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September 15, 2020
Michelle Latimer Brings Indigenous Stories to TIFF and Beyond
Actress and director Michelle Latimer is premiering her first feature film at TIFF this year. Due to COVID-19, the film festival looks very different. “So I’m mourning the lost experience a bit,” says Latimer, who is Algonquin and Métis and whose film, Inconvenient Indian, is based on the 2012 Thomas King book of the same name. The documentary explores the ways in which the colonization of Indigenous people continues in North America today. “I wanted to take the ideas that were in the book and further them. And for me that was creating an intimacy between the viewer and the audience member so that they could have an emotional relationship to these ideas, they’re not just academic, they’re not intellectual, but they become emotionally grounded in the very people that are in the community doing the work,” says Latimer.
Although the festival is primarily digital and smaller in scale, Latimer believes it’s still an essential tool for emerging filmmakers. “It’s important to show that stories can be told from different points of view and that there are many stories, and that they are as important as any other.” Festivals, Latimer says, tend to invest in creators long-term. “It’s not just about that film, but it’s about a vision for the future films you’ll make and what you have to say.” That’s why, pandemic or not, they must continue.