Telefilm taps 11 Indigenous films for development funding

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Writer/producer Darlene Naponse's The Savage and Marie Clements' Sparrow/Nel Dzay Ya are among the select few.

Projects from Darlene Naponse, Marie Clements and Shane Belcourt are among the 11 films selected to receive $198,000 in development funding from Telefilm Canada.

These titles – which consist of 10 English-language films and one French-language film – represent the inaugural development funding decisions from the organization’s Indigenous Stream. Each project will receive $18,000 from the funder.

The features tapped include: writer/producer Naponse’s The Savage (Ontario); writer/producer Clements’ Sparrow/Nel Dzay Ya (B.C.); writer/producer Belcourt’s Dumbbell with producer Michelle St. John (Ontario); writer/producer Kelton Stepanowich’s Elvis of the North (Alberta); writer Thirza Cuthand and producer Sera-Lys McArthur’s Evil Fire (Ontario); writer Michael Auger and producer Petie Chalifoux’s Disappearing Moon (B.C.); writer/producer Ervin Chartrand’s Highway 45 (Manitoba); writer/producer Amanda Strong’s animated feature Noopiming (B.C.); writer/producer Bretten Hannam’s Skite’kmujua’kik (Nova Scotia); and writer Sonya Ballantyne and producer Sage Daniels’ WWShe (Manitoba). The only French-language film project chosen was documentary Sur les traces from writer/producer Elisapie Isaac (Quebec).

Notably, Elvis of the North‘s Stepanowich is among this year’s Talent to Watch cohort with the project The Certainty of Symmetry with writer/director Jaren Brandt Bartlett. Additionally, 2018 Playback 5 to Watch recipient, Chalifoux received support from the program towards her debut feature with Auger, River of Silence. Skite’kmujua’kik‘s Hannam also recently picked up funding from Telefilm for the feature Wildhood with producer Gharrett Paon.

Elsewhere, WWShe‘s Daniels and Ballantyne were selected for the inaugural edition of HGF/Manitoba Shorts Program, a $80,000 envelope that aims to help finance short films from Manitoba filmmakers to further their careers, with their short Broken Glass.

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