Desiree Brightnose named recipient of inaugural RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award

Desiree Brightnose, Sonya Ballantyne

Rachel Young

Outreach and Engagement Lead

Desiree Brightnose (left) with award advisor Sonya Ballantyne (right). Photo by Douglas Little Photography, courtesy of RBC.

The National Screen Institute and the RBC Foundation, with support through Emerging Artists, have named filmmaker and entrepreneur, Desiree Brightnose, as the recipient of the inaugural RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award.

This award supports the career and talents of an emerging Indigenous filmmaker in Canada with $7,500 and mentorship from acclaimed filmmaker and award advisor, Sonya Ballantyne.

Desiree Brightnose is a Cree filmmaker based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After studying media production at Assiniboine Community College in 2018, she was motivated to see Indigenous stories told from an Indigenous perspective.

In 2020, she launched her own production company, Tilted Teepee Productions. Her work focuses on Indigenous language revitalization with the goal of providing a learning platform for those looking to delve deeper into their culture. She is an alumna of the 2021 CBC New Indigenous Voices program.

“An award like this is amazing, especially for Indigenous entrepreneurs or storytellers who want to start their own company,” says Desiree. “Now, I’ll be able to provide my clients with the best production quality I can, using my new equipment. This award can give an emerging filmmaker a solid foundation.”

The RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award has allowed Desiree to invest in furthering her career and expanding the reach of her production company. This includes upgrading information technology, equipment and branding and marketing materials.

“Through RBC Emerging Artists, we support arts organizations that provide the best opportunities for artists and creators to accelerate their career trajectory,” says Kim Ulmer, RBC Regional President, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut & Western Ontario. “Our partnership with the National Screen Institute enables resources and mentorship access for underrepresented and diverse creators to get to the next level. We’re excited that Desiree and Tilted Teepee Productions will be able to scale operations to amplify Indigenous stories and voices.”

Over 30 emerging Indigenous creators from across the country submitted applications for the award. Following a formal interview process, an external selection committee chose Desiree to receive the honour.

“I’m so grateful that I was chosen for this,” says Desiree. “I’m really excited to see what the future brings.”

This award is funded by the RBC Foundation through Emerging Artists.

Read more about Desiree and her career on the National Screen Institute website.

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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 in regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

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The National Screen Institute is supported by: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUS, Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund (CMF), Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE); Patrons: CBC, Creative Saskatchewan; Builders: APTN, TikTok Canada, Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), The Winnipeg Foundation; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & Music, Bell Media, RBC Emerging Artists, documentary Channel, CBC Gem, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD), Alberta Film Commission, Manitoba Arts Council; Industry Partner: National Film Board of Canada; Friends: Ontario Creates, Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), Bell Fund, Stantec, William F. White International, Company 3.