The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival ran Oct 22-27 in Toronto, and included the awarding of two music prizes, to Montreal-based director and recording artist Elisapie Isaac and Cree singer/songwriter Nigel Irwin.
Elisapie Isaac won the 8th annual NFB/imagineNATIVE Digital Project Prize. She will work with the NFB’s Digital Studio to create an interactive music video from her Polaris and Juno-nominated album Ballad of the Runaway Girl, a record that won two Felix awards last week.
The project will pay tribute to the Inuit families who were relocated in the 1950s as part of a colonizers’ tactic known as the High Arctic relocation, and will pick up on themes in Elisapie’s work that are close to her heart: how the traditions of the Inuit demonstrate their resiliency, desire to survive and hope for their future. This interactive production will be unveiled at next year’s imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and featured on NFB.ca.
The Bullseye Music Prize, a $10,000 award supported by Slaight Music, went to Cree singer/songwriter Nigel Irwin, who records as Decree. Launched in 2016, iN Bullseye is an Indigenous music talent search contest that seeks to nurture Canada’s newest music talent with unprecedented opportunities to turn their talent into a career.
The contest winner accesses the $10,000 cash award to create a professionally recorded demo of one of their submitted tracks, and produce their first music video. This video will be promoted through imagineNATIVE’s networks, including on imagineNATIVE’s annual Film + VR Tour to Indigenous communities across Canada, and will premiere at the next imagineNATIVE Festival as part of the ‘imagineNATIVE Originals’ programme of works commissioned by the organization.
Since 2016, over 110 new musicians - from electronic dance music artists to folk singer-songwriters - submitted their work to iN Bullseye for consideration.