Screenshot from "Coming Together" film. April 10, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Marshall Leigh George)Screenshot from "Coming Together" film. April 10, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Marshall Leigh George)

Project involving students to open Indigenous Film Festival

The Indigenous Film Festival will include a special project involving students from the North Lambton area as they perform an Ojibwe song and take part in a round dance.

Filmmaker Marshall Leigh George said about 20 to 30 students per school participated in the project. The involved schools included Hillside School in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, as well as St. John Fisher Catholic School and Kinnwood Central Public School in Forest.

He said they decided to create a film about unity, where the students would sing the same song, written by Candace Scott Moore. Organizers began visiting the schools regularly in the fall to teach students the song and begin filming.

"We showed them the whole process, from storyboarding to scripting. We showed them how the cameras worked and honestly, the kids were like little professionals," he said. "They took directions so well while we were shooting and it was an absolute pleasure to work with all of them."

On the final day of filming, classes from all three schools gathered at a park in Forest to perform a round dance with drumming in the middle.

"What I hope people take away from this is, our culture is beautiful and inclusive," George said. "We invite people to come and learn. With this video, it represents how we can all come together, how we can all unite, and clasp hands."

The film, Coming Together, will be shown at the Kineto Theatre in Forest on Friday, April 19. Doors will open at 6 p.m. There is an $8 admission fee.

The opening night of the film festival will also include food, an artisan market, performances by Brothers Wilde, and films created by George.

He said the event will include some of his short films and documentary work done with the Anishinabek Nation. George will also participate in a Q&A.

Hey, Viktor! will be shown at the theatre on April 20 at 7 p.m. and Café Daughter will play on April 21 at 2:30 p.m. and April 23 at 8 p.m.

The film festival was organized in partnership between Wiiwkwedong Arts Collective of Kettle and Stony Point, North Lambton Community Health Centre, and the Kiwanis Club of Forest.

Read More Local Stories