Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival aims to inspire young people

Youth Education Day connects short-film and real-life experiences on MMIWG safety.


High school students filtered into Garden City Collegiate for Youth Education Day hosted by the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) for their annual film fest.

The day kicked off with a screening of Kwêskosîw: She Whistles, which is a film about a woman who whistles at the northern lights and uses superpowers to fight off a cab driver who is trying to abduct her.

The fictional storyline was tied into real-life scenarios when Serenity Morriseau, 19, joined the event virtually to tell her own personal story of a recent cab ride.

 “I knew there was a way out, but I just didn’t know how I would do it,” said Morriseau.

A taxi driver from a Winnipeg cab company was charged with assault and attempted confinement against Morriseau in October.

Youth Education Day also hosted speakers and seminars from Indigenous actors and filmmakers.

Founder Coleen Rajotte says WAFF’s youth day has one goal.

“We do this to inspire youth and expose them to the opportunities in the film world,” said Rajotte.

The film fest is 20-years-old, and Rajotte said there are lots to celebrate.

“Over the years we are so happy to be able to highlight all the incredible Indigenous talent – the filmmakers, actors – that we’ve seen the caliber and quality of storytelling expand and improve,” said Rajotte.

The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival kicks off at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Nov. 24.

Video Journalist / Thunder Bay

Michelle is a video journalist from rural Manitoba with a Creative Communications Degree from Red River College. Before APTN, Michelle worked as an editor-in-chief for The Projector online publication.