Toronto ⏤ Acclaimed Mi’kmaw filmmaker Jeff Barnaby has passed away on October 13th, at age 46, following a cancer diagnosis a year ago. Jeff was a talented and singular Indigenous storyteller whose impact on the broader landscape of Canadian cinema will be profoundly felt for years to come. Through his extensive body of work, including the critically acclaimed films RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS and BLOOD QUANTUM, Jeff inspired a generation of Indigenous filmmakers to push boundaries and utilize the tools of genre filmmaking to explore Indigenous lived experiences and the visceral realities of colonization.
“We are saddened by the loss of our long-time colleague and community peer, who was an extraordinary talent,” said Kerry Swanson, Co-Executive Director of ISO. “Jeff was a fearless filmmaker who was at the vanguard of a new wave of Indigenous dystopian horror filmmaking. We have lost a singular voice but we know his work will be watched, studied and written about for years to come,” said Swanson.
“Jeff was a brilliant storyteller and a passionate advocate for Indigenous storytelling – a vital figure in the Indigenous new wave of the 2000s, whose influence will be felt for generations,” said Jesse Wente, Co-Executive Director of ISO.
ISO offers our deepest condolences to Jeff’s family, friends and his home community of Listuguj.
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About the Indigenous Screen Office
The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector.