imagineNATIVE COVID-19 Update

Press Release

Everyone at imagineNATIVE is sending best wishes to you, your families and communities during this time.

As part of the global effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, our staff are working from home for the foreseeable future and are available via email during our regular office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm EST. All current functions planned by imagineNATIVE – including the Tour and any in-person events – have been adapted to an online format, cancelled, or postponed. We have suspended work-related travel and are encouraging our team to stay home. We are fortunate in that we have not had to lay off or reduce salaries for our employees, all staff remain fully employed.

We want to inform everyone that we are moving forward with cautious optimism that we will host the 21st imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto on the scheduled dates October 20-25, 2020. As necessary responses to the pandemic require us all to be nimble, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and adapt as necessary. Any decision about a possible postponement of the Festival will not be made until late July or early August. Until then, we will continue with Festival planning, which includes our Call for Submissions and our fundraising efforts.

There is no cost to submit to the Festival; the links to the submission forms can be found here

Additionally, we are exploring immediate opportunities to develop and re-tool current imagineNATIVE programming, including Institute labs and events, for this new stay-at-home landscape we are collectively navigating. In keeping with our charitable mandate to support Indigenous content creators, we are identifying new ways to get fees to Indigenous media artists. Our goal is, as always, to inspire and connect communities through original, Indigenous film and media arts through our artistic and industry related programming.

Stay tuned for new announcements coming next week. Moving towards remote-friendly programs while offering new opportunities to filmmakers, game developers, audio and media artists is essential to our goal of having a full and inclusive outreach. We acknowledge that there are great limitations in offering online programming. We recognize the barriers faced by low income, remote and rural-based individuals and are keen to find new and alternative means of connection. We assure you that with our partners, we are researching new ideas and technologies in reaching as many of you as possible. This remains a priority more than ever.

We hope you will continue to check in with us as we walk this path together. We encourage you to visit our website and social media platforms often for real-time updates, opportunities and curated lists of Indigenous-made films.

In the meantime, we will be reaching out to artists, participants and audiences to gain a better understanding of how imagineNATIVE can better serve you during this time.

We look forward to your feedback and suggestions! Sign up for our Newsletter here and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

With kind thoughts and in solidarity,

The imagineNATIVE Team


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