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‘Six Strings’ selected for Asinabka Film and Media Arts Fest

Promotional photo from Six Strings program. Image via Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na website.

After its debut at the Museum of Lennox and Addington earlier this year, Six Strings, a short film produced by Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (TTO) Language and Cultural Centre, and directed by Bawaadan Collective, has been selected to be part of the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival, screening on Thursday, Aug, 11, 2022, at the Ottawa Art Gallery. 

“It is an honour to have Six Strings among the incredible Indigenous arts showcased at the Asinabka Film and Media Festival,” said Callie Hill, Executive Director of TTO. “We are grateful for this opportunity to share our short film as part of TTO’s efforts to educate both Indigenous Peoples and settlers on many elements of our cultural heritage.”

The Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival is an Indigenous-run, artist-centred, not-for-profit organization that showcases contemporary and innovative Indigenous arts. Founded in 2012, the Festival supports the diverse and contemporary work by regional Indigenous directors, producers and screenwriters working in film, video, audio, music, performance, and digital media. 

According to a media release from TTO, Six Strings is a compelling, revealing, and true account of how the Mohawk people conducted their own system of justice, embracing reconciliation and forgiveness with the custom of condolence and commitment to move forward toward peace.

The short film debuted at the Regent Theatre in Picton, Ontario in February and was accepted into the 2022 Wairoa M?ori Film Festival. It was also screened as part of a travelling exhibit by the same name in June 2022 at the Lennox and Addington Museum and Archives.

The Six Strings travelling exhibit consists of a series of banners based on the themes of an actual transcript of a nine-day Council meeting held in Kenhtè:ke in September 1800. According to the release, the full transcript features the testimonies of witnesses to the murders offering a unique glimpse into the lives of the Mohawk people and their complex interactions with the changing world around them, at a moment in time before Indigenous people were obliged to abide by the British colonial court system.

The exhibit will be available in four-week rotations to be featured at other museums throughout Ontario and New York State. Museums, cultural centres, schools and historical sites interested in hosting the exhibit should contact TTO.

According to TTO, full production of Six Strings into a 50-minute documentary film is anticipated, contingent on future funding, and will draw on the talents of Indigenous artists, historians, musicians, and actors to create a vivid and remarkable view of Mohawk life.

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