WAFF 2021 to Open with Portraits From A Fire
The 20th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) will open on Wednesday, November 24, with an award-winning new film from British Columbia and a theme that’s particularly apt for 2021.
Portraits From A Fire, the first feature film from Indigenous artist Trevor Mack, has been chosen for opening night. Showtime at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is 7 p.m. Portraits From A Fire follows an aspiring young filmmaker at a B.C. First Nation as a family secret unravels. Declared Best Canadian Feature at this year’s Edmonton International Film Festival, Portraits was praised in the Globe and Mail as bursting with joy, humour and tenderness.
Other awards for Portraits From A Fire’s director, who hails from Tsilhqot’in Nation, include the 2015 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival jury prize for Best Canadian Short Drama for Clouds of Autumn, as well as an Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival.
“We are so pleased to have this beautiful, funny film by one of Canada’s most promising young filmmakers playing at this year’s Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival,” said Coleen Rajotte, Director of WAFF. “Portraits From A Fire is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”
Portraits From A Fire star William Magnus Lulua will be in attendance for opening night and available for media interviews before the film’s screening.
Featured on WAFF 2021’s second night is Ste. Anne, a drama set in Treaty 1 territory and written and directed by Manitoba Métis visual artist Rhayne Vermette, who also stars. It won the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and a prize at the Indie Memphis Film Festival last month.
The festival’s full schedule will be released soon.
Every Child Matters is the theme for opening night ceremonies at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, before the screening of Portraits From A Fire. WAFF has commissioned a song from country artist Lucien Spence to première at the opening ceremonies.
The theme carries forward WAFF’s long history of striving for understanding and reconciliation. Making everyone welcome in the spirit of reconciliation was, in fact, a founding principle when WAFF began 20 years ago.
WAFF 2021, celebrating Indigenous film and video from across Canada and around the world, is set for November 24 – 30 online (with three in-person screenings). Showtimes and ticket information are available at waff.ca and our Facebook page, facebook.com/aboriginalfilmfest.