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Each artist will talk about the underlying goals and motivations behind their productions as well as their unique relationships with the art of stop motion animation. Learn more about the ecosystems surrounding Indigenous film productions across the country in this discussion moderated by Innu filmmaker Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush!


To keep the dialogue going, the local and international community is invited to ask their questions during a dedicated Q&A period with the special guest speakers.

Free live stream on Facebook


Roundtable: Indigenous Stop Motion Productions - Voices and Images

Saturday, September 18, 1 PM EDT

Presented in collaboration with Wapikoni


Pull up a chair and join us for the Festival’s first ever roundtable discussion to hear from our special guest artists about their stop motion filmmaking experiences and practices.


Métis/Saulteaux producer and filmmaker Melanie Jackson (based in Saskatchewan) will be in attendance, along with Métis filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist Terril Calder (based in Toronto), and Inuit filmmaker and producer Zacharias Kunuk (based in Igloolik in northern Nunavut). Also joining the roundtable is producer Neil Christopher, co-founder of the TAaqqut production studio (based in Iqaluit in eastern Nunavut).

See also:


Indigenous Cinema

Short films produced by our roundtable discussion guest speakers will be featured in a specially curated program of Indigenous stop motion films.


Zacharias Kunuk's film Angakuksajaujuq: The Shaman's Apprentice is in a competition program this year, the French subtitled version is having its Quebec Premiere for Canadian viewers during the Festival.

Special Presentation from Stop Motion Department (Toronto)

Behind the scenes of  ‘Angakuksajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice


Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush first collaborated with Wapikoni Mobile in 2009 when the travelling studio stopped in her Innu community of Nutashkuan. She worked as the local coordinator and also made a first film, Ne le dis pas (Do Not Tell), which was selected by several Montreal based film festivals RIDM, RVQC and Festival Regard at Saguenay. In 2011, she was a production assistant on Yves Sioui-Durand's film Mesnak, one of the first Indigenous fiction films in Quebec. This experience led her to become a production assistant with the production company. In 2015, she studied filmmaking at INIS in Montreal before working in an audiovisual theatre in France. Most recently this year, Jani received the Kuessipan Grant from the Fondation Québec Cinéma, in connection with her ongoing film project La grand'route, which depicts the meeting of a First Nation character from Nutashkuan and an Allochthonous from Montreal.

One of the foremost Métis media artists practising in Canada today, Terril Calder is a multi-disciplinary creator born in Fort Frances, Ontario, and currently living in Toronto. Calder’s Métis lineage is from the Red River Settlement and the Orkney Cree Métis. While her current practice is focused on stop-motion projects, which she writes, directs, crafts and animates, Calder also has an extensive background in performance art, visual art and media art.


Calder’s films have been screened at major festivals and venues across Canada and internationally, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam international film Festival, the Berlinale, the Tampere Film Festival and imagineNATIVE. In 2019, the Winnipeg Film Group presented the first retrospective of her work, and in 2020, she received her first film festival retrospective, at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.


In addition to her most recent animated project, Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics, Calder is co-creating a stop-motion video game with Meagan Byrne, providing animation for Alanis Obomsawin’s Green Horse project, and creating an animated art installation with the Glenn Gould Foundation in celebration of Obomsawin’s lifetime achievement award.

Melanie Jackson began her career in the film and video industry as a producer and an editor. Her editing credits include episodes of ’Trading Places’, ’Spirit Creations’ and award-winning productions such as ‘Journey Through Fear’; ‘Open Fire’; ‘Heartbeat of the Earth’ and ‘Christmas at Wapos Bay’. Her most recent work was Producer/Director/Writer of 34 episodes of the Gemini award winning, ‘Wapos Bay’ along with the feature ‘Wapos Bay – Long Goodbyes’.


In 2010, Melanie directed the short film “Dancers of the Grass” as part of the National Film Board Vistas Series. The film shows the graceful fluidity of a dancer as he creates multiple spiritual animals with traditional hoop dance formations, and was showcased at the 2010 winter Olympics venues and website.

Zacharias Kunuk – WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER Born in 1957 in a sod house on Baffin Island.


Originally a carver, Zacharias Kunuk sold three sculptures in Montreal in 1981 to buy a home-video camera to bring back to his home community of Igloolik NU. In 1991 he co-founded Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. with Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik and Norman Cohn. In addition to the feature Atanarjuat The Fast Runner (2001 Cannes Camera d’Or), Kunuk has directed more than 30 documentaries and feature films including The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, and Maliglutit (Searchers). His last feature, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (2019), premiered as the main artpiece of the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Biennale di Venezia, where Kunuk and the Isuma Collective were Canada’s representative artists. Angakusajaujuq is his first foray into the world of stop motion animation. Kunuk is also the winner of three Genie Awards, a National Arts Award, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Indspire award), and the 2017 Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. In 2015, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2019, an Officer of the Order of Nunavut.

Neil Christopher - PRODUCER


Over twenty years ago, Neil Christopher moved to Resolute Bay to work with the community to develop a local high school program. Since that time, Neil has been involved in culturally relevant education in Nunavut. In 2006, Neil was one of three people who co-founded Inhabit Media, Nunavut’s first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company. They wanted to ensure northern Canadians had a meaningful voice in Canadian literature. Inhabit Media has a mandate to ensure stories of the North are told by people who live there. In 2012, Inhabit Media produced an animated film called Amaqqut Nunaat: The Country of Wolves, based on an Inuit traditional story. This film was an international success, garnering many awards and critical acclaim. This prompted Neil to work with his business partners, Louise Flaherty and Danny Christopher, to start Taqqut Productions. Since that time, Taqqut Productions has produced award-winning short films, including The Orphan and the Polar Bear and The Owl and the Lemming, and the children’s television series Anaana’s Tent. Neil currently lives in the capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit.


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