Loretta Todd's Monkey Beach opened the festival with its World Premiere. Based on the book of the same name by Giller Prize finalist (2017) Eden Robinson, the film is "a modern epic underpinned by themes that have long defined heroic journeys ... a reconnection with the land, its denizens and the secrets it holds," and "a testament to Indigenous women’s ability to not just endure trials but emerge from them empowered." Todd was one of the first Indigenous women to pursue film studies at SFU in the SCA in the 1990s. She also directed the award-winning films The Learning Path (1991), "Hands of History" (1994), "Forgotten Warriors" (1997), and "Kainayssini Imanistaisiwa: The People Go On" (2003), and created, produced, and directed the Cree children’s series Tansi! Nehiyawetan on APTN. She also created the popular Cree language learning app, MyCree, and the webseries and transmedia project Fierce Girls about Indigenous girl superheroes. Find out more HERE.