Rezolution Pictures has taken home the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary at the ImagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto.
The winners were announced on October 23 and Director Tracey Deer was on hand to accept the award for her film Mohawk Girls.
“It was a real honour to win because there were so many amazing films at the festival,” said Deer. “I was completely overwhelmed. As soon as they announced my name my eyes teared up! I’ve known I wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a little girl. It feels amazing to be doing just that – and being recognized for it.”
Her second film and first solo effort followed four teenage girls growing up on the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake.
The fourth being Deer herself as she used footage from her days as an awkward teenager and interspersed it with the lives of the three young women.
“I wanted to make a film about what it’s like to be young, because as we get older we tend to forget how hard it can be. I think it’s important for us to help our young people through their teenage years and to encourage the extraordinary potential they each possess.”
Mohawk Girls talks about hard-hitting subjects, not the least of which is the blood quantum issue.
“We are at a strange place right now in my community. Many people are being excluded and denied their Mohawk identity because of Indian Act rhetoric and brainwashing. I think we are at a scary place right now.”
Mohawk Girls will air on APTN, although a date has not yet been determined.