Cinema-on-wheels rolls into Winnipeg to showcase films by Indigenous youth

A travelling cinema showcasing short films made by Indigenous youth will be rolling its way into The Forks in Winnipeg Tuesday night.

Outdoor screening of 15 short films to be held at The Forks

Mathilde Benignus and Evan Kuakuapishish Launière are on a three-month tour, taking cinema to Indigenous communities throughout Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. (Wapikoni)

A travelling cinema showcasing short films made by Indigenous youth will be rolling its way into the Forks in Winnipeg Tuesday night.

Projectionists Evan Kuakuapishish Launière and Mathilde Benignus have been travelling in a camper van, taking Wapikoni's "cinema on wheels" to various First Nations in Manitoba for the last month.

They say it's an opportunity to showcase the diversity of amateur Indigenous film talent from across the country.

"It's really nice to see stories from different people from different communities," said Launière, who is Innu.

Wapikoni is a non-profit organization based in Montreal. The organization delivers workshops in Indigenous communities, helping Indigenous youth turn initial ideas into fully edited short films. 

Once finished, Wapikoni takes these films on the road to Indigenous communities for viewing parties.

The mobile cinema is making its last Manitoba stop Tuesday night. (Submitted by Mathilde Benignus)

According to its website, one of Wapikoni's missions is to "combat isolation and suicide among First Nations youth while developing artistic, technical, social, and professional skills." 

Tuesday's event will feature up to 15, three- to five-minute short films made by the Indigenous communities they have visited.

Launière said a lot of the films the youth have created have been political in nature.

"You always come up to political stuff and things about our territory, and the land and how we use it … and what the government is doing with it," said Launière.

"I think it's really nice because of that, because it's very political, and we can see the voices of many people."

The free screeningstarts at 8 p.m. at the Oodena Circle at The Forks.

The tour will spend the rest of the summer travelling throughout Ontario and Quebec.


Lenard Monkman is Anishinaabe from Lake Manitoba First Nation, Treaty 2 territory. He was an associate producer with CBC Indigenous.