CLOSING FILM AND AMERICAS AWARD CEREMONY.
TAFFNY VIRTUAL CINEMA
*In partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
JUNE 27, 2021. Available from 4:00 PM-6:30PM
The film is preceded by The Americas Award Ceremony
Followed by a live-streamed Q&A with director Loretta Todd and actress Grace Dove
ORIGINAL TITLE: Monkey Beach
DIRECTOR: Loretta Sarah Todd
CAST: Grace Dove, Adam Beach, Tina Lameman, Nathaniel Arcand, Stefany Mathias, Joel Oulette, Sera-Lys McArthur, Nick Dangeli, Zoey Snow, Oliver Tru Sison, Miika Whiskeyjack
AWARDS: American Indian Movie Award - Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Grace Dove), Best Actor (Adam Beach) Best Supporting Actress (Tina Lameman), Best Supporting Actor (Nathaniel Arcand); Venice Film Awards; 7th Art International Film Festival
Date completed: 2020
Film Category: Fiction
Length of Film: 103 min
Waking up in her East Van apartment, Lisa (Grace Dove) is served notice by her cousin’s ghost (Sera-Lys McArthur), "Your family needs you." Reunited with her Haisla kin in Kitimaat Village, she realizes that she’s meant to save her brother, Jimmy, (Joel Oulette) from a tragic fate she’s foreseen since childhood. Of course, there’s also the matter of contending with the mystical creatures lurking in the nearby woods. 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.
Loretta Sarah Todd is a visionary leader in Indigenous media, considered a true artist with entrepreneurial energy and cultural knowledge. She is Cree Metis, from St. Paul des Metis, White Fish Lake First Nation and Turtle Mountain Chippewa in North Dakota.
Ms. Todd has directed over 100 projects including award-winning documentaries (Forgotten Warriors, Remembering Chief Dan George, People Go On), digital media and games (My Cree App, Coyote Quest) and animation (25 short animations). Ms. Todd created, produced, wrote and directed the children’s series (Tansi! Nehiyawetan 1-3, Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science 1-3), sci-fi (Skye and Chang) and interactive media (Fierce Girls). Her films have screened at the Sundance Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco), Yamagata Film Festival, ImagineNative, and the Museum of Modern Art, to name just a few. She has received many prestigious honors and awards, including a Rockefeller Fellowship to New York University, attendance to the Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab, Special Jury Citation (TIFF), Mayor’s Award for Media Arts (City of Vancouver) and the recent Women of Excellence Award, from the United Nation’s WEF Women’s Economic Forum.
Grace is a Secwépemc actress based on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She has embraced a responsibility to lift up her audience and her community. She co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in the Oscar-winning film The Revenant. You can currently watch Grace in the Netflix thriller How It Ends alongside Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker and Theo James. Recently she wrapped up her first leading role in the feature film adaptation of Eden Robinson’s novel Monkey Beach premiering in 2020.
When the red carpet is rolled up, and tucked away she facilitates her own youth-empowerment program “Thunderbird Dreams” in communities.