Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sometimes dreams do come true.
Just ask Lindsay Monture.
Monture, a member of Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, graduated from Toronto’s York University back in 2012 with a degree in film, cinema and video studies.
As a graduation reward, Monture travelled to Mexico with her sister for a holiday.
“While we were in Mexico, I had a dream that I was programming for a festival,” Monture said. “And I woke up and I remember telling my sister about it.”
About a year later Monture was hired as a programming co-ordinator for the Toronto-based imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.
Monture bounced around within imagineNATIVE over the years doing a bunch of different jobs, including tour co-ordinator and programming and industry co-ordinator. And she’s had roles with other Indigenous organizations, including operations manager for Indigenous Climate Action.
But now Monture’s back with the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio, digital and interactive media made by Indigenous screen-content creators.
Monture is now imagineNATIVE’s festival director, a newly-created position. She began this job on May 1.
“The position I’m in now is really my dream job,” Monture said.
“This position kind of wasn’t really around before,” she said, adding the festival’s previous artistic directors would have been responsible for many of the duties she now has.
Her current roles include overseeing the festival’s programming team, which consists of a programming manager and programming co-ordinator. She’ll also lead a digital and interactive team.
Monture, 34, is also responsible for choosing festival programmers and curators. And she’ll help pick individuals to be named to juries for award selections.
Monture will primarily work from her Brantford home in the coming months. But she will, when required, travel to the festival office in Toronto, more frequently as the festival dates draw closer.
Officials have also announced that David Morrison is imagineNATIVE’s new associate director.
Morrison is a member of Yellowknives Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories. He had been most recently working as the festival’s fundraising manager.
Naomi Johnson, imagineNATIVE’s executive director, is excited about the two latest festival appointments.
“We are thrilled to have David and Lindsay join in these leadership roles,” Johnson said. “We are grateful to have their talents dedicated towards presenting Indigenous artists and advocating for Indigenous narrative sovereignty.”
Monture is understandably thrilled with her new gig.
“It means so much to me,” she said. “The first time around, imagineNATIVE was such a transformational experience for me. It basically put me on course for the rest of my career.”
This year marks the 24th time that the imagineNATIVE festival will be staged.
The 2022 imagineNATIVE festival included 19 feature films and more than 100 short films.
In-person screening for this year’s event will begin on Oct. 17 and continue until Oct. 22. The festival will then switch over to online screenings. Those will run from Oct. 23 to Oct. 29.
Monture and her staff have already started to watch some of the films that have been sent in for possible inclusion into this year’s festival.
“And we’re still accepting submissions,” she said.
The deadline to submit a film is next week, Friday, May 19.
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Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.