ISO Announces Four Indigenous Storytellers for Immersive Incubator Program at MIT - ISO-BEA

Toronto (Tkaronto)_The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) in collaboration with Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab have selected four screen-based Indigenous artists from different regions in Canada for the new Immersive Incubator taking place at the MIT campus from April 23 to April 26, 2023. The cohort will be joined by two US-based Indigenous storytellers with five projects supported in total.

“ISO is thrilled to renew its collaboration with MIT’s Co-Creation Studio. We are committed to fostering innovation in storytelling and this tailored program offers hands-on learning to accelerate three exciting projects”, said Kerry Swanson, ISO’s CEO. “This initiative is in line with the ISO’s strategy to assist the upcoming generation of storytellers to produce Digital, Interactive and Immersive content,” added Swanson.

The four selected participants are Ryan Atimoyoo (Cree,British Columbia), Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (Inuk,Nunavut), Anne Riley (Slavey Dene/German, British Columbia) and Dr T’uy’t’tatanat Cease Wyss (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh/Sto:lo/Hawaiian/Swiss, British Columbia), who will be working on one project as a team.

The program covers an overview of co-creation methods and in-depth case studies and screenings along with guided group workshops to develop participants’ own projects and action plans for their work. The facilitators include Co-Creation Studio Artistic Director Katerina Cizek, Lead Artist Amelia Winger-Bearskin, and invited guests.

“We are very excited to welcome ISO and all the artists on campus for this first-of-its-kind gathering, centring a powerful Indigenous cohort in the context of emergent technologies and co-creation.” explained Katerina Cizek, Artistic Director and Co-Principal Investigator at Co-Creation Studio

Each participant will also receive a $20,000.00 CAD contribution from ISO towards the research and development of their project. ISO delegates are supported by CMF and Canadian Heritage.

Co-Creation Studio is supporting two US delegates, Tiare Ribeaux (Kānaka Maoli) and Chloe Alexandra Thompson (Beaver Lake Cree Nation/New York), with funding from National Endowment for the Arts, Nia Tero and Perspective Fund. The Studio is supported by the MIT Center for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (CAST), the MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation.

This partnership is the second iteration of an ongoing collaboration between ISO and Co-Creation Studio, which was inaugurated with a one-year Fellowship Program in 2020.


Ryan Atimoyoo (he/his)
Ryan Atimoyoo is a Cree, Native American and dual US citizen from the Little Pine Reserve. He is an international award winning writer/director within the Vancouver filmmaking community. He has studied at New York’s Circle in the Square Theater School and holds a Joint MFA in Screenwriting and Film Production from The University of British Columbia as well as graduating from Netflix’s Pacific Screenwriting Program in 2021.

He has gathered numerous international awards, grants and screenings ranging from Best Webseries/ Best VFX in The New Media Film Festival, Best Horror Screenplay in The Canada International Film Festival, A Golden Ace award from The Las Vegas Film Festival and has worked in the industry on various projects ranging from Batman vs Superman, Fast & The Furious 7, Fear The Walking Dead, The Magicians and more.

In 2021, Ryan completed his first sci-fi, vr short film titled “Chord VR” which screened at VIFF, and worked on S1 of Netflix’s “Grendel ” as a Script Coordinator under Andrew Dabb. In 2022, he was a winner of Access Reelworld’s competition to join the writer’s room for City TV’s “Hudson and Rex” S5 series and was a finalist for the NBC Launch Program. In 2023, Ryan won a $20K grant to complete a script, and holds two buyer’s agreements on two of his other scripts. He is also a semi-finalist for the FOX incubator program and has finished his first staffing gig as an Executive Story Editor on the Paramount +series “Skymed” S2.

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (she/her)
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is an multi-award winning Inuk artist, that tackles sexuality, intergenerational strength, fear, boundaries, and love, Indigenous cultural politics, decolonization, social activism, climate change and language reclamation. Laakkuluk uses uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dancing), poetry, theatre, film and performance art in her practise. Winner of the 2021 Sobey Art Prize, Laakkuluk is previously winner of the Sinchi Indigenous Award (2020), the Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award (2018) and co-winner of a Dora Mavor Moore Award (2018).

Laakkuluk often collaborates with Jamie Griffiths. Their recent works include Timiga, Nunalu, Sikulu (2018) for the touring exhibition #CallResponse and Silaup Putunga (2019), a film installation acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario for their permanent collection. In summer 2022 co-created Contamination Hidden Beneath the Ground a 360 immersive visio-sonic poem installation at the K21 Museum in Dusseldorf, Germany. In 2019, Laakkuluk launched Ikumagialiit, a performance art quartet. A live performance was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada for the international Indigenous art exhibition Abadakone (2019).

Aatooq (2021), a short film by Ikumagialiit, screened at the Nuuk International Film Festival (2021), National Arts Centre of Canada (2021) and the Nunavut international Film Festival (2022).

Laakkuluk is director, writer, performer and executive producer of the VR film Tartupaluk (prototype) that was recently selected by the Berlinale Forum Expanded (2023) and International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (2022). She is also director/co-writer of Qaumma, a play that premiered at Festival TransAmerique in Montreal in 2022.

Anne Riley (she/they)
Anne Riley is a multidisciplinary Indigiqueer artist living as a Slavey Dene/German guest from Fort Nelson First Nation on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh Nations. Her work explores different ways of being and becoming, touch and Indigeneity. From 2018-2020, Riley collaborated with T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss on ‘A Constellation of Remediation’, a public art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver that consisted of Indigenous remediation gardens throughout the city. Riley is a member of Fort Nelson First Nation and is currently researching about Dene ways of being and knowing while studying at Dechinta in their land-based research certificate program.

Dr T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss (she/they)
Dr T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss is Sḵwx̱wú7mesh/Sto:Lo/Hawaiian/Swiss and she an interdisciplinary artist who works with digital media, writing, performance and land based remediations as her multi-disciplinary arts practice. She is a community engaged and public artist, Indigi-Futurisms developer/artist, land based artist and ethnobotanist/permaculture designer.

Her works range over 30+ years and have always focussed on sustainability, permaculture techniques, Coast Salish Cultural elements and have included themes of ethnobotany, indigenous language revival, Salish weaving and digital media technology.

In 2022 Cease was awarded an honorary PhD from ECUAD and was also awarded the MST [Musqueam/Skwxwu7mesh/Tseil watuth: aka Skwxwú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ Lands & WatersSkwxwú7mesh Ux̱imix̱w’] AiR fieldhouse in Stanley Park for the next 3 years. She will be infusing all elements of her diverse practice into this time spent reconnecting to her ancestors whose spirits remain a part of this forest and shoreline.

Chloe Alexandra Thompson (she/her)
Chloe is a Cree, Canadian, interdisciplinary artist and sound designer presently based in New York. Thompson approaches sound as a mode of connection—embracing the kinesthetic agency of sound to compose abstract feats of spatialized audio recording and synthesis. Her work engages tactics of material minimalism to create site-specific installations that sculpt droning, maximalist experiences out of space and sound.

Thompson’s work, often utilizing multi-channel audio or high-density loudspeaker arrays, has previously been presented by CTM Berlin, and Hellerau (DE); Beyond the Frame, and MUTEK Tokyo (Japan); MUTEK Montreal (2019 & 2022), Send + Receive Festival, and Quiet City (Canada); British Council Arts and Somerset House for Amplify DIA, Arebyte, and Hervisions (UK) ; Performance Space New York, Basilica Hudson, Pioneer Works, Qubit (NY); On the Boards, and Wayward Concert Series (WA); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Northwest Film Center, Disjecta, and Yale Union (OR), among others.

Presently a part of ONX Studio (Onassis Foundation), Thompson has participated in residencies at Pioneer Works (NY); HERVISIONS x Arebyte AOS residency (UK), and Amplify residency in collaboration with Somerset House and MUTEK (UK). She has been awarded funding from the Canada Council for the Arts for her work around AI in collaboration with the Metacreation Lab at Simon Fraser University. Thompson also recently created a Virtual Reality work in collaboration with Matthew Edwards as part of MUTEK’s inaugural Immersive Collection with distribution through Astrea Immersive.

Tiare Ribeaux (Kānaka Maoli) (they/them/she/her)
Tiare Ribeaux is a Kānaka Maoli filmmaker, writer, and artist. Her films disrupt conventional storytelling methods by employing magical realist explorations of spirituality, labor, and the environment to critique both social and ecological imbalances.


For more information or to book an interview please contact:

Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin
Director of Marketing & Communications
(438) 826-6291

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.

About Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab
Founded in 2016, the Co-Creation Studio is an initiative at MIT Open Documentary Lab. The studio researches and incubates collective creation, through a constellation of media methods. For us, co-creation can occur within communities, across disciplines and with non-human systems such as Artificial Intelligence, as outlined in our book, Collective Wisdom: Co-Creation Media for Equity and Justice. We work within the context of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where we bring together storytellers, technologists, and scholars to explore new documentary forms with a particular focus on collaborative and immersive storytelling. A center for documentary research, the lab offers courses, workshops, a fellows program, public lectures, and conferences; it incubates projects; and it develops resources and critical discourse. Projects incubated at our lab have premiered at Sundance, Venice, Tribeca festivals and have won Emmys and Webbys, Ars Electronica along with many other global awards. In the spirit of MIT’s open courseware and open source software movements, the Open Documentary Lab is inclusive, collaborative and committed to sharing knowledge, networks, and tools.