Canada and New Zealand's indigenous sci-fi feature nominated for 11 Canadian Screen Awards
Night Raiders - a co-production between Canada and New Zealand - has been nominated for 11 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture. The project is written and directed by Cree-Métis filmmaker Danis Goulet (Wapawekka, Barefoot). Goulet received nominations for both the Original Screenplay and Achievement in Direction categories, as well as the John Dunning Best First Feature Award. The Awards will be presented during Canadian Screen Week in April and shown on Canadian television.
“The events in the film depicting despicable acts against children in state care happened in Aotearoa, in Australia among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and with Native Americans,” explains producer Chelsea Winstanley, pointing out that colonisation is a shared experience among many Indigenous peoples around the world. “What Danis has done through her script, which is so clever, has been to reference the past which we now experience the effects of in the present, to be a warning to our future. And that's the message: if we don't take notice of what we've done in the past, we can, if we're not careful, repeat those same mistakes."
Lead actress Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers received a nomination, and Gail Maurice - whose performance was conducted almost entirely in the Cree language - was also recognised in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Other nominees are Traci Loader for Achievement in Make-Up, Kendra Terpenning for Achievement in Costume Design, Rene Haynes for Achievement in Casting, Lou Solakofski, Graham Rogers, Stephen Marian, Alexis Feodoroff (NZ) and Tim Chaproniere (NZ) for Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Martin Tori, John Mariella, Frank Reuter (NZ) and Darwin Go (NZ) for Achievement in Visual Effects.
Set in 2043, Night Raiders is a female-driven dystopian drama. The post-war future thriller follows a mother joining an underground band of vigilantes, hoping to rescue her daughter from a state-run institution.
As well as adopting Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credits, the project was made possible through the participation of Ontario Creates, Telefilm Canada and Canada Media Fund and alongside the New Zealand Film Commission (in association with Bell Media’s Crave and CBC Films).
“What an incredible ride it has been!” exclaims the director in a statement on social media. “[I am honoured to share] this with our whole team, who poured so much of themselves in with so much love and courage.”
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