Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ Film KWÊSKOSÎW (She Whistles) Premieres at Film Festivals Fantasia & Outfest LA

Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ film about the increased violence and discrimination that Indigenous women face premieres at film festivals.



Fanning Feathers Productions announced today that Indigiqueer thriller, kwêskosîw (She Whistles), directed and written by Thirza Cuthand, will be featured at both the Fantasia Film Festival and Outfest LA this month. The short film, starring Sera-Lys McArthur (Outlander, Monkey Beach) and Aidan Devine (A History of Violence, Suicide Squad) delves into the missing & murdered Indigenous women and girls epidemic and the increased violence and discrimination that Indigenous women face. 

The award-winning supernatural thriller was shot in Toronto and follows Stephanie (McArthur) a 2-Spirit nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) woman who discovers a deadly supernatural power that may help her solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. kwêskosîw (She Whistles) incorporates the mysterious powers of the northern lights; it has been said that if one whistles at the northern lights, the ancestors will come and take you away. 

kwêskosîw (She Whistles) won the Short Subject Fiction Golden Sheaf Award at this year’s Yorkton Film Festival and recently had its world premiere at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in New Zealand, where it received the Mana Advancement of Indigenous Rights award. It has been picked up by the Canadian international genre film festival, Fantasia, and the LGBTQ2S+ film festival, Outfest LA. 

The film was produced by Fanning Feathers Productions, which is owned by Sera-Lys McArthur who also stars in the film, was written and directed by Thirza Cuthand and cinematography by Sarah Thomas Moffat (A Time to Kill, Frankie Drake Mysteries). It is based on a feature script by Cuthand which is currently in development.


Outfest LA  

In-Person Screening in the “SHORTS: SURREALNESS” 
Sunday August 15, 2021, 9:30 PM
Virtual Screening available: 8/16/2021 – 8/18/2021 

Fantasia  Virtual Screening available: 8/17/2021 – 8/19/2021 
Thirza Cuthand (Writer/Director) Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, has been making short experimental and narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, Queer identity and love, and Indigeneity, which have screened in festivals and galleries internationally since 1995. She completed her BFA majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2005, and her Masters of Arts in Media Production at X University in 2015. She has written three feature screenplays and does performance art. In 2017 she won the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. She is a Whitney Biennial 2019 artist and is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Sera-Lys McArthur (Actor/Producer) Sera-Lys McArthur is a screen and stage actor, producer, model and a proud member of the Nakota/Assiniboine Nation. She was raised by her German-Canadian single mother in southern Saskatchewan. The day after her high school graduation, Sera-Lys moved to New York to study musical theatre and later, earned an MA in Acting from East 15 Acting School, the University of Essex, UK, where she attended on a full scholarship and graduated at the top of her class. Sera-Lys starred on season 3 of the series Burden of Truth and has had  recurring roles on Arctic Air, Pretty Hard Cases and season 3 of Diggstown. She had an unforgettable guest appearance on Outlander, as Mohawk healer ‘Johiehon’, and appeared alongside Cobie Smulders in Netflix’s Friends From College. She is the female lead in Robbery, an independent feature film, a key supporting role in the novel-to-film adaptation of Monkey Beach, and voices the newest operator “Thunderbird” in Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege. Sera-Lys has a lead role in Don’t Say Its Name, also premiering at Fantasia Film Festival

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