Skoden Indigenous Film Festival 2019

Used by Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast, Skoden is a unifying word that transcends a single language. Skoden is slang for “let's go then”. It’s an attitude and a battle cry and we’ve decided to take it to heart.

Skoden is a one day film festival, featuring the works of British Columbia based Indigenous filmmakers and talent. Started by two SFU Film students at The School for Contemporary Arts, Carr Sappier (Wolastoqiyik) and Grace Mathisen, the festival was created to showcase Indigenous filmmakers and to Indigenize the SFU community. Festival-goers will be able to attend two short film programs and special events, celebrating Indigenous voices and cultivating more active discussions about reconciliation.

Held within the heart of Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh territories, the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival will feature indigenous cultural traditions including a welcome ceremony and witness. We welcome new traditions and invite anyone who is interested in making our community more inclusive to come, learn, and share with us in the spirit of Skoden.  

June 1, 2019
SFU School for the Contemporary Arts
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St. Vancouver

Sliding Scale Tickets: Salmon $0 / Bear $5 / Raven $10 / Coyote $20

Tickets on sale now HERE

Please note: The 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. screenings are different programs and require separate tickets. If you are planning to attend the entire event, please purchase a ticket for each screening.


Stoodis First (Family Screening) – 1:00 p.m. | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema
Stoodis Next (*Adult Screening) – 4:00 p.m. | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema
Stoodis After (Awards Ceremony) – 7:30 p.m. | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre

(Awards Ceremony is not ticketed, everyone welcome but space is limited)

After Party – 9 p.m. | The Pint (455 Abbott St, Vancouver)

*All films are not rated, Adult Screening content warning: includes scenes of sex, nudity, coarse language, violence and substance abuse.

Criteria for Short Film Submission

  • Must have an Indigenous person in a major creative role (director, writer, lead actor, editor, director of photography)

  • Films must be British Columbia based (made in BC or created by a filmmaker who lives in or identifies as being from BC)

  • The film must be 10 minutes in length or shorter

  • Film can be about anything!

  • Final film format needs to be Quicktime

Submissions are now closed

Awards & Prizes

Best Short: An award selected by the judges as the best all-around film.
Audience Favourite: An award chosen by the audience for their most favourite film.
Trickster Award: An award for the most innovative filmmaker who bucks conventions and redefines style. This award values creativity over experience.

Full festival program


Stoodis First – 1:00pm (Total Running Time: 72 min.)


Clouds of Autumn (2015)
Trevor Mack and Matthew Taylor Blais

Singular visual interpretations infuse co-director Trevor Mack’s family history with a slowly shifting tone that evokes loss and love between a brother and sister.

Haven (2018)
Marjorie Joseph and Matthew Newman

A young girl in fairy form finds Haven with a travelling Shaman.

Our Way of Life (2017)
Kelly Anderson

A homage to the filmmaker’s grandfather and his attachment to his Gwa’sala culture and his encouragement for his granddaughters' own interest and practice in their culture as well.

Spirit (2019)
Tristin Greyeyes

Two friends watch a movie together and one of them sees something in the window. The friend doesn't but lights up some smudge and it helps.

Proximity (2018)
Emma Joye Frank

Proximity is an improvised experimental short contrasting memory with reality, land and development. Our narrator and impromptu tour guide leads us on a sunny walk through the city, recalling her home in the K'ómoks Valley and overlaying those memories over the city landscape.

Waterside (The Crossing) (2014)
Russell Wallace

The music was originally composed for the dance performance of "The Threshing Floor". The music is based on traditional Salish music forms. The video is from a transit ride over Iron Workers Memorial Bridge looking towards downtown Vancouver.

Savage (2009)
Lisa Jackson

On a summer day in the 1950s, a native girl watches the countryside go by from the back seat of a car. A woman at her kitchen table sings a lullaby in her Cree language. When the girl arrives at her destination, she undergoes a transformation that will turn the woman’s gentle voice into a howl of anger and pain. In a place like this, there aren’t many chances to be a kid. But, when no one’s watching…. A residential school musical.

Spirit (2018)
Latisha Wadhams Pelkey, Claire- Louise Brown, Lilianna Crowe, Nike Langan        

A Two Spirit student interested in trying out for the school's hockey team confronts difficult questions of her personal identity in the process.

The Dzunuk'wa (2017)
Alexander Heuman

An adapted and animated version of The Kwakwaka'wakw Legend: The Dzunuk’wa, who is a sleepy monster who steals children who are out late at night.

The Mountain of SGaana (2017)
Christopher Auchter

In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.

OChiSkwaCho (2018)
Jules Arita Koostachin

OChiSkwaCho is a sacred being, known to many Indigenous people as a spiritual messenger. Kokoom, an elderly (spiritually ailing) two-spirit woman has to decide whether to stay with her grandchildren or follow the Ochiskwacho.


Stoodis Next — 4:00pm (Total Running Time: 83 min.)


Cedar Tree of Life (2018)
Odessa Shuquaya       

A short, expressionist documentary, exploring the relationship between Cedar and three Indigenous women who work with it, weave with it, and live with it.

Holy Angels (2017)
Jay Cardinal    

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s short documentary Holy Angels powerfully recaptures Canada’s colonialist history through impressionistic images and the fragmented language of a child.

Tribal Canoe Journeys: Standing Together (2017)
Emma Joye Frank

An experimental documentary exploring the concept and cultural importance of the West Coast Tribal Canoe Journey.

Her Sugar Is? (2009)
Dana Claxton  

A playful burlesque performance peels away layers of history to reveal a persuasive and thought-provoking dance that informs as much as it delights.

Justin Ducharme        

A simple and naturalistic approach to a day in the life of a two-spirit, male sex worker as he visits his clients. Positions is an unapologetic and realist exploration of sexual desire, the quest for financial stability, and the pursuit of agency over one's own body.

Iridescence (2017)
Maxime Beauchamp  

Iridescence is an experimental visual short film, which exposes how society needs to label a person by their sexuality. In this story, dance and interpretive movement replaces the dialogue, allowing us to use the body to communicate the relationship between the characters and their true human emotions.

?E?ANX (The Cave) (2009)
Helen Haig-Brown

A hunter on horseback accidentally discovers a portal to the afterlife in this fantastical version (in Tsilhqot'in with English subtitles).

Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) (2018)
Amanda Strong

Accompanied by 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighborhood of Ontario. Driven by the words of Anishinaabe writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Amanda Strong’s mesmerizing stop motion animation intricately weaves together multiple worlds through time and space, calling for a rebellion.

Logo image by Samaqani Cocahq / Natalie Sappier


Organizers: Grace Mathisen (Festival Director), Carr Sappier (Festival Director), Kathleen Mullen (Festival Consultant), and Nicole Manson (FCAT Indigenous Academic and Student Liaison).

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The School for the Contemporary Arts recognizes that we are on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

June 01, 2019