Press 2021

15th Edition Native Spirit Festival #NSFF2021 — CLOSING WEEKEND


We’re delighted to announce two multi-award-winning supernatural thrillers opening with European digital premiere of… 

KWÊSKOSÎW (SHE WHISTLES) Dir. Thirza Cuthand (Plains Cree/Scottish) 12min, Canada, 2021 + Director & Producer Intro

En route to her girlfriend’s place on a night when the Northern Lights are out, a two-spirit Nȇhiyaw woman is assaulted by her cab driver. Amidst the struggle, she discovers a deadly supernatural power that may help her solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.
Cast: Sera-Lys McArthur, Aidan Devine

MONKEY BEACH – Dir. Loretta Sarah Todd (Cree/Métis) 104min, Canada, 2020

Lisa Hill has visions. Visions of her younger brother Jimmy drowning. One day, Jimmy goes missing on what was supposed to be a fishing trip with his uncle but, Lisa finds out, was a quest for revenge against a sexual predator. To save Jimmy, Lisa sets out for Monkey Beach, a powerful place where she believes she will find Jimmy – and where she will face the hardest journey of all, to the Land of the Dead. And so begins a captivating allegory about learning to coexist with both the ghosts that haunt us and spirits who might enlighten us. In bringing Eden Robinson’s beloved novel to the screen, Loretta S Todd offers us a modern epic underpinned by themes that have long defined heroic journeys. Todd’s first feature narrative unfolds through a thrilling array of temporal shifts and stylistic flourishes. A film about reconnection with the land, its denizens and the secrets it holds, Monkey Beach is also a testament to Indigenous women’s ability to not just endure trials but emerge from them empowered.
Cast: Grace Dove, Joel Ouelette, Nathaniel Arcand, Tina Marie Lameman, Adam Beach, Stefany Mathias

Available for duration of festival — Opening night film & filmmaker discussion  Mâmawi-nikamowak (they sing altogether) created by Bawaadan Collective, festival launch 6pm Tuesday 12th October hosted by Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, accompanying Beyond The Binary: Gender, Sexuality, Power exhibition

Enquiries: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)7779 529589

15th ANNUAL NATIVE SPIRIT FILM FESTIVAL 12 October – 20 November 2021
Online & in-person at Genesis Cinema, Latin American House, The Polar Museum

Celebrating Native Narrative Sovereignty — Indigenous Media & Arts

Native Spirit Festival celebrates Indigenous cultures with screenings, music, dance and creative activities. Through the arts, the festival promotes Indigenous filmmakers and artists, Native languages, international social and environmental awareness, and aims to inspire new possibilities for understanding life, by celebrating the strength and potential of the human spirit. It is the only annual Independent film event of its kind in the UK with increasing focus on Narrative Sovereignty and disseminating Indigenous-produced media guides: Pathways & Protocols by Terri Janke and ISO Toronto.

Expect 70+ films from Turtle Island to Taiwan to Tajikistan in all forms: Experimental, animation, horror, sci-fi, Native humour, microINDIGENOUS (films under 5min). Lookout for special guest film & panel programmes curated by Native Creatives and filmmakers from Quechua, Hoopa and Cree communities. In partnership with The Polar Museum, Cambridge, filmmaker Inuk Jorgensen and filmmaker/actor/artist/Mcee Vinnie Karetak present Greenlandic and Inuit programmes respectively, to mark International Inuit Day.  

2021 Future Generations microINDIGENOUS sees a new partnership with BFI IntoFilm Youth Festival at Plymouth Arts Centre: two Wapikoni Mobile Shorts (mobile production unit based in Quebec, Canada) support  In My Blood It Runs (2019) as part of the BFI’s films in education programme for 14-16 year olds. California based youth organisation; and On Native Ground presents RISE student film Lead The Way (2020) and youth-discussion panel. 

#NSFF2021 continues to promote Indigenous languages in film for UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-32; and initiatives such as Native American Heritage Month in the UK see: American Museum & Gardens Curator’s choice. Native Spirit Taiwan 2nd Edition launches October (in-person) themed ‘VOICES’ screening selected Indigenous language films (with Chinese subtitles organised by NST organisers).



Twitter / Instagram: @NativeSpiritUK
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0)7779 529589

Notes to Editors
Note 1. Native Spirit is a registered arts organisation. Charity SC045628
Note 2. Native Spirit Festival is part of Native Spirit Foundation (NSF), established in 2005 by Mapuche artist Freddy Treuquil, a long-standing prominent member of the Indigenous Mapuche community, Chile.
Note 3. #microIndigenous is a Native Spirit initiative celebrating films under 5mins
Note 3. Native Spirit are event participants with UNESCO 2022-32 Decade of Indigenous Languages
Note 4. Native American Heritage Month collaboration with American Museum & Gardens
Note 5. Pathways & Protocols are Indigenous created media guides followed by NSFF
Note 6. Programme listings on Native Spirit Festival 2021 Tab