Reconciliation Film Festival

Join us for the 3rd Annual RISE Reconciliation Film Festival online from May 29-June 7, 2020.

To respect public health orders for physical distancing, this year’s film festival will be all online from the comfort of your own home. For 10 days, links to free Indigenous films will be posted daily online here and in the Facebook Event.

Join in the conversation online. Help spread the word about the festival and share your reviews of each film by tagging RISE on your social media and using the hashtag #RISEfilmfest

Day 1 – May 29

Who Cares (2012) 1h 19m

In this documentary from the National Film Board, director Rosie Dransfeld captures the gritty and dangerous world of Edmonton’s sex trade workers where, in a post-Pickton era, women now voluntarily provide police with DNA samples for future postmortem identification.



Day 2 – May 30

Elder in the Making (2015) 95 min

Two young urban dwellers embarked upon a spiritual journey across Treaty 7 through traditional Blackfoot territory in Southern Alberta and through thousands of years of ancient history guided by the history of Elders.



Day 3 – May 31

Two Worlds Colliding  (2004) 49 min

This documentary is an inquiry into what came to be known as Saskatoon’s infamous “freezing deaths,” and the schism between a fearful, mistrustful Indigenous community and a police force harbouring a harrowing secret. One frigid night in January 2000 Darrell Night, an Indigenous man was dumped by two police officers in a barren field on the city outskirts. He survives the ordeal but is stunned to hear that the frozen body of another Indigenous man was discovered in the same area. Days later, another victim, also Native, is found. When Night comes forward with his story, he sets into motion a chain of events.

Day 4 – June 1

The Crying Fields (2019) 19 min

A discovery on a small reserve in Alberta reveals the truth behind a 70-year old lie that has changed the community and its people forever. Learn more about how a wrong from the past is being reconciled on Enoch Cree Nation.


Day 5 – June 2

Journey Towards Reconciliation (2017) 54 min

Through the lens of a camera, a group of Indigenous youth in Edmonton explore intergenerational trauma, Indigenous resistance and resilience.


Day 6 – June 3

The Lesser Blessed (2012) 1h 26m

A drama centered on a First Nations teenager trying to find his place in the modern world. Based on the novel of the same name written by Edmonton-based Tlicho author Richard Van Camp, previously featured in the RISE Book Club.



Day 7 – June 4

Foster Child (1987) 43 min

An important figure in the history of Canadian Indigenous filmmaking, Gil Cardinal was born in Edmonton to a Métis mother but raised by a non-Indigenous foster family, and with this auto-biographical documentary he charts his efforts to find his biological mother and to understand why he was removed from her.


Day 8 – June 5

Empire of Dirt (2013) 1h 39 m

Going home was never an option for single mother Lena Mahikan. But when her 13-year-old, Peeka overdoses in the streets of Toronto, she is forced to return home to her estranged mother and face a life-long legacy of shame and resentment. Empire of Dirt is a story about second chances and summoning the power of family to soothe the pain of cyclical damage.



Day 9 – June 6

Warrior Fathers (2019) 44 min

Thomas Snow, a Stoney Nakoda father, searches his upbringing for wisdom on parenting his two youngest children in a colonial world. He finds himself caught between an unhealthy community on reserve suffering from generations of trauma and a technology-obsessed Western culture that is disconnected from the land.


Day 10 – June 7

Voices on the Rise: Indigenous Language Revitalization in Alberta (2019)

Travelling to the community of his ancestors, Eli Hirtle begins his language journey across Alberta. This three-part series celebrates and showcases the beautiful path of learning Indigenous languages, in different ways, in different places, all with the common goal of reclaiming identity, culture, and traditions.

Episode One 32 min   |   Episode Two 28 min   |   Episode Three 35 min