Indigenous movie filmed in Winnipeg hopes to pave the way for more
'The First Encounter' features an Indigenous cast with several scenes spoken in different Indigenous languages.
A film that features Indigenous people and language has just wrapped up in Winnipeg.
'The First Encounter' is a feature film that was shot in both Manitoba and Alberta. It features an Indigenous cast as well as several scenes spoken in different Indigenous languages including Blackfoot, Nakoda, and Cree.
"It’s a very powerful thing to see," said producer Tanya Brunel.
The science fiction film is set in a dimension where colonization never occurred, and Indigenous bands evolved into futuristic bands in harmony with the planet. It follows Alice Tallow, a young Metis librarian. When she returns to her hometown of Silt River, a series of strange and unexplained extraterrestrial occurrences start to affect the town.
Director and writer Benjamin Ross Hayden said he drew inspiration from a real life event.
"It follows what’s based on a series of council meetings and conferences that were had on the Yankton Sioux Reserve in 1996 where meetings of tale-keepers and elders met to discuss what extraterrestrial encounters meant to the many different nations of Indigenous people across North America and the decision was unanimous that we are not alone here," he said. "A lot of the script is based on those findings, those encounters."
Brunel said she hopes that this movie could pave the way for more Indigenous films to come to the big screen.
"The stories we have to tell are interesting, they’re different," she said. "I think if mainstream allows those stories to be told I think they will be pleasantly surprised with how wonderful they are."
The film is co-produced by Alberta-based Manifold Pictures and Manitoba-based High Definition Pictures. Both companies are Indigenous owned and operated.
'The First Encounter' is set for release in the fall of 2020 in Landmark Theatres and on Hollywood Suite.