Monica Virtue‘s short documentary Freedom Drum returns to the big screen in Ottawa for a special 10th anniversary screening with Amnesty International Canada on the opening night of the 28th Annual One World Film Festival on September 28th at Saint Paul University.
At sunrise on October 12, 2006, members of The Midnight Messenger came together on Victoria Island in Ottawa to begin what would be a 24 hour vigil in support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In the midst of the raised voices and steady beating of drums, filmmaker Monica Virtue found herself not only documenting a profound call to action but also had her eyes opened to the larger activist community. Although originally engaged to produce a clip of the vigil, Virtue saw in the footage she captured an incredible story arc that could be used to create a short documentary: Freedom Drum.
The vigil was a call to the Canadian government to support the Declaration as well as to remind the country’s government that the battle for Indigenous rights in Canada is still unfinished.
In the decade since, Indigenous activists and their allies across Canada have continued to raise their voices and call on federal and provincial governments to honour treaties and agreements with First Nations communities and respect and support the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.
Freedom Drum screens with The Three Sister Community Garden and Water Warriors on Thursday, September 28th at 6:30PM. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Jean Symes from Inter Pares, with Indigenous speakers Norman Matchewan (Algonquins of Barriere Lake) and Ben Powless (Defenders of the Land, Idle No More, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition).
Click here for more information about these and other screenings and talks taking place September 28th to October 1st, as part of the 28th Annual One World Film Festival, and to purchase advance tickets and festival passes online.