Indigenous film Disappearing Moon launches today
New film supported by CapU’s Indigenous Digital Accelerator explores the beauty of a pre-contact world
For CapU alumna Petie Chalifoux (Driftpile Cree Nation) and her husband Micheal Auger (Bigstone Cree Nation), resilience and faith are blessings. When making their latest film, Disappearing Moon, they learned not to take anything or anyone for granted.
Day one of filming saw them unexpectedly down seven or eight crew members due to a variety of issues, including travel concerns related to wildfires at the time. Those that showed up stepped up to fill in gaps to tell the story of Red Cloud, a father who sets out to find his 12-year-old daughter, Morning Star.
Disappearing Moon is a pre-contact story told as a short film that follows Red Cloud’s search. Along the way, he meets Kozano, a being from another dimension who might know what happened to Morning Star, but only answers in riddles to guide Red Cloud in his quest.
“The further back an Indigenous story goes in time, the more it is connected to the natural world of our Mother Earth,” says Chalifoux. “As Indigenous people, we have so much rich history, culture, legends, characters and stories that go far beyond contact and colonialism. This film is really just a small peak into a beautiful world.”
Chalifoux and Auger hope to build on Disappearing Moon with a series about Morning Star that introduces more characters, places and dimensions to share her full story. Their goal is to bring the Indigenous story to audiences around the world.
“Capilano University was by far the largest and most important supporter of the project. Key funding came through CapU as well as production equipment,” said Auger.
CapU’s Indigenous Digital Accelerator (IDA) program, which works with Indigenous entrepreneurs to help them grow their business, linked Chalifoux and Auger with funding from imagineNATIVE that was targeted at supporting an Indigenous film production business.
With support from additional funding partners - TD Bank, Western Economic Diversification, TELUS STORYHIVE, Indigenous Screen Office and the James Golick Grant for Women in Computology - the IDA program offers mentorship, along with technical and financial support to help Indigenous entrepreneurs build strong, sustainable businesses that positively impact the communities they serve.
Disappearing Moon will be released October 20-22, as part of the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and featured again at the American Indian Film Festival, November 5-13, 2021. The film is also nominated for the Achievement in Short Filmmaking Award at the L.A. Skins Fest, in Los Angeles, California, November 16-21, 2021.
Submitted by: Communications