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Three women filmmakers across Canada awarded the inaugural Made in the North Award presented by Canada Goose at Yukon’s Available Light Film Festival
$10,000 in prizes awarded to diverse filmmakers in Canada
This year, Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) - Canada’s largest film festival north of 60˙ - is thrilled to award cash prizes to the three outstanding films by underrepresented filmmakers with films in Official Selection at ALFF 2021.
The Made in the North Award is made possible by Canada Goose and is designed to advance the talent of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and LGBTQ2S+ Canadian filmmakers with a focus on those living in northern territories. A jury of accomplished, diverse filmmakers Carol Geddes (Yukon), Milena Salazar (BC), and Tyler Hagan (BC) selected the award-winning films in the following three categories. Here’s what they had to say about each winner:
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM ($5000 prize)
BEANS by Tracey Deer
“The Oka crisis provides the backdrop to a tumultuous story told through the eyes of a young girl conflicted by mixed messages about how to react to the event. Her triumph comes through finding her own path to adulthood. The story is well acted and filmed at a pace that matches the almost staccato level of events as they unfolded in actuality.”
NO VISIBLE TRAUMA by Marc Serpa Francoeur & Robinder Uppal
“A powerful story of condemnation about police actions allowed to run rampant over vulnerable people's lives. The film skillfully analyzes events that build to a dismal and stunning portrait of the misuse of authority.”
BEST NORTHERN SHORT FILM ($2500 prize)
Yukon, Northwest Territories & Nunavut
K’I TAH AMONGST THE BIRCH by Melaw Nakehk’o
“A unique glimpse into northern 'bush life' as we sense it must have been lived for millennia. The film quietly speaks of the rhythm of everyday family events that are rendered both ordinary and profound through its straightforward approach.”
BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM ($2500 prize)
SING ME A LULLABY by Tiffany Hsiung
“A heartfelt search for roots that avoids overt sentimentality to create an artfully built narrative of loss and discovery. The film speaks not only to the fractures that a mixed cultural identity can create but also the indelible bonds that assuage those fractures.”
“The Available Light Film Festival is over the moon to be shining an even brighter spotlight on diverse filmmakers, especially those in the North,” says Festival Director, Andrew Connors. “Since its founding in 2003, ALFF has been committed to programming films by diverse filmmakers and supporting these filmmakers in telling their stories and sharing them with audiences across Yukon and Canada. Northern diverse filmmakers have further challenges due to the remoteness and great distances from services, mentorship, access to decision-makers and skilled collaborators needed to create films and media art. With this partnership, Canada Goose will help us in our mission to build up these filmmakers and help them bring their stories from their communities to the world.”
Eligibility was open to all feature films and short films in Official Selection directed by Canadian resident or citizen filmmakers who self-identify as BIPOC or queer. Each winner will receive a cash award in celebration of their excellent contribution to Canadian cinema. Eight of feature-length films and 23 short films including six from Canada’s three territories were included for consideration.
Now in its 19th year, the Available Light Film Festival presented by Yukon Film Society is a celebration of Northern, Canadian and international cinema. The festival runs February 5-22 with 33 features, 40+ shorts by Indigenous filmmakers and circumpolar filmmakers, an open-air cinema event, live-streamed concerts by Yukon artists, and more. Each of the films premiered are available to watch online across Yukon and Northwest Territories, and 25+ film programs are available to watch across Canada.
The Available Light Film Festival 2021 presenting partner is Canada Goose. ALFF 2021 public supporters are Yukon Government, Telefilm Canada, Yukon Lotteries and the City of Whitehorse. Premier sponsors include Northwestel Community Television and Canada Media Fund. The Yukon Film Society acknowledges the annual support of Canada Council for the Arts, Yukon Arts Operating Fund and Yukon Lotteries.
The Available Light Film Festival acknowledges that it is based on the traditional territory of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and that we live, create and benefit within this territory. Shä̀w níthän. Kwä̀nä̀schis. Gunalchîsh.