Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Fest plans tribute to Jamie Prefontaine, a.k.a. Brooklyn

A tribute night for Jamie Prefontaine, better known as Brooklyn of hip-hop band Winnipeg's Most, is among the events planned for the 14th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, which starts Wednesday.

5-day festival begins Wednesday morning at Bandwidth Theatre on Ellice

The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film festival is planning a tribute to Winnipeg hip-hop artist Jamie Prefontaine, known as Brooklyn of Winnipeg's Most, who died in September. (CBC)

A tribute night for Jamie Prefontaine, better known as Brooklyn of Winnipeg's Most, is among the events planned for the 14th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, which starts Wednesday.

Prefontaine's death in September was a major blow to the city's hip-hop community, where he was called a legend, said fellow performer Illiano McKinney.

During WAFF's music video showcase on Friday, the festival will feature several of Prefontaine's videos. Prefontaine's family will be at the event hosted by APTN's Shaneen Robinson.

"That's going to be a really special night," said festival co-ordinator Colleen Rajotte.

Prefontaine was well-known to WAFF audiences — he spoke at the film festival numerous times.

WAFF's keynote speaker this year is Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull-Burnham, from Alberta's Enoch Cree Nation. She was the first Canadian and the first aboriginal woman to win the Mrs. Universe contest. 
Ashley Callingbull-Burnham of Alberta's Enoch Cree Nation was the first aboriginal woman and the first Canadian to win the Mrs. Universe pageant. She speaks at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival on Wednesday night. (Facebook )

"That's created a huge amount of buzz," said Rajotte.

"So many people want to meet her. Apparently she is an excellent, inspiring speaker."

Callingbull-Burnham will be at the Feast Café Bistro Wednesday night as part of WAFF's red carpet ceremony and VIP reception. One of the issues she speaks about is missing and murdered indigenous women, Rajotte said. Callingbull-Burnham's talk coincides with the screening of Highway of Tears, an award-winning documentary on the subject.

Rajotte hopes this year's WAFF will attract not only members of the indigenous community but a broader public, interested in learning about colonization and the stories told by indigenous filmmakers here and around the world.

"Everyone is welcome, you know. It says Aboriginal Film Festival, but we are here, really, to share our stories and make new friends, and it's part of our community," said Rajotte.

All 34 films at WAFF will be screened at Bandwith Theatre on Ellice Avenue. Passes are $40 or $5 per film and social events that are part of the festival are $10.