“Bootlegger” took the $7,500 Dramatic Feature Award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“Bootlegger” took the $7,500 Dramatic Feature Award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Drama ‘Bootlegger,’ doc ‘Warrior Spirit’ among winners at imagineNATIVE festival

Quebec-shot film has already won several festival awards

TORONTO — A drama about an Indigenous graduate student involved in a debate over the sale of alcohol on her Quebec reserve has won a top prize at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

“Bootlegger,” directed and co-written by Algonquin-French filmmaker Caroline Monnet of Outaouais, Que., took the $7,500 Dramatic Feature Award at the festival that wrapped Sunday.

Devery Jacobs, who grew up in the Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory in Quebec, stars alongside Pascale Bussières of Montreal.

The Quebec-shot film has already won several festival awards, including one for its screenplay at Cannes in 2017 before the film was shot.

This year’s $5,000 imagineNATIVE Documentary Feature Award went to “Warrior Spirit” by Las Vegas-based Landon Dyksterhouse, about mixed martial arts UFC champion Nicco Montano of the Navajo Nation.

Other winners in 18 categories during Sunday’s online presentation included “Angakusajaujuq — The Shaman’s Apprentice” by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk.

It won the $7,500 Live Action Short Award, which means the film can now submit for the Best Live Action Short category at the Oscars.

To be eligible for Oscars consideration, short films must either have a theatrical release or win a qualifying award at a specified film festival.

Toronto-based imagineNATIVE was designated “a qualifying festival” for that category in 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021.

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