GFF is proud to present our annual focus of films by IBPOC Directors.  These cinematic visions know no bounds in terms of subject matter, style and story. But what holds them together is the desire to bring to the screen perspectives and peoples that have for too long gone unheard and unseen.  For some these films will hold a mirror to their own lives, their friends or their families.  And for others it may provide an insightful glimpse into the issues and lives of others, whether right here in Canada, or half-way around the world.

2021 IBPOC Director Film Series:

Daughter of a Lost Bird

dir. Brooke Pepion Swaney
2021 | United States | 66 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

Daughter of a Lost Bird follows Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, an American Indigenous woman adopted into a white family, as she reconnects with her Indigenous identity. The film documents Kendra’s odyssey as she finds her birth mother April, also an adoptee, and returns to her Indigenous Lummi homeland. Relying upon verité scenes as the bulk of the film, the story is intense, emotional and personal. Both women navigate what it means to be Lummi, and to belong to a tribe from the outside looking in. Daughter of a Lost Bird explores the ethical grey areas surrounding transracial adoption via a singular story as an entry point into a more complicated national issue. 


dir. Nicolás Pereda
2020 | Canada / Mexico | 70 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

The latest feature from Mexican-Canadian auteur Nicolás Pereda is a sly, comedic take on how violence in Mexico has infiltrated popular imagination.

Indian Road Trip

dir. Allan Hopkins
2019 | Canada | 99 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

When two unruly Native con-artists are forced to drive a cranky elder across the reserve so she can make peace with long estranged and dying sister, it quickly becomes clear that a supernatural force is trying to halt the journey.

Inventing the Future

dir. Isiah Medina
2020 | Canada | 98 min
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By imaginatively creating positive visions for the future and harnessing the power of technology, this film explores what a post-work world might look like. Based on the best-selling book Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work.

Kímmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

dir. Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
2021 | Canada | 125 min
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Kímmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy is an intimate portrait of survival, love and the collective work of healing in the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta, a Blackfoot community facing the impacts of substance use and a drug-poisoning epidemic. Follow filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as she creates an intimate portrait of her community. Witness the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction. The Meaning of Empathy draws a line between the effects of colonial violence on Blackfoot land and people and the ongoing substance-use crisis. Held in love and hope for the future, Kímmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy asks the audience to be a part of this remarkable change with the community.


dir. Oliver Hermanus
2020 | South Africa / United Kingdom | 104 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

A young man in 1981 South Africa must complete his brutal and racist two years of compulsory military service while desperately maintaining the secrecy of his homosexuality.

Mogul Mowgli

dir. Bassam Tariq
2020 | United Kingdom / United States | 89 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

A British Pakistani rapper is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.

My Name is Bagdhad

dir. Caru Alves De Souza
2020 | Brazil | 99 min
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Baghdad is a 17-year-old female skater, who lives in Freguesia do Ó, a working-class neighborhood in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Baghdad skateboards with a group of male friends and spends a lot of time with her family and with her mother’s friends. Together, the women around her form a network of people who are out of the ordinary. When Baghdad meets a group of female skateboarders, her life suddenly changes.

No Ordinary Man

dir. Aisling Chin-Yee / Chase Joynt
2020 | Canada | 84 min
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No Ordinary Man is an in-depth look at the life of musician and trans culture icon Billy Tipton. Complicated, beautiful and historically unrivalled, this groundbreaking film shows what is possible when a community collaborates to honour the legacy of an unlikely hero.

One of Ours

dir. Yasmine Mathurin
2021 | Canada | 90 min
>> Full Details on GFF On Demand <<

After a Haitian-born youth is racially profiled at an Indigenous basketball tournament, he wrestles with his shaken sense of belonging in his Indigenous adoptive family while attempting to heal from his past.

The Rossellinis

dir. Alessandro Rossellini
2020 | Latvia / Italy | 99 min
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Revered as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, Roberto Rossellini left an indelible mark on cinema and an enormous inheritance of family conflict. The Rossellinis is a compelling look inside a complicated cinema dynasty forced into group therapy by one of their own. As the first grandson of a genius, suppressed by the weight of lofty expectations and his struggle with addiction, Alessandro Rossellini doesn’t feel he’s lived up to the name. So at age 55, he picks up the camera and travels around the world, trying to reconcile with the family he loves but could never find his place in. With never-before-seen archival footage and an absorbing conversation with his famed aunt, actress Isabella Rossellini, this family drama offers an abundance of compelling insights into their relationships, revealing old secrets and tragic moments in their lives. On the surface, the Rossellinis are a family born of spectacle, fame and wealth—but here, they ironically yield a rare example of tender authenticity in the world of film