Lead by co-instructors Kathleen Mullen and Carr Sappier, the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival is 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)

Class: Wednesdays (online / remote) and Fridays (in person), 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
(the last class on April 5 from 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM will be in person.)
Instructors: Kathleen Mullen and Carr Sappier
Guest Speakers: curators, filmmakers, and special guests

Open to all SFU students

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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.

Logo image by Samaqani Cocahq / Natalie Sappier

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The Skoden Indigenous Film Festival is presented by SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts with the support of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.