Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man who was killed on a farm in rural Saskatchewan will open this year’s Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

Organizers say Tasha Hubbard’s “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up” will make its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which runs April 25 to May 5.

A news release says the documentary “looks at inequity and racism in the Canadian legal system” after the case of Colten Boushie.

The 22-year-old member of the Red Pheasant First Nation died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering a rural farm property with his friends near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016.

Last year a jury acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder after he testified his gun went off accidentally when he was trying to scare off young people who drove onto his property.

The verdict gained international attention and sparked rallies across the country.

Hubbard’s film “weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a transformative vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands,” the National Film Board of Canada, which co-produced the doc, said in a statement.

The NFB said it’s the first film by an Indigenous filmmaker to open Hot Docs, which revealed its full lineup on Tuesday. In Cree, “nîpawistamâsowin” translates to ”we (small group) will stand up for others (big group),” a spokeswoman said.

Other Canadian films making their world premiere at this year’s festival include Phillip Pike’s “Our Dance of Revolution,” about Toronto’s black LGBTQ community.

“Prey” by Matt Gallagher is about a sexual-abuse survivor pursuing justice in a case against the Catholic church in Toronto.

Also having its world premiere is “Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies” by Oscar-nominated Toronto filmmaker Larry Weinstein, which looks at the history of the art of persuasion.

The festival’s Focus On program will feature Canadian filmmaker Julia Ivanova and her retrospective titles as well as the world premiere of her new film “My Dads, My Moms and Me.”

A total of 234 films and 18 interdisciplinary projects are in the festival.

Previously announced docs in the lineup include “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.” The Canadian singer-songwriter will also attend the festival.

Other guests set to attend include artist, activist and director Ai Weiwei (“The Rest”); biochemist Jennifer Doudna (“Human Nature”); New Brunswick-born Willie O’Ree, who was the first black player to skate in the NHL (“Willie”); and whistleblower Deane Berg along with Dr. Daniel Cramer and Dr. Ami Zota (“Toxic Beauty”).

The festival will also have virtual reality and interactive experiences, including the live performance of “Supreme Law,” a satirical re-telling of the origins of Canada’s Constitution with comedian Jus Reign.

Organizers say the films hail from 56 countries, with 54 per cent of the directors being women. That’s up from last year, when 50 per cent of the films were made by female directors.

“Like the lantern shown on the festival artwork this year, the filmmakers featured at Hot Docs light the way in showing us outstanding stories and outspoken subjects of immense power, relevance and importance,” Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs, said in a statement.

“The work of documentary filmmakers in their unrelenting pursuit of the truth is as necessary as ever, and we’re honoured to be sharing their vital, vibrant and creative films with Toronto audiences.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Donations pour in for family of doctor killed in Red Deer attack

An online fundraiser has raised more than $50,000 for the family of… Continue reading

Some Red Deer County residents oppose a gravel pit proposed for a flood-prone area

Howell’s Excavation co-owner says the proposal meets or exceeds standards

Workers at Regina linen company contract COVID-19 but facility safe: officials

REGINA — Health officials say 18 employees at a linen facility in… Continue reading

More COVID cases among Manitoba meat plant staff, but no closure planned

BRANDON, Man. — Manitoba’s top doctor says stricter regional restrictions are possible… Continue reading

‘Is this a town garden?’ Sylvan Lake resident has been gardening for 7 decades

Most summer days, Sylvan Lake’s Joel McCutcheon is in his garden pulling… Continue reading

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

The Alberta government reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 in its latest… Continue reading

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Vigil held in Maskwacis for 10-year-old boy

Samson Cree Nation comes together for comfort, console each other

Cuts to environmental monitoring budget In Alberta’s oilsands are viewed as reckless

The 2019-2020 budget saw $58 million dollars being dedicated to environmental monitoring

N.L. reports second COVID-19 case linked to out-of-province TV series worker

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A second person who works on the St.… Continue reading

World shares march higher as S&P 500 nears all-time record

World stock markets rallied on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said… Continue reading

Russia’s approval of virus vaccine greeted with some alarm

MOSCOW — Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a… Continue reading

Police tried to cuff young boy at Florida school

KEY WEST, Fla. — A civil rights lawyer plans to sue the… Continue reading

Ministers, top public servant to be grilled by committee on WE affair

OTTAWA — Two federal cabinet ministers and the country’s top public servant… Continue reading

Most Read