Weengushk International Film Festival Announces 2024 Programming July 11-14 on Manitoulin Island

Celebrating Indigenous Storytelling and Resilience.
Opening night film Sugarcane, directed by Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie



Artistic Director Dr. Shirley Cheechoo CM is pleased to announce programming for the 7th Annual Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF), which will take place July 11-14, 2024, on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. The Weengushk International Film Festival is Northern Ontario’s premier Indigenous film festival, dedicated to honoring the Residential School Warriors (Survivors) through powerful storytelling and cinematic excellence. 

The Weengushk International Film Festival will be preceded by the previously announced event Blanket of Stars: A Tribute to Resilience on July 11 on Manitoulin Island. Residential School Warriors wrapped in Star Blankets will gather on Manitoulin Island for a profound and symbolic procession across the iconic swing bridge in Little Current to be met by dancers, drummers, and the community. This meaningful act represents their long journey and serves as a welcoming home. This bridge, which physically connects communities, will metaphorically represent the bridging of past and present, acknowledging the long road these survivors have traveled. Following the procession, attendees are invited to a conference at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre. This conference will delve deeper into themes of resilience, history, and the path forward, facilitating discussions that resonate with our collective mission to create a lasting impact that honors the past, embraces the present, and builds a future rooted in reconciliation and respect.

WIFF 2024 will celebrate Indigenous storytelling and resilience with this transformative three-day event that showcases and empowers diverse Indigenous voices from around the globe with four features, eight shorts, workshops, a gala awards event, and musical performances by AysanabeeAdrian Sutherland, Nishina Esquega, and The Poets: A Tragically Hip Tribute.​

Feature film highlights from WIFF include: the opening night film Sugarcane, directed by Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie; a special presentation of Bones of Crows, directed by Marie Clement; the mockumentary comedy film Hey, Viktor!, directed by Cody Lightning; the dramatic based- on-true-events narrative film Tautuktavuk (What We See) directed by Lucy Tulugarjuk and Carol Kunnuk; and Lakota Nation vs. United States directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli and produced by Mark Ruffalo.

On July 13, WIFF will present the Weengushk Film Institute Student Showcase featuring shorts from four emerging directors, and the Shorts Program featuring Mary Two Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again directed by Courtney Montour, The Alexander Ball directed by Jessica MagroButterfly/Bataplaidirected by Veialu Aila-Unsworth, and NIGIQTUQ (The South Wind) directed by Lindsay McIntyre.

The full program is available at https://www.weengushkfilmfestival.ca/

The Weengushk International Film Festival was founded by Dr. Shirley Cheechoo C.M., a distinguished filmmaker, artist, and advocate for Indigenous rights. Dr. Cheechoo’s vision for WIFF was to create a space where Indigenous voices could be heard and celebrated through the powerful medium of film. Her dedication to storytelling and cultural preservation has been the driving force behind the festival’s success and impact. WIFF aims to highlight stories of courage, human rights, and environmental stewardship, offering a platform for Indigenous filmmakers to share their unique perspectives. Through powerful storytelling, cultural exchanges, workshops and panels, and live performances, the festival fosters understanding, celebrates resilience, and promotes the rich tapestry of Indigenous culture. 

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