NSI IndigiDocs film Gift to Give by Erica Daniels premieres at imagineNATIVE


Rachel Young

Outreach and Engagement Lead

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) celebrates the world premiere of Gift to Give, a short documentary developed through NSI IndigiDocs by Manitoba filmmaker Erica Daniels, at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

The film will stream on demand as part of the imagineNATIVE Short Films Program – South from October 21 to October 23.

Gift to Give follows the relationship between a Two-Spirited daughter and her father, and the nuances in their relationship of acceptance and deep love. The story is told through the lens of the daughter, Vanessa, who has decided to give her kidney to her ailing father, Kenneth, in the hopes of saving his life.

Erica developed the documentary through NSI IndigiDocs in 2020 – a program offering customized training for Indigenous filmmakers who have an idea for a 10-minute film. Participants are paired with a mentor to help advise and guide them as they work through production.

Erica worked alongside mentor, award-winning documentary filmmaker and program alumna, Tasha Hubbard. Tasha’s recent film, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, has won prestigious awards across the country, including Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary Award at the Canadian Screen Awards 2020 and Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs International Film Festival 2019.

“I’m so grateful to all the mentors who guided me through the process of creating this powerful film,” says Erica. “I know the emotional story of Gift to Give will impact audiences and I’m honoured to have shared Vanessa and Kenneth’s kidney transplant journey.”

Erica began training with the National Screen Institute in 2010 through the CBC New Indigenous Voices program. She later participated in the inaugural Manitoba Content Creators Accelerator program in 2020.

In 2017, Erica launched her own video production and graphic design company, Kejic Productions. She’s received multiple awards throughout her career, including the 2019 Indigenous Film Award at the Manito Ahbee Festival and the 2021 Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award from the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.

In 2019, Erica was a film mentor to the participants of the inaugural NSI New Northern Voices program.

In 2021, with over 10 years of industry experience and extensive training with the National Screen Institute, Erica decided to share her knowledge and experience with emerging filmmakers as the new CBC New Indigenous Voices program advisor. She helped mentor participants as they learned the essentials of filmmaking.

“Erica’s career continues to flourish as she takes on new opportunities and projects,” says National Screen Institute CEO Joy Loewen. “We are delighted to see such an active member of the Manitoba film community and NSI family take their film to a new, national level.”

All four NSI IndigiDocs 2020 graduates have premiered their films at renowned festivals over the past few months. Peter Brass’ film Indigenous Dads and Steven Davies’ film, ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe, both made their world premieres at Vancouver International Film Festival 2021. Steven’s film was selected alongside Erica’s film for imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Miranda Currie’s Tails on Ice made its debut at the Cannes Short Film Festival in August.

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NSI IndigiDocs 2019-21 was funded by Program Partners APTNManitoba Sport, Culture and HeritageRBC 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 CanadaSuper ChannelCBC GemCorus EntertainmentA&E Television Networks; Provincial Sponsors Manitoba Film & Music, Creative SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA)Northwest Territories Film CommissionCreative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts FestivalHot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Service Sponsors Line 21 MediaiSplice Films. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

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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.