Two Social Distancing Stories by Indigenous Filmmakers

The National Film Board (NFB) recently introduced a new online feature on their website called The Curve. It’s a collection of approximately 30 projects by more than 40 Canadian artists aimed at telling stories about social distancing across different communities – from East to West and all the way to the North.

The projects cover a broad range of topics but the overarching theme is how the current pandemic has changed lives of Canadians and caused them to be more introspective and meditative. Stories also highlight how COVID-19 has created and, in some cases, amplified challenges and issues being faced by people in both rural and urban communities. Two Indigenous filmmakers are also featured on NFB’s online project and explore pandemic life through different lenses.

Nbisiing is about Ojibway filmmaker Cole Forrest’s love for his community. When the pandemic hit, Forrest and his partner left their apartment in Toronto and moved back to Nipissing First Nation near North Bay. Fittingly titled (Nbi translates to ‘water’), Forrest explores his bond with the community, the land and the water and reconnects with his ancestors in a time of social distancing.

Edmonton-based Metis filmmaker Conor McNally explores the idea of isolation in Very Present. He draws parallels between the pandemic and the experiences of his brother Riley while under house arrest. He explores the themes of police brutality and the COVID-19 lockdown. Very Present asks the question of how prolonged confinement shapes our experiences of time.

Check out both short films and others on NFB’s website here.

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