May 20–26, 2023

Finding The Spirit

Short Films

Canada, Fiji, Mexico

Enjoy five short films curated by imagineNATIVE which explore Indigenous identity and stories from Canada and other parts of the world.

Finding the Spirit

Mujer Espíritu, Image courtesy of the artist.



Experience this series of new short films about young Indigenous identity by imagineNATIVE, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. imagineNATIVE is recognized around the world for excellence and innovation in programming, and as the global centre for Indigenous film and media arts. 

Finding The Spirit brings the strength of love to the surface. Finding that love for oneself, our ancestors, and our community. Together, we experience stories honoured by our ancestors that remain with us today. 

Mujer Espíritu (Mexico)

Directed by Adriana Ronquillo of Rarámuri / Mexico.

Year: 2021 | Length: 6 min 

Presented in Spanish with English subtitles

Directed by multidisciplinary artist Adriana Ronquillo, Mujer Espíritu is a fascinating hybrid animation that immerses audiences in the vision of the natural world through the music of the Mexican band Ampersan, inspired by the ceremonial chants of Maria Sabina, a Mazatecan sage who was a practician of Indigenous medicine based on their understanding of the flora and fauna of the Mezo-American forests. 

Məca (Canada)

Directed by Ritchie Hemphill of ‘Nakwaxda’xw / British Columbia. Written by Ida Smith of ’Nakwaxda’xw.

Year 2021 | Length: 8 min  

Presented in English and Kwa’kwala with English subtitles

A stop motion representation of the late Elder Ida Smith telling her grandson the legend of the Mink.  

Director Ritchie Hemphill grew up on the Tsulquate reserve and was raised by his community, the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people. Hemphill aims to create art honouring his identity as a modern Indigenous individual. 

Sina ma Tinirau (Fiji)

Directed, written by, and produced by Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko of Fiji 

Year: 2021 | Length: 8 min  

Presented in English and Rotuman with English subtitles

Sina Ma Tinirau is an animated film about a cursed prince who becomes an eel and has to win the love of a beautiful woman to become human again. In a seductive display, he gifts her with his body as a coconut palm tree.  

Vilsoni Hereniko is the first native of Fiji to make a narrative feature film: Titled Pear ta Ma ‘On Maf (The Land Has Eyes), which won Best Dramatic Feature at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in 2004. Sina Ma Tinirau is his first animated film. 

Spirit Emulsion (Canada)

Directed by, written by, and produced by Siku Allooloo of Inuit/Taíno / Northwest Territories

Co-produced by Jessica Hallenbeck  

Year: 2022 | Length: 7 min 

Presented in English and Hiwatahia with English subtitles

A new experimental film from award-winning filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist, writer and decolonial advocate Siku Allooloo explores women’s connection to the spirit world and Taíno culture. Spirit Emulsion is centred on the life of Allooloo’s mother, Marie-Hélène Laraque, an activist and Taíno Indigenous woman who co-founded one of the first bilingual Indigenous newspaper in North America. She died when Allooloo was a teenager. Shot on Super Eight film, and developed with plant medicines, the film was designed to find connection to the earth and the cosmos, portraying family love and ancestral sovereignty.  

Kikino Kids (Canada)

Directed and written by Barry Bilinsky of Métis/Cree / Kikino Métis Settlement/Alberta

Year: 2022 | Length: 14 min 

Presented in English

From the imagination of Kikino youth in Kikino Métis Settlement, Kikino Kids follows the story of rebellious friends, star-crossed lovers and brave explorers coming together to discover how connected they are.  

Barry Bilinksy is a professional theatre creator of Cree, Métis and Ukrainian heritage. Based in Montreal, he has worked across Canada on projects centred primarily around the proliferation of Indigenous arts, artists and collaborations. 

About imagineNATIVE

imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content and is recognized locally, nationally and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and as the global centre for Indigenous film and media arts. 

Keywords All AgesFilmKids