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Skoden!: Indigenous film festival curated by SFU students comes to Vancouver

A full lineup of films by Indigenous creators is coming to Vancouver April 6 and 7.

A festival featuring Indigenous film from across Canada and curated by students at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts is coming April 6 to 7.

The Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Vancouver will host the sixth annual Skoden Indigenous Film Festival (SIFF), including four programs of short films and one feature film.

The feature WaaPaKe (Tomorrow) from Cree filmmaker Jules Arita Koostachin documents the suffering of residential school survivors, the impact on Indigenous families and communities – and moves beyond intergenerational trauma “with an invitation to unravel the tangled threads of silence and unite in collective freedom and power,” according to the film details.

Short films range from a lighthearted animation by Amanda Strong (Spirit Bear: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams), an absurd comedy by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (Buffalo Testicles for the Soul), and the tender and uncanny work by Lindsay McIntyre (NIGIQTUQ ᓂᒋᖅᑐᖅ [The South Wind]).

SIFF’s programs are thematically organized, and each is followed by a Q&A period.

The festival was created by Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) and Grace Mathisen at SFU in 2019; Sappier has co-taught the class Selected Topics in the Fine and Performing Arts with Kathleen Mullen for the last three years.

Skoden is an Indigenous slang term meaning “Let’s go then!”

Sappier said Skoden represents even more.

“Skoden represents a sense of happiness, inclusion and a space where all filmmakers can feel like they are part of something that holds them up in respect,” said Sappier in a press release.

Morgan Peequaquat, a student in the class, said the film festival has given students the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than just a regular classroom environment.

"It has really helped in giving each of us a voice through the rating and critiquing of the film submissions," Peequaquat told Glacier Media.

Instructor Kathleen Mullen agreed.

“We are sharing experiences and knowledge through this course with humour, dialogue, and respect!”

- with files from Brendan Kergin, Vancouver is Awesome

Sixth annual Skoden Indigenous Film Festival

When: Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7
Where: SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema (149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver)
Cost: Pay-what-you-can ($0 to $20, tickets available online)