A Film Panel and Screening in New York – Witnessing Climate Change

Join us for an evening of insightful screenings and a panel discussion exploring how Arctic Indigenous peoples have battled against climate change through films and other media from the perspective of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The event will take place at Scandinavia House in New York on April 18, 2024.

Arctic Indigenous peoples have a rich storytelling tradition that is still vivid and active. The stories have played an essential role in maintaining sustainable living in the Sámi and other Indigenous people’s traditional living areas — by being in charge of their narratives, these communities create a new future for their peoples. That’s why all Indigenous peoples must have the ultimate right to tell their own stories about climate change in the Arctic tipping points, including ice caps melting, permafrost collapsing, ocean changes and vanishing of the snow.

The film panel’s discussion will be moderated by Jason Ryle, Canada and AIFF’s CEO Liisa Holmberg , Sápmi. Our esteemed panelists include

  • Sadetlo Scot, a renowned Film Director from Canada
  • Emile Hertling Péronard, a Film Producer from Inuk, Greenland
  • Anna Hoover, a Film Director from Unangax, USA
  • Kati Eriksen, a Film Director from Sámi, Finland

The screenings will feature impactful documentaries and short films:

  • Marcus Amerma (2023) | Documentary | Director: Anna Hoover (Alaska)
  • Edaxàdets ´Eete – We Save Ourselves (2023) | Witness short film | Director: Sadetlo Scot (Canada)
  • The Past And The Future Of The Arctic (2023) | Witness short film | Director: Hans Pieski (Sápmi)
  • Home River (2023) | Documentary | Directors: Kati Eriksen & Scott Thorthon (Sápmi)
  • Entropy (2023) | Documentary | 10 min. | Director: Inuk Jörgensen (Greenland)

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about climate change through the lens of Arctic Indigenous storytelling.

RSVP to secure your spot at the event. Reserve the free tickets here.


Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016


April 18, 6–8 PM.

Nine Arctic Indigenous Filmmakers Selected for Witness 2024 Film Training and Mentorship Program

The Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) and Telefilm Canada proudly announce the selection of nine Arctic Indigenous filmmakers for the second round of the Witness film training and mentorship program. Witness aims to empower Indigenous voices across Arctic communities to create impactful short films exploring the effects of climate change.

The selected filmmakers and their projects are:

  1. Ashley Qilavaq-Savard and Jennifer Kilabuk (Inuit, Canada) – Project: Intergenerational Climate Activism
  2. Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets’aii Gwich’in, United States) – Project: This is a Story About Salmon
  3. Marc Fussing Rosbach (Inuk, Greenland) – Project: Our Ancestors’ Secrets
  4. Johannes Vang (Sámi, Norway) – Project: Red-Shaded Green
  5. Elin Marakatt (Sámi, Sweden) and Sara Beate Eira (Sámi, Norway) – Project: Untitled [Cloudberry]
  6. Eriel Lugt and Carmen Kuptana (Inuvialuit, Canada) – Project: Untitled

These filmmakers were chosen for their compelling proposals and dedication to shedding light on the impacts of climate change within their communities. Witness 2024 will provide them with workshops, training grants, and mentorship from esteemed Canadian Indigenous filmmakers Darlene Naponse and Jason Ryle.

The films produced during the program will premiere at the Indigenous Film Festival Skábmagovat in Inari, Finland, in January 2025.

“We are thrilled to welcome these diverse Arctic Indigenous filmmakers to Witness 2024,” said Liisa Holmberg, CEO of AIFF.

“Their unique perspectives and storytelling abilities will undoubtedly contribute to meaningful conversations and highlight Indigenous leadership surrounding climate change in Arctic communities.”

“The Witness program is a professional development opportunity that allows Arctic Indigenous filmmakers to share how climate change is affecting their communities, to tell their own stories, and to meet and work with an international network of Indigenous filmmakers,” remarked Adriana Chartrand, Lead, Indigenous Initiatives & Content Analyst at Telefilm Canada.

Collaborators of the Witness program:

Exploring the obstacles – recent study reveals challenges facing Arctic Indigenous filmmakers

A new study offers a comprehensive examination of the Arctic Indigenous audiovisual sector in Canada and across Arctic borders, detailing its current state, challenges, and opportunities. The study was commissioned by Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) and developed in partnership with Telefilm Canada.

The study, carried out by the international screen sector consultancy firm Olsberg SPI (SPI), focuses primarily on the Canadian Arctic region Nunavut, along with some analysis of Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Given the scant research conducted in this field previously, the investigation emerges as a pioneering area of inquiry.

Insights and Recommendations

The findings highlight significant barriers faced by Arctic Indigenous filmmaker. SPI identified obstacles such as

  • gaps in funding and expertise
  • challenges in cross-border collaborations in the Arctic region
  • issues with intellectual property (IP) ownership
  • the absence of policies and strategies tailored to support Indigenous creators.

These challenges are crucial as they impact the sector’s ability to grow and develop both creatively and commercially.

The report recommended that the AIFF work with Canadian agencies to increase Arctic Indigenous funding caps to align with non-Indigenous funding caps. Recommended priority actions include ensuring easier access to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous funding sources, increasing flexibility in the use of production funds, and enhancing capacity-building programs led by organizations such as the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and AIFF.

It’s highlighted that AIFF should continue its collaboration with Telefilm, ISO, Canada Media Fund (CMF), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in tackling cross-border funding issues, with a special focus on Greenland, while also providing support to new producers. The report also advocates for developing formal partnerships with international Indigenous-led audiovisual organizations in Canada, Australia, and New-Zealand.

The Importance of Collaboration

The report notes that the AIFF’s work has already started to overcome some of the challenges outlined, as well as to build infrastructure.

The AIFF, together with partners like the ISO, is focusing on several key areas. They are providing funds for a new studio planned in Iqaluit and working to broaden the reach and impact of Arctic Indigenous creations, both in Canada and worldwide. They’re also implementing new technologies and online platforms led by Indigenous communities, designed to respect and uphold Indigenous ownership of intellectual property (IP).

Collaboration continues with Canada Media Fund and AIFF

At the ImagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto, AIFF’s CEO, Liisa Holmberg, and Mathieu Chantelois, the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at Canada Media Fund, signed an agreement for Capacity Building and Marketing for 2024.

This project is designed to enhance the skills of Indigenous filmmakers through presentations, skill development, networking, and providing market access in international territories. The main events of the project are planned in Berlin, Los Angeles, Toronto, and New York.

Special film event from AIFF and American-Scandinavian Foundation on April 21st

The American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund AIFF present a special film event “Climate Action — Future Changes,” exploring the Arctic Indigenous peoples’ fight against climate change through films and media. Arctic Indigenous peoples have a vivid and active storytelling tradition, with stories that have played an essential role in maintaining sustainable living in the Sámi and other Indigenous people’s traditional living areas. By telling their own stories and being in charge of their narratives, they create a new future for their people. This is why all Indigenous peoples must have the ultimate right to tell their own stories about climate change in the Arctic tipping points — ice caps melting, permafrost collapsing, and changing the Oceans and vanishing the snow. How we can fight back?

This panel is being held held in coordination with the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues 2023, tonight will feature a panel discussion with film director Elle Máijá Tailfeathers (Sámi/Blackfoot, Canada), film producer Emile Hertling Péronard (Inuk, Greenland), director Anna Hoover (Unangax̂, USA), and AIFF’s Liisa Holmberg (Sápmi), moderated by Jason Ryle (Canada). Welcoming notes to the program will be provided by Dariio Mejia Montalvo (Chair of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues) and Aslak Holmberg (President, Saami Council). The discussion will be followed by a screening of the documentary short Salmon Reflection (dir. Anna Hoover, Alaska, 2022), and a reception. Read more about the speakers and program here.

This event has been organized by the American-Scandinavian Foundation with Arctic Indigenous Film Fund and the International Sámi Film Institute (Kautokeino, Sápmi), Saami Council (Sápmi), Film.gl Greenland Film Makers (Nuuk, Greenland), University of the Arctic — UArctic — Education & Research Network in the Arctic.

Arctic Indigenous Film Fund AIFF was founded in 2018 at the Indigenous Film Conference in Kautokeino, Norway. The goals of the AIFF are to support, advocate and change financial structures so Indigenous peoples can tell their own stories on their own terms. The founders were the major film institutes and organizations in every Arctic Indigenous area in Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Sápmi.