Indigeneity, Women & Resilience

Curated by Sarah Shamash and Sonia Medel (Vancouver Latin American Film Festival 2020)

This year is not business as usual. For us, this VLAFF is not curation as usual. This abbreviated program of Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond is one through which we communicate our dedication to Indigenous and racialized women (a struggle we also situate ourselves within). We express a commitment to the resilient and brave ways in which Indigenous girls, women, and matriarchs are leading a way forward. In this time of pandemics and rebellions, we meditated on the question: for whom is the world being saved and who are the beings actually doing the transformative work? We watch billionaires profit off economic, humanitarian, and ecological crises through intentional genocide. The Amazon rainforest burns. The murder and disappearance of Indigenous women (MMIWG) continues. We witness patriarchy and white supremacy attempt to silence women’s voices. With this program we honour women warriors, their narratives, and their power to reimagine worlds across Turtle Island and Abya Yala.

Film still from Kaapora
Image from Kaapora, O Chamado das Matas / The Call of the Forest
Dir. Olinda Yawar Muniz Wanderley Pataxó Hã-hã-Hãe/Brazil, 2020 | 20 min

This program "Indegeneity, Women & Resilience" was followed by a dialogue with participating filmmakers.

Link to dialogue:

Dir. Jerilynn Webster - The Most Unprotected Girl Nuxalk and Onondaga Nations/Canada, 2018 | 3.40 min

Dir. Jules Koostachin - KaYaMenta (2020) screening in forthcoming Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond program

Dir. Madelaine McCallum - Sukaskieskwew (Strong Earth Woman) Cree/Métis, 2018 | 5.17 min

Dir. Nanobah Becker - The 6th World Navajo Nation/Diné/USA, 2012 | 15 min

Dir. Olinda Yawar Muniz Wanderley - Kaapora, O Chamado das Matas / The Call of the Forest Pataxó Hã-hã-Hãe/Brazil, 2020 | 20 min

Tarcila Rivera Zea - Contributor to Nanayqa mana chinkaqmi – El dolor no desaparece
Dir. Federación Provincial de mujeres Quechuas de Vilcas Huamán y Chirapaq Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú
Quechua/Peru, 2019 | 7.20 min

Oral / textual translations during zoom dialogue by Valeria Ascolese (Spanish) and Juliana Ponde (Portuguese)

Languages of Sovereignty

Curated by Sarah Shamash & Sonia Medel (Vancouver Latin American Film Festival 2019)

In agreement with the United Nations 2019 declaration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, we aim to showcase the diversity of creative cinematic visions from Abya Yala to Turtle Island. Across spatio-temporal and cross cultural boundaries, this program of Indigenous language cinema celebrates language sovereignty as an act of self-determination. Our curatorial vision connects films from First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous filmmakers in a hemispheric dialogue that meditates on language as a knowledge system as it intersects with identity, memory, (de)territorializations, cultural heritages, her/histories, and geo-politics across fluid timelines that project a futurity for Indigenous language sovereignty. In order to elaborate our discussion, our curated film program will be accompanied by a dialogue circle led by practitioners, scholars, and activists, of film and language sovereignty.

Director: Joseph Lewis Erb USA |  2017 | Cherokee | 8.48 min


Curated by Sarah Shamash

These short films as part of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival 2018 showcase the diversity of storytelling approaches and filmmaking forms by some of Brazil’s rising Black Brazilian filmmakers. From Tila Titunda’s documentary on her Angolan roots in the coastal town of Olinda, Pernambuco (FotogrÁFRICA 2016), to the Carvalho Brothers’ carioca film (Chico 2018), depicting a dystopian future as a parable for Brazil’s oppressive and racist policies, while dreaming of Black liberation, to Yasmin Thayná’s visual essay on the complex dynamics and ode to power of Black female identity in her film Kbela 2015, this program highlights storytelling and film experimentation by talented Black voices in Brazil.

Image still from Kbela Director: Yasmin Thayná Brazil, 2015 |Portuguese with English subtitles | 22 min