The most impactful lesson I learned through this program is that there is an urgent and growing need for Indigenous producers in the industry, and that I am in the right place. The opportunity is there for us to bring our strengths as Indigenous peoples to the role of producer – by fostering strong relationships and doing things in a good way, being attentive to detail in our processes, protecting our stories and our people, and caretaking for our film community. We come from hardworking, resourceful, creative people and producing is very much that!
Many of us are also engaged in other aspects of the industry as writers, directors, performers and programmers – so bridging as producers on our own projects is important and added value in terms of self-determination. The other great lesson I learned from Lori Lozinski is, “producing is a schedule and a task list! Hehe!”
My project, Indígena, is a feature-length documentary film about my mother, historic Indigenous women’s activism and the Taíno resurgence movement – through the lens of a groundbreaking newspaper she led at the heart of the American Indian Movement. It is a co-production between my company, Akia Films, and Jessica Hallenbeck (Lantern Films).
I plan to use the insight and knowledge I have gained through this program to build my career as an Inuk / Haitian / Taíno producer and to help shape the industry with Indigenous values, ethics and leadership.
I see the film industry as an important site for affirming our sovereignty and restoring balance and power. I am excited to be part of it, to work alongside other Indigenous, Black, POC and ally filmmakers who are revolutionizing the industry, dismantling barriers, reclaiming space and innovating the ways we tell stories. Thank you National Screen Institute and to all who made this program possible!
About Siku / Indígena
Siku Allooloo (Inuk / Haitian / Taíno) is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, emerging filmmaker and community builder.
She comes from Denendeh (Northwest Territories), by way of Mittimatalik, Nunavut through her father and Haïti through her mother, and is well-regarded as a leader in Indigenous resurgence working across the arts, cultural land-based education and decolonial advocacy.
Siku is an artistic innovator who often reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral history and land-based practice.
Her artistic work has been included in several groundbreaking Indigenous exhibitions, including INUA (Qaumajuq-Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2021-2022); Indigenous Futures Rooted & Ascending (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, 2021); Hexsa’am: To Be Here Always (UBC Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, 2019); and Life on Neebageezis (Nuit Blanche Toronto, 2017).
Her poetry and other writing have been published nationally and internationally in The Guardian, Canadian Art Magazine, The Capilano Review, Chatelaine and Truthout, as well as several anthologies.
In 2021 Siku completed DOC BC / YT / NWT’s inaugural Breakthrough Program and was the first Indigenous artist-in-residence at Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society (Vancouver, BC).
Her first short film, Spirit Emulsion (2022), co-produced by herself (Akia Films) and Jessica Hallenbeck (Lantern Films), screened at the National Arts Centre and was officially selected for Available Light Film Festival, Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́Film Festival, SKODEN Indigenous Film Festival, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, DOXA and Māoriland Film Festival. She is also a programmer with Available Light Film Festival (2021, 2022), imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2021) and BlackStar Film Festival (2022).
Siku is currently working on the development of her first feature documentary, Indígena, as the writer, director and co-producer.
She is excited to be part of this program and is looking forward to learning from Indigenous mentors who have successfully navigated the industry and integrated their cultural values in their work, and who are passionate about creating greater room for Indigenous artists and stories.