2011 demo for Justin Rain
The 10th anniversary of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) kicks off November 16th. It promises to be the biggest and best festival ever, with more than 60 films, discussion panels and guest speakers.
The festival features lots of big names, but the one everyone has their eye on Justin Rain. A star of film, television and stage, Rain made his name in the supernatural romance fantasy film series, The Twilight Saga. He has also been on the cast of the Blackstone television series, a drama set on the fictional Blackstone First Nations Reserve.
Rain is of Plains Cree descent and grew up in Saskatchewan. He will play a role in WAFF's Youth Education Days, giving acting workshops and speaking at schools on the topic of using creative expression to overcome a troubled past.
Rain will be a Keynote Speaker on Saturday, November 19th at the Garrick Event Centre at 7:00 p.m. as part of Building Bridges. He'll share his personal stories to inspire and motivate Aboriginal Youth and to show how art can make a difference.
Building Bridges is a special project within the WAFF program taking place November 18 - 20th. It's part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Commemoration Initiative and deals with the impact residential schools have played on many generations.
"I asked myself how I have been affected by the residential school system and I realized I don't speak my own language," says Rain. "When I really thought about that, it kinda hurt. Something is missing from me - as who I am and where I come from."
In his brief career, Justin Rain has received numerous awards, including Rogers Peoples Choice Award at the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival. He also took the prize for Best Actor at the 2010 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival.