Each episode features in-depth interviews with filmmakers, storytellers, writers, producers, and actors.
The following guests are featured in this series: Gail Maurice, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Kairyn Potts, Tantoo Cardinal with Grace Hardy and Barry Bilinski, Trevor Solway with Colin Van Loon, and Lisa Jackson.
Each episode, where possible, will also include audio from subject’s work to help give the episode a more fulsome and dynamic sound, including rights-free music. Opening and closing music will be selected from Nagamo, an Indigenous curated licensing database that features traditional and contemporary tracks.
About the Storytellers Host
Kim Wheeler has brought positive Indigenous stories to mainstream and Indigenous media since 1993. She has carved out a career as a writer, publicist and audio producer across a variety of disciplines. She is also the host of The Kim Wheeler Show and a producer for Turtle Island Talks on SiriusXM, and a host/producer on the podcast Auntie Up! She is currently producing the podcast series for canadaLANDBACK and Storytellers for the Indigenous Screen Office. She recently wrote and helped produce a television special honouring Buffy Sainte-Marie at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa that aired on both CBC and APTN.
From a Short to a Feature Film
Writer, director and producer Gail Maurice shares how she took her short film, Rosie, and turned it into a feature film. In this episode she discusses authentic casting, colour palette and music licensing.
Gail Maurice is a fluent Cree/Michif speaking actor and an award-winning independent filmmaker. She’s an alumnus of the prestigious Women in the Director’s Chair. A recipient of the Hnatyshyn Indigenous award of excellence, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and the 2020 Netflix- Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative. Her films have screened worldwide in places like Sundance, Traverse City, Smithsonian, ImagineNATIVE and have aired on CBC, APTN and Air Canada’s enroute. Rosie, is her first feature film which was supported by the ImagineNATIVE institute’s inaugural screenwriting lab. She’s passionate about telling stories with strong female Indigenous leads.
The Virtual Reality of Filmmaking
Multi-disciplinary artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory shares the challenges of making a VR film in Nunavut and how this unique story can only be told by an Inuk. She also shares the story from her 2021 Sobey Art Award and the inspiration behind the incident that inspired her art.
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is an established multi-disciplinary artist based in Iqaluit, NU whose practice centres on uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dance) and also includes filmmaking, acting, curating, drum-dancing, music and writing. Through her artistic work, Williamson Bathory advocates for gender equality in creative spaces, decolonizing museum spaces and supporting Indigenous political voices. A multi award winner, Laakkuluk is the 2021 recipient of the Sobey Art Award.
Gen Z and the Short Form Art of Storytelling
Kairyn Potts is a Gen Z, two-spirit storyteller. He shares why social media is the storytelling platform form for Gen Z and why giving voice to his experiences and others in his generation works in five minute or less segments.
Kairyn (Kai) Potts (he/him) is proudly Nakota Sioux from Treaty 6 Territory, from Paul First Nation, and the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. He is a proud Two-Spirit person and currently sits as the National Youth Board Representative for the 2 Spirits in Motion Society. As a former Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention Team representative, he is a passionate youth advocate who works to improve indigenous youth’s lives, particularly interested in queer youth and youth in the child and family services system.
Kai now makes his home in beautiful Tkaronto where he works as a writer, actor, model, TV host, and continues his youth advocacy through content creation and frontline workshops and community events. He is the host for Snapchat’s Canada’s First Original Series “Reclaimed” and has appeared in the APTN Series “7th GEN.”
Documenting Truth Telling
Lisa Jackson shares her journey as a compelling and unconventional documentary filmmaker. She has broken new ground into docs and now Lisa will let you in on her best tips and tricks for making compelling documentaries.
Lisa Jackson is an Anishinaabe (Aamjiwnaang) award-winning creator of documentary and fiction film and television, VR, and multimedia installation work. As a director, her projects have won a Genie and Canadian Screen Award, broadcast throughout Canada, and screened at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlinale, and HotDocs. In 2020 she launched Door Number 3 Productions and is currently in post-production on feature hybrid documentary WILFRED BUCK and was a producer of Hot Docs’ Citizen Minutes in 2021. She was awarded the 2021 Documentary Organization of Canada’s Vanguard Award, sat on the NFB’s Indigenous Advisory, and is a member of the Indigenous Screen Office’s Membership Circle. She lives in Toronto, has an MFA from York University, attended the CFC Directors Lab, TIFF Talent Lab and Writers Studio and is a well-known advocate for Indigenous screen sovereignty.
Colin Van Loon and Trevor Solway are brothers in arms when it comes to filmmaking. The duo believe in their community and are giving the youth the opportunity to learn what they have – how to film on reserve and to build remote filmmaking and ceremony into the budget.
Filmmaker Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon) is Blackfoot, and Dutch and originally hails from The Piikani Nation. Community-centred, he aims to elevate the voices and stories of Indigenous peoples, whether it is creating spaces for youth works in the Talking Stick’s Festivals REEL Reservation: Indigenous Cinematic Indigenous Sovereignty Series or through his company Blackfoot Nation Films. This intent extends to collaborations with other Indigenous artists, including the Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Trevor Soloway and the late Taran Kootenhayoo. Colin is a recent graduate of the 2021 NSI Art of Business Management – Indigenous Edition and an in-progress student of Capilano University program, Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership & Management Business Affairs (FILMBA).
Trevor Solway, Sinakson, is a Blackfoot filmmaker from Siksika Nation. He attended the Independent Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University in 2012. He then graduated from Mount Royal University with his Bachelor’s of Communications in 2017. His Breakthrough film Indian Giver screened internationally and can now be found on Amazon Prime Video. Notably his film Broken Record screened at LA Skins in Hollywood, CA and American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Trevor’s broadcast debut came in the form of his documentary Intertribal on CBC Television and CBC GEM. In 2021 Trevor directed the POV documentary Kaatohkitopii (Kit-tay-kit-toe-pee) The Horse He Never Rode, which will air on CBC and CBC Gem late 2022. In 2022 he directed an episode of the docs-series Stuff The British Stole for CBC/ABC and an episode Amplify for APTN. Both episodes will air in 2023. He is the writer/director/showrunner of Tales From The Rez, a horror comedy anthology series that will be available stream on APTN Lumi in 2023.
The Métis Are Doing It For Themselves
When iconic actor Tantoo Cardinal first stepped onto a movie set, she immediately knew what was missing. Fifty years later, she has taken that moment and turned it into the Tap Root Actors Academy. Gracy Hardy and Barry Bilinsky have helped see Tantoo’s vision of a Métis filmmaking community program become a reality in Kikino Metis Settlement in Alberta.