatchewan. Ever since the film tax credit cutoff, the film industry kinda died. It started booming then died immediately.”

  Out of the eighty films that are part of the festival, it is Singing Back the Buffalo by filmmaker, Tasha Hubbard, that was an exciting addition due to some of the wrangling Greyeyes had to do with the distributors. “Bigger films, like Singing Back the Buffalo with Tasha Hubbard, I reached out to her, she was already interested. We had to send a request to her distributor, and then she would have to ask because the film release was theatrical and there was already a lot of requirements and missing out on potential funds because everyone would have already seen it.”

Greyeyes was delighted by the assistance with the National Film Board of Canada, who provided several of the films playing in the festival.  “We have eight or ten of their films. NFB was so gracious to send us a lot of submissions.”


Going forward, Greyeyes is hoping to build a platform for not only Indigenous filmmakers but the community as well. “My hope is to support Indigenous filmmakers. Being part of this community that is so empowering and uplifting to each other. A lot of our audience members will be seeing this for the first time, especially Indigenous community members and never being part of a film festival.”


Greyeyes pointed out why it is so important for the Indigenous community to share their experiences instead of others in Hollywood. Such as Taylor Sheridan, writer, director and creator of the Yellowstone franchise. “I would have to say, the community usually says 'nothing about us, without us' and often the media film narrative is told about us without us even. Tokenizing us, for instance, Taylor Sheridan, loves making stories about us and without that experience of being Indigenous .”


The Acimowin Film Festival runs from June 5th to the 8th. Dates, locations and venues can be found at their website.


“My goal is for this festival to uplift and empower and share the stories of Indigenous perspective and world views. I want people to take away how important they are, regardless of the production value. Often times, we don’t have a lot of money, so we use our phones, we have so much to share and we have our own voices and we don’t need  nobody else to tell our stories.”     

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