This is a small selections of films from our collection. To date, the Nakoda AV Club has completed over 100 short films. Some of these are available to watch online on our Vimeo Channel. We've worked with many partners including: Yellowstone to Yukon, Banff National Park (November 2 2019), the Whyte Museum and Archives, Calgary Public Library, Calgary Arts Development Association (and their Original Peoples Investment Program), Femme Wave, Truck Gallery, Emmedia, Calgary Society for Independent Filmmakers, Quickdraw Animation Society, Calgary Animated Objects Society, Nakoda Youth Council, Wapikoni Mobile and the Banff Centre.
Our films premiere in our community but they have also screened at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, AlterNative Festival (Calgary), ImagineNative (Toronto), The NYU Indigenous Film Festival (New York), Dreamspeaker Festival (Edmonton), ThirdACTion Film Festival (Calgary), Works Festival (Edmonton), First Nations Film and Video Festival (Chicago), and American Indian Film Festival (San Fransisco). Our documentary and other films are regularly shown at libraries, arts galleries, and universities.
We also engage in other arts projects. In 2019 we held an exhibit of visual art as part of Rubaboo Festival. Our members perform at events such as Cochrane Light Up! and contribute annually to Indigenous day festivities. Follow us on Instagram (@nakodaav) to see our most recent projects.
The Flood in Morley
This animated short was made in the summer of 2013 when Southern Alberta was engulfed in catastrophic flooding. An emergency shelter and support center for the residents of Morley was set up at Morley Community School, and throughout the summer this was home for many local children. The Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club spent over 10 hours volunteering with the children impacted by the flood, teaching them animation basics, drawing skills, narrative, and the use of animation and sound recording programs. This film, which was written, drawn, animated, edited, and voiced, by children ages 4-10 was one of the productions that resulted from that project. The children decided that this was the story they wanted to tell, because at the time they were all enjoying the experience of being together, but also they missed being at their homes. In late 2014 many of the homes on the Morley Reserve have still not been rebuilt.
2013. 1:02 minutes. Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club.
This story of friendship was produced in one of the Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club school programs. Our in-school sessions utilize local and grade appropriate curriculum, and we work with teachers to determine areas of focus. In the past we have been asked to design programs to teach about topics such as copyright law, bullying, natural history, and the concept of story. As a general rule, we work to teach students about the ways in which they can tell stories, but do not dictate content. Yet with young learners it is often helpful to frame workshops with themes that can be interpreted in many different ways.
When young people are given tools to tell stories, interesting themes and subjects often emerge. Here a group of young girls hints to their audience about the role of bullying and friendship in their lives.
2012. 0:38 minutes. Keishia Abraham Brittnay Dixon Chelsie Abraham.
Coyote vs. Slender Man
These films are reproduced here because their owners have given us permission to do so. At the end of every workshop participants receive a copy of their work on DVD to take home and show in whatever ways they choose. In our eyes the collaborators on any project remain the owners of their story.
This film shows an incredible transformation in the lives of Indigenous youth. The filmmaker begins by showing an interaction between a bear person (who is a cousin of human people), and coyote, one of the trickster figures in Stoney history. Slender Man, who is a modern trickster figure to many young people, then terrorizes coyote. This story was conceptualized entirely by the filmmaker, who sought help from friends to create the complex characters and ultimately to animate the piece.
2013. 0:43 minutes. Danzel Dixon
Little Blue Bird
The Little Blue Bird movie is part of an ongoing project that the Nakoda AV Club has been comissioned for by the Stoney Education Authority Language and Culture Team. The project goals are to develop multimedia tools that allow teachers to work with the Nakoda language in their classrooms.
We know that language and culture are key to the health of Indigenous communities around the world, and that's why we're so happy to be working on this project together.
The song is a popular Nakoda lullaby, but this is the first time is has been recorded and animated by Stoney youth.
2014. 1:49 Amber Twoyoungmen and Kez Lefthand
Children's Animation Christmas Showcase
In December 2014 the AV Club was invited to particiapte in a Children's party for the American Indian Community House. We brought our equiptment and showed the participants how to make their own characters, and film them moving useing Stop-Motion technology. The children were ages 4-10, and the ammount of thought and care they put into their projects is simply remarkable. We knew that with more time, this group of kids could easily become master animators!
The Nakoda AV Club enjoys projects like this, that spread the joy of storytelling, and that encourage children to use their creativity with technology. We feel that by understanding the current methods used in storytelling from a young age children are better able to decode the messages that are told to them in media everyday.
2015. 1:16 The Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club
As part of our process we request access from our community to tell stories. When we made our documentary Ahomapénî; Relations and Rez Dogs, we requested permission to tell the story of dogs in Morley by sponsoring a memorial round dance. Our thanks to the hosts Trilena and Melvin Lefthand and their friends & relatives (Trylen & Margy, Carly & Delora, Jay, Ron, Pat, Sandy) as well as Travein Poucette, Renita Young, Cherith Mark, Mark Laycock, Desi & Olivia Ear, Hank & Iona Snow, Alice Kaquitts, Barbera Hunter, Krista Hunter, Billy Snow. Special Huge Thank you to both the MC's Douglas Bonaise & Daniel Wildman, the stickman Davey Bremner, the floorman Reichel Poucette & all 26 singers who have came to rock mini'thni.
2018. 6:16 The Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club
Home of the Wanarhi Dâ'âsî
In the Nakoda language "Wanarhi Dâ'âsî" means bad spirit or devil. This short film explores the consequences of decisions that youth today are faced with. Loosely based on the parable of the two wolves, Home of the Wanarhi Dâ'âsî is a story about a girl, the choices she faces in life, and the realization that she might be on the wrong path.
The Nakoda AV Club was hired to carry out this project for the Stoney Education Authority. The film was developed as part of a week long spring break film camp for junior and senior high school students. Participants carried out all the film making activities from pre-production to filming, with the AV Club and their guiding Elders providing the story, and editing. The camp included lessons in acting, story boarding, camera sound and light operation, makeup and costuming for film, and set etiquette. The project culminated in a celebratory premiere night for the cast and crew at the Bearspaw Youth Center with the help of the Youth Empowerment Strategy. The full film can be viewed upon request.
2016. 12:35 The Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club
When the pandemic hit we were worried about our community. Our lifeways are conducive to its spread, because we visit a lot, we take care of our Elders and young ones together, and we have large families living in small spaces.
In collaboration with the Stoney Nakoda Youth Council we made this film. It was requested by the Emergency Response department, and made using social distancing and Alberta Health Service protocols.
2020. 4:04 The Stoney Nakoda Audio Visual Club