APTN renews commitment as program partner of NSI IndigiDocs training program


Rachel Young

Outreach and Engagement Lead


APTN has renewed its commitment to the development of Indigenous documentary filmmakers by signing on to provide continued funding support for the National Screen Institute’s (NSI) IndigiDocs training and mentoring program.

NSI IndigiDocs is a part-time online program offering customized training for Indigenous documentary filmmakers who have an idea for a 10-minute film.

The training program has launched 54 Indigenous filmmakers into the industry, produced 28 short documentaries and created 359 jobs in independent productions with an overall budget of $582,943. Post production is currently underway on four more films which will be finalized this spring. APTN became a founding partner of NSI IndigiDocs in 2012.

“APTN’s generous investment in the National Screen Institute amplifies the importance of Indigenous storytellers in our community,” says NSI CEO, Joy Loewen. “We are committed to developing the gifts of Indigenous creators and APTN continues to help share that gift with the public. Not only do our students have their NSI-developed projects broadcast on APTN, but many of them continue to work with APTN throughout their careers.”

“The continuation of our partnership with the National Screen Institute allows Indigenous filmmakers access to personalized training and mentorship to elevate their projects,” says Monika Ille, CEO of APTN. “Through NSI IndigiDocs, we’re supporting talented filmmakers and investing in storytellers who will create future content for APTN. These graduates represent the future of Indigenous storytelling, and their success can be seen throughout the industry.”

NSI IndigiDocs films are celebrated at film festivals around the world. êmîcêtôsêt: Many Bloodlines, from producer Alex Bailey and director Theola Ross, received the Betty Youson Award for best Canadian short documentary at the 2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival and was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Shorts of 2020 by Toronto International Film Festival. As the Smoke Rises, from producer Jennifer Ille and director Sharon Heigl, won the best documentary short film award at the Screen Power Film Festival in London, UK.

The ninth year of the program begins February 22 – with Eagle Vision‘s Lisa Meeches as Indigenous training programs advisor, NSI’s Kaya Wheeler as program co-manager, and filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as program co-manager and director advisor, Shane Belcourt as story advisor and Tyler Hagen as producer advisor.

Through customized training, eight filmmakers will master writing, directing and producing. Up to four filmmakers will advance to the mentorship and production phase of the program and receive up to $16K to produce their film. Films have a guaranteed, exclusive one-hour special broadcast on APTN.

About APTN

APTN launched in 1999 as the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit and charitable broadcaster, it’s the only one of its kind in North America. The network is sharing our stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages to over 10 million Canadian subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audiences through genuine, inspiring and engaging entertainment on multiple platforms.

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NSI IndigiDocs 2020-22 is funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and RBC Emerging Artists Project; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Boot Camp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Strategic Sponsor documentary Channel; Supporting Sponsors Telefilm Canada, Super Channel and A&E Networks; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Service Sponsors Line 21 Media and iSplice Films. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. More sponsors to be added as confirmed.

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About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

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Rachel Young, Outreach and Engagement Lead

The National Screen Institute is supported by: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUSTelefilm Canada; Patron: CBC; Builders: APTNBell Media; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & MusicRBC Emerging Artists Projectdocumentary ChannelCBC GemCentre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD)Indigenous Screen Office (ISO)Canada Media Fund (CMF)The Winnipeg Foundation, Super Channel; Industry Partner: National Film Board of Canada; Friends: StantecWilliam F. White InternationalCompany 3.