Two NSI IndigiDocs films premiere at Vancouver International Film Festival


Rachel Young

Outreach and Engagement Lead

The National Screen Institute – Canada celebrates the world premieres of ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe from Steven Davies and Indigenous Dads from Peter Brass at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

Steven and Peter both developed their films through NSI IndigiDocs in 2020 – a program offering customized training for Indigenous filmmakers who have an idea for a 10-minute documentary film. Participants are paired with leading industry mentors to assist in the development and production of their film projects.

“NSI IndigiDocs was very supportive of my project and helped guide me through the process of producing it,” says Peter Brass. “Through the program, I was able to work with Shane Belcourt, Michelle St. John as well as many other experienced people, without whom Indigenous Dads would not be what it is today.”

Steven and Peter entered the program with concrete ideas for their films. Through mentorship, workshops and hands-on training, NSI IndigiDocs faculty guided them as they turned their ideas into reality.

“Steven and Peter created two heartfelt, honest documentaries that audiences will remember long after they leave the theatre,” says Elise Swerhone, NSI IndigiDocs 2020 co-program manager. “These films not only speak to their practical skills as filmmakers, but also to their skills as storytellers.”

Both films are part of the VIFF Short Forum: Programme 3, and will make their theatrical world premiere on October 6 at 8:45 p.m. and October 7 at 4 p.m. at the Annex. The films are streaming across Canada through the VIFF website until October 11.

Stay tuned to hear about more NSI IndigiDocs films premiering at upcoming festivals!


ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe | Written, directed and produced by Steven Davies

After working as a clearcut logger in the Clayoquot Sound, master carver and land defender Joe Martin reconciles his past by revitalizing the ancestral knowledge and artistic practice of the traditional Tla-o-qui-aht dugout canoe.

Get your tickets now!


Indigenous Dads | Written, directed and produced by Peter Brass

Four Indigenous dads candidly discuss their fears and hopes in raising their kids in today’s world.

Get your tickets now!

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NSI IndigiDocs 2019-21 was funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, 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, CBC Gem, Corus Entertainment, A&E Television Networks; Provincial Sponsors Manitoba Film & Music, Creative Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA), Northwest Territories Film Commission, Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Service Sponsors Line 21 Media, iSplice 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.