The Reach relaunches Reel Change, a FREE film series showcasing films by global Indigenous filmmakers

Categories Uncategorized

After a brief hiatus over December and January, The Reach has relaunched Reel Change, a bi-weekly Indigenous film series that includes some of the most impactful films of our time. This diverse selection of Indigenous films will be screened at The Reach at 32388 Veterans Way on alternate Friday evenings, from now until June, 2019.

Reel Change includes films that range from documentary to horror, from science-fiction to biography. There is a deliberate focus on films by Indigenous filmmakers from North America, but the series also includes films from New Zealand and Australia that help put the colonial violence enacted against Indigenous people into a global context.

For each film screening, an Indigenous artist, author, musician, or other creative respondent has been invited to create a new work in their chosen medium. These creative responses will be displayed in a companion exhibition at The Reach, from October 2019 to January 2020.

“It was important for us to invite respondents who are of Stó:lō ancestry and/or currently reside on Stó:lō territory,” according to Andrea Pepper, Aboriginal Curatorial Intern at The Reach and Project Co-ordinator for Reel Change. It allows us to draw connections between the global scope of the film series and the local context, while also continuing to build strong relationships within our community.”

Please join us at an upcoming screening. Doors open at 6:30, films start at 7pm. Admission is FREE, with a concession and cash bar available. 

February 15: Rabbit Proof Fence (2002 | 94 mins | Directed by Phillip Noyce)

Three mixed-race girls are sent to a training camp for domestic workers as part of the Australian government’s policy to integrate Aboriginal youth into white society.

March 1: Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013 | 88 mins | Directed by Jeff Barnaby)

Alia uses the proceeds from dealing drugs to bribe the local Indian Agent. When her cash is stolen, she is taken to Residential School but soon escapes and vows revenge.

This film is rated 18A. Content warning: sexual violence, suicide, Residential School violence, profanity, graphic violence.

March 15: Smoke Signals (1998 | 89 mins | Directed by Chris Eyre)

A contemporary road movie, Smoke Signals is the first feature film to be written, directed, and co-produced by Indigenous Americans.

March 29:

Cedar: Tree of Life (2018 | 11 mins | Directed by Odessa Shuquaya)

This short documentary explores the relationship between cedar and three Salish women who work with it, weave with it, and live with it.

Hands of History (1994 | 51 mins | Directed by Loretta Todd)

This acclaimed documentary profiles four contemporary female Indigenous artists—Doreen Jensen, Rena Point Bolton, Jane Ash Poitras, and Joane Cardinal-Schubert.

April 12: The Northlander (2016 | 98 mins | Directed by Benjamin Ross Hayden)

In a time after humanity when nature has recovered the land, a hunter named Cygnus must protect a once-nomadic band of survivors searching for food and water.

April 26: Boy (2010 | 88 mins | Directed by Taika Waititi)

Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, this coming-of-age story is a celebration of the strength and resilience of children.

May 3: 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus (2017 | 45 mins | Directed by Barbara Hagar)

Part of a larger documentary series, this film brings to life the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples in the Americas before European contact.

May 31:

Roundhouse (2017 | 10 mins | Directed by Theresa Warbus)

This short film tells the story of Liya, a teenage girl conflicted about balancing her Aboriginal culture and social life.

The Road Forward (2017 | 101 mins | Directed by Marie Clements)

This musical documentary connects the beginnings of the Indian Nationalist movement of the 1930s to the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today. 

June 7: Our People Will Be Healed (2017 | 97 mins | Directed by Alanis Obomsawin)

In her 50th film, renowned filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education.

The Reach gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council and the Lohn Foundation. For more program details go to:

Media contact for Reel Change:

Adrienne Fast, Curator of Art & Visual Culture, The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford

Email:   T: 604-864-8087 x113