Logo image by Samaqani Cocahq / Natalie Sappier

Skoden Indigenous Film Festival

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.

Held within the heart of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Kwantlen, q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), Qayqayt, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen Nations territories, Skoden Indigenous Film Festival celebrates the works of Canadian based Indigenous filmmakers and talent, and features indigenous cultural traditions, including a welcome ceremony and witness. Started in 2019 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 are able to attend film programs and Q&As, celebrating Indigenous voices and cultivating more active discussions about reconciliation. 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.

Presented by the SCA with the support of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.

SIFF 2022 accepting submissions

The Skoden Indigenous Film Festival is back for its fourth-year and will once again take place in the beginning of April 2022 within the shared territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, British Columbia). Applications are now open on the SIFF
FilmFreeway page.

Dates & Deadlines

  • November 1, 2021 – Opening Date
  • December 17, 2021 – Earlybird Deadline
  • January 14, 2022 – Regular Deadline
  • March 4, 2022 – Notification Date
  • April 1 – 2, 2022 – Event Dates

Awards & Prizes

  • Best Film: 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.

Rules & Terms

  • Must be Canada-based and have an Indigenous person in a major creative role (director, producer, writer, lead actor).
  • The films can be about anything! They can be short or long narrative-based films or documentaries.
  • All ages and experiences levels are welcome to submit.

Find out more at the SIFF FilmFreeway page.

Skoden 2022 – The Course

Lead by co-instructors Kathleen Mullen and Carr Sappier, the 2022 edition of the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival will be a student-centred course in the School for the Contemporary Arts, but open to all SFU students.

Course description

CA389: Selected Topics in the Fine and Performing Arts | Skoden Indigenous Film Festival (SIFF)
Location: In Person

Class: Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Instructors: Kathleen Mullen and Carr Sappier
Guest Speakers: curators, filmmakers, and special guests

Open to all SFU students

Request to enrol by completing this survey.

This is an introductory film course, where prior experience with film exhibition and programming is not required. However, the ability to work independently and in groups is vital. Students will be called upon to be in committees that determine locations, fundraising, publicity, programming, exhibition and projection and other areas needed for a successful festival. The focus of the programming is on Indigenous film from Canada, and through this class we hope to offer another avenue for practicing decolonization and providing a platform for underrepresented filmmakers and artists. Students will learn about both Indigenous representation and organizing a film festival. This is an interdisciplinary course and we welcome students from outside the School for the Contemporary Arts.    


Kathleen Mullen has contributed to the programming, planning, and execution of film and art festivals for 18+ years. She has programmed films for Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, Planet in Focus, Provincetown International Film Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and many other festivals internationally.

Currently she is the Festival Director of Seattle Queer Film Festival overseeing the programming and operations of the annual festival and a mentor and festival consultant for two 4th year film students at Simon Fraser University who are starting up Skoden Indigenous Film Festival. In addition, Kathleen is working with the Whistler Film Festival, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, and most recently with the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival. She runs her own consulting company, Letter K Media, which supports filmmakers, festivals, and arts organizations with programming, arts administration, and story consulting.

Kathleen Mullen has written and directed the short films Button OUT!you wash my skin with sunshineSleep Lines, and Still Life with Butterfly. Her award-winning mid-length documentary Breathtaking screened internationally and won the Audience Award at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival.

Kathleen has a Master of Arts from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University in Toronto, Canada.

Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) is a two-spirited multi-genre filmmaker from Neqotkuk who just returned home from Vancouver after receiving a BFA in film at Simon Fraser University. Carr’s passion for filmmaking stems from an aspiration to decolonize the screen, and to offer an alternative and non-binary perspective of Wolastoqew storytelling. Blending and morphing different genre styles and film mediums provides Carr with methods to express their two-spirited and Wolastoqew identity. While still a student in the film area at SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts, Carr co-founded the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival in 2019 with fellow SCA student Grace Mathisen.  


WASIS (2017) (BABY)



Organizers, from left, Nicole Manson, Grace Mathisen, Kathleen Mullen, Noe Rodriguez, Kim Hockey, and Carr Sappier (front) during the inaugural Skoden Indigenous Film Festival. Image: SCA News.

SFU student Akira Iahtail introduces the 2022 Skoden Indigenous Film Festival. Not only is Iahtail the SIFF 2022 Festival Intern, she was also a student in the iteration of the SCA class that worked to organize and produce SIFF 2021.

Video: Jospeh Malbon.

Image: SFU News.


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2022 Skoden Indigenous Film Festival
April 1 – 2, 2022 | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts | 149 W. Hastings St. Vancouver


The 2021 Skoden Indigenous Film Festival
March 26 – April 5 | Online

The 2020 Skoden Indigenous Film Festival
Thursday, April 2 – Wednesday, April 13 | Vimeo

Skoden 90's Night!
Friday, February 7, 2020 | 9:30 PM | The Portside Pub | 7 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Skoden Indigenous Film Festival 2019
June 1, 2019 | 1:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts | 149 W. Hastings St. Vancouver


Logo image by Samaqani Cocahq / Natalie Sappier

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.