AlterNATIVE: Balance

AlterNATIVE: Balance
Curated by Jared Tailfeathers
Presented as part of Alberta Culture Days with the support of the Government of Alberta

Friday, September 28, 2018 @ 7-9PM
Plaza Theatre – 1133 Kensington Rd NW
FREE Admission

Featuring films by: Jackson 2bears, Kez Lefthand, Kelli Rae Morning Bull, Kelton Stepanowich, Trevor Solway and Amber Twoyoungmen
And performances by: Chantal Chagnon, Curtis Lefthand and Nite Sun

EMMEDIA is proud to present Balance as part of the AlterNATIVE Indigenous Film Series, which showcases the rich landscape of works produced by Indigenous artists. This edition, curated by Jared Tailfeathers, features artists and filmmakers that deal with the challenges of being able to balance tradition and contemporary practices, while properly finding a positive equilibrium in their cultural identity. They proudly stand for Indigenous Peoples creative growth and mighty voices, while honouring their roots and dreaming of the future.

About the Curator:

Jared (Uncle Jerry) Tailfeathers is a multi-media performance/interactive installation based Blackfoot (Kainai) artist, musician, teacher and author. His practice focuses on bridging the gap between various arts and culture, making work that is designed for large conceptual and multi-media communication and collaboration, as well as a multi-instrumentalist with over 18 years of experience as a writing and performing musician. He builds one of a kind musical instruments and uses them in interactive projects, and also builds and designs working instruments for private collectors, patrons and musicians. He works with Indigenous arts and cultural groups that promote the sustainable growth for Indigenous artists, musicians and youth.

About Alberta Culture Days:

Alberta Culture Days is an opportunity for Albertans to discover, experience and celebrate arts and culture through local events and activities across the province. This three-day event is part of National Culture Days, which includes more than 800 communities from coast to coast, to increase awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. For more information, go to:

NDNs on the Airwaves
Directed by Jackson 2Bears
2016, 11:28 min.

NDNs on the Airwaves celebrates the long standing history of one Six Nations rez radio station and the important impact it has on the community it serves. The film also chronicles one radio broadcasters journey home through the airwaves using poetics and mash-up visuals in a new storytelling method.

Two Row Media Collective came together through the National Screen Institutes’s Aboriginal Doc Making Bootcamp program in February 2015. Director Jackson 2bears and producer, Janet Rogers are both Mohawk from the Six Nations territory. Their media storytelling combines their expertise in effective visual manipulation and incorporation of poetics as narrative.

Directed by Kez Lefthand
2014, 11:58 min.

This animated short by Kez Lefthand explores what happens when young people give in when faced with struggles in life. Kez, who grew up in highly Christianized Morley, Alberta, is interested in the intersections of traditional Nakoda culture, Christianity, and increasingly globalized youth culture.

Kez Lefthand is a storyteller and a young leader who is a fan of anime, animation, video games and music. When Kez has a vision, he is utterly, wholeheartedly committed to it, and has been known to go to incredible lengths to finish a film or a project.

Directed by Kelli Rae Morning Bull
2016, 5:00 min.

This short film is about the inner struggles of a Blackfoot woman trying to reconnect with her spirituality after making a pledge to the Sundance tree. Living away from home makes it harder to practice and easier to forget.

Kelli Rae Morning Bull is a Niitsitapiaaki (Blackfoot woman) from the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) and is a member of the Piikani Nation. She’s a film maker who uses media arts to educate Canadians on the many issues that impact Indigenous communities. She strongly believes in making change through her board/committee contributions, by working with Making Treaty 7, EMMEDIA Gallery and Production Society and Calgary Arts Development.

The Black Wolf
Directed by Trevor Solway
2017, 7:48 min.

An alcohol addiction had a grip on Drew Robinson’s life and was leading him down a destructive path. After three near death experiences, he decided to get sober using Muay Thai and his Blackfoot culture.

Trevor Solway is Blackfoot from Siksika Nation located east of Calgary. His Blackfoot name is Sinakson, which translates to Writer; the name was his great, great grandfather’s name, Samuel Solway. Storytelling has always been a passion of his and in 2012 he moved to North Vancouver to attend Capilano University taking the Independent Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program. He has since come home to Calgary and completed his Bachelor of Communications degree with a major in Journalism in the spring of 2017. Trevor has made numerous documentaries and narrative films since beginning his career 5 years ago. In 2014 as a part of Canada Bridges, he created and facilitated Film Camps for youth on his reserve. Since then he has lead 7 more film camps over the span of 4 years in Siksika, Morley and Calgary. In 2016, Trevor directed a comedic short titled Indian Giver as a part of the ImagineNATIVE & CSIF mentorship program which screened at festivals all over North America.

Gods Acre
Directed by Kelton Stepanowich
2016, 15:04 min.

Lorne Cardinal stars in this unsettling, powerful short of a man determined to protect his land at all cost. As the water slowly rises in a frighteningly familiar future, the man must choose to abandon all that he knows or give in to the rising tide.

Directed by Amber Twoyoungmen
2014, 3:25 min.

Neighbors is a short horror story about a girl, who takes a simple pleasure in randomly killing her neighbors. Does she get what’s coming to her? No beads or feathers necessary – although Amber takes pride in her Indigenous heritage, she wants you to know that a murderous girl can be appreciated regardless of where you come from.

Amber Twoyoungmen is one of the founding members of the Nakoda AV Club, a volunteer run production society which works to promote storytelling through film on the Nakoda reserves. She dreams of being the first female film director from her Nation and knows that if she achieves this, she will be an inspiration to other young women struggling to succeed. Amber is also an artist and musician, composing the scores for her own short films.


Welcome & Acknowledgement
Chantal Chagnon

Chantal will be sharing traditional songs & storytelling, along with a welcome song and land acknowledgement.

Chantal is a Cree Ojibwe Métis singer, drummer, artist, storyteller, actor, educator, workshop facilitator, social justice advocate and activist with roots in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. She shares traditional Indigenous arts, culture, history, and teachings in classrooms from preschool through university, at conferences, conventions, galas, community gatherings, and social justice events. Chantal has performed at the National Music Centre, Jubilee Auditorium, Jack Singer Concert Hall, Scotiabank Saddledome, and other stages showcasing traditional, contemporary and modern music. Chantal aims to entertain, engage, enlighten, educate, inspire, empower and create bridges of opportunity for cooperation, understanding and healing for our past and future generations.

Poems I Wrote on My Blanket
Curtis Lefthand

Poems I Wrote on My Blanket is about the birth and rebirth of an Indigenous youth grappling with his own intergenerational trauma inherited from his Grandmother and Matriarch of his camp. It digs out the heart of the artist and surfaces his past to make him vulnerable and aware of what healing must take place for him to redefine his identity as a Siksikaitsitapi (The Blackfoot-Speaking Real People) man. This performance full of spoken word poetry tells the unknown history of Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand, a Blackfoot (Amskaapipikuni, Siksika) and Stoney Nakoda artist, musician, poet, scholar, and creative director. Poems I Wrote on My Blanket tells the story Curtis couldn’t otherwise tell outside of the constructs of music, art, and poetry.

Inner Warrior
Nite Sun

Nite Sun will perform five songs with each song telling a story about her journey as a Queer Contemporary Indigenous Being, that is on the road to understanding what it means to walk the path of a warrior in this day and age.

Nite Sun is traditionally known as Tipiskâw Pîsim, which is her Cree spirit name and is reflected through the english translation of her stage name “Nite Sun.” She’s a Cree-Queer-Métis Culture Carrier who embraces, teaches, and continues to learn about her cultural identity through her music. She prefers she/her but does not mind him/he pronouns, and her homeland is out on the East Prairie Métis Settlement, located in Northern Alberta on Treaty 8 Territory. She is a Childcare Worker, a Métis Dancer, an Entrepreneur, and is currently working on becoming an Inspirational and Motivational Speaker – along with being an Emcee that speaks her own personal truth. Let Nite Sun show you what she is learning.


AlterNATIVE: Panel Discussion
Saturday, September 29, 2018 @ 1-3PM
CSIF Flex Space – #100, 1725 10 Ave SW (Back Alley Entrance)

Moderated by Jared Tailfeathers
Featuring Chris Jones, Curtis Lefthand and Keegan Starlight

This panel will discuss the challenges, issues and topics about balancing tradition in a contemporary world, and what resources are available for Indigenous artists where new ideas can be collaborated.
About the Panelists:

Chris Jones is a member of the Mississauga First Nation, a Calgary-based multimedia artist, and a graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) Glass program. His work often combines traditional craft with contemporary techniques and material and focuses on elements of indigenous culture, identity, and spirituality as they are affected by modern day colonialism.

Curtis Lefthand is an Indigenous multimedia creative producer, musician, spoken word artist, and scholar. He is the founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Resilience in Music – an Indigenous-led organization creating insight into the lives of Indigenous musicians and empowering Indigenous youth in reclaiming their identity in music and the arts. He is also a first year law student at the University of Calgary where he does research in creating Indigenous language and cultural preservation methodologies specific to Blackfoot ways of knowing. As an artist and musician, he performs as the front person for the aggressive hardcore punk band Éhagé and performs under his solo singer songwriter works outside of his band. Curtis is a proud member of the Blackfoot Confederacy and comes from the Amskaapipikuni, Siksika and Stoney Nakoda nations.

Keegan Starlight is from the Tsuu T`ina Nation located 20 minutes from Calgary, Alberta. Keegan is a freelance artist whose work is diverse in regards to medium and subject matter. His work is directly inspired from cultural teachings and growing up with the traditional teaching from his mother and father. Keegan is also a husband and a father to a son who is a reoccurring focal point in his work. Keegan still lives in Tsuu T`ina and is always open to new projects.

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