The feature-length documentary s-yéwyáw / Awaken will premiere at home in British Columbia on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 4:30PM at the VIFF Centre in Vancouver. The film will screen on multiple dates in Vancouver following this special event screening, where the filmmakers and the film’s Elders will be in attendance for an extended Q&A and Indigenous ceremony.
s-yéwyáw / Awaken will also launch on the Sunshine Coast, where it was filmed and many of the team are based, at the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt on December 13th and 14th, 2023. This news follows the film’s world premiere at the Planet In Focus International Environmental Film Festival in Toronto where it was awarded the People’s Choice Award.
The TELUS original film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall (Meat The Future, The Ghosts in Our Machine), features stories of hope and homecoming as Indigenous multimedia changemakers learn and document the teachings of their Elders. The character-driven documentary connects the transformative stories of artist, musician and medicine woman Ecko Aleck of the Nlaka’pamux Nation (Lytton, BC), filmmaker and Traditional Wellness Coordinator Alfonso Salinas of the shíshálh Nation (Sunshine Coast, BC) and storyteller and impact producer Charlene SanJenko of Splatsin of the Secwépemc Nation (Shuswap, BC) as they learn and document the traditional cultural teachings and legacies of their Elders, including the impacts of Canada’s Residential School system.
Infused with Indigenous ceremony, s-yéwyáw / Awaken walks alongside the process of intergenerational healing and calls the audience’s attention to the filmmaking process of narrative collaboration between an Indigenous and settler team.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Liz Marshall and Alfonso Salinas for the film’s premiere at Toronto’s Planet in Focus. I leave you with our conversation.
For more details about s-yéwyáw / Awaken and upcoming screenings, please visit s-yewyaw.ca.