imagineNATIVE festival hits Toronto with a twist - APTN NewsAPTN News

imagineNATIVE festival hits Toronto with a twist


Beverly Andrews
APTN News Saturday
imagineNATIVE, the largest celebration of Indigenous films hit the streets of Toronto this week and has delivered those movies to its audience in a unique way.

‘I thought it was really really cool because we got to move around Toronto,” said film goer Emma Petahtegoose. “We got to walk around some roads I didn’t even know were here.”

Petahtegoose, and dozens of others on the tour weren’t in a theatre.

They were out and about in Toronto, walking down streets, and alleys – watching movies in unlikely places.  

“We got seven different locations in the area and we’re going to screen one film on each location,” said Sven Schwarza from a German company called A Wall is a Screen. “And the audience has no clue where they are going to go with us.”


The Imaginative Film and Media Arts Festival showcases stories from around the world.

For 18-years, Imagine Native has been screening Indigenous films at a theatre.

This year, it partnered with an artistic troupe from Germany called A Wall is a Screen – an organization that projects short films on unexpected surfaces and buildings in cities around the world.

According to the organization’s website, it is part walking tour, part film screening experience.

“Wall is a screen is a mixture of guided city tour and short film program,” said Schwarza.

The is the first all-Indigenous program the artistic group from Germany has curated.

“We got films from many Indigenous countries as well there,” said Schwarza. “And so it’s not only First Nations films, but we got Sami films, Moari films, so it’s a very wide mixture.”


Jason Ryle, artistic director of imagineNATIVE said a unique event like this celebrates short film in an interesting way.

“This, in a way, also really Indigenizes the urban landscape here in Toronto,” Ryle told APTN News. “Which is something we don’t have very often.”

The Imagine Native Festival runs until Sunday.

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