Toronto, ON (September 22, 2020) – Nish Media presents Rustic Oracle (98-minutes), a dramatic feature written and directed by award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Le dep, Last Call Indian). Rustic Oracle is the story of a missing teenage Indigenous girl, told through the eyes of her seven-year-old sister. The story unfolds as young Ivy accompanies her mother on a road trip with the hopes of finding her older sister Heather, who suddenly disappeared from their First Nations community. Rustic Oracle's initial theatrical rollout was postponed due to the pandemic. The film premiered in Toronto, Sept. 18 and is now extended to October 1, 2020, at Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas. It plays Kelowna and Nanaimo, BC, Sept. 25 - Oct. 1 at Landmark Cinemas Grand 10 Kelowna and Landmark Cinemas Nanaimo and recently wrapped in Montreal & Quebec. Additional Canadian cities to be announced.
Rustic Oracle made its world premiere at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) in September 2019 and was officially selected into 14 national and international festivals garnering 26 awards, including: Leo Awards for Best Film and Best Lead Performance; Best Film and Best Female Lead at the Dunedin International Film Festival (Florida); and Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco).
Filmed in Kanesatake Mohawk Territory, and set in the late 1990s, Rustic Oracle tells the story of Ivy, a seven-year-old girl who tries to understand what happened to her big sister Heather, who vanished from their small First Nations community. With very few clues and little help from the authorities, Ivy and her mother Susan desperately take matters into their own hands and embark on a painful journey to find the missing teen. Despite the difficult circumstances, and encountering ignorance and racism, the quest brings the two closer together and strengthens their relationship. Rustic Oracle is much more than a story about loss. It is the story of a mother and daughter coming together and learning how to love and care for each other under painful circumstances.
"The film shares a story experienced by countless Indigenous families who have faced the trauma caused by the disappearance of a loved one," says Bonspille Boileau. "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has become such a big social issue, we’ve lost touch with the actual people that have lived it,” she continues. "The film aims to ensure that the fear and helplessness that are felt by so many families in this country are not drowned by the politics, the data and the buzzwords. It is easy to forget that each 'stolen sister' is exactly that – someone’s sister, daughter, niece, cousin, or best friend."
Rustic Oracle stars many talented Indigenous actresses. Canadian Screen Award-nominee and three-time Leo Award-winner Carmen Moore (Outlander, Blackstone, Cardinal, Arctic Air) plays Susan, Ivy and Heather's mother, winning Best Supporting Actress at the American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco) for her portrayal. Newcomer Lake Kahentawaks Delisle (Blood Quantum, Rae), in her first lead role in a feature film, won Best Actress at the American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco) and Best Female Lead at the Dunedin International Film Festival (Florida) for her portrayal of young Ivy. Mckenzie Kahnekaroroks Deer plays Heather, Ivy's older sister, the role marks her first on-screen appearance. Rounding out the cast are Margo Kane (Unnatural & Accidental, Poltergeist: The Legacy) as Iris, Ivy's grandmother, Kevin Parent (Café de Flore, The Disappearance) as Officer Daniel, Alex Rice, Melissa Toussaint, Richard Jutras, and Brittany LeBorgne.
Rustic Oracle is produced by Nish Media and distributed by 7th Screen. Executive Producer is Carol Whiteman. Producer is Jason Brennan. The film is written and directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau.
Inclusion, diversity and gender values are at the center of the production as the project brings together an array of artists and professionals from First Nations communities and features a predominantly Indigenous cast, as well as creative, technical and production teams.
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ABOUT MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS (MMIWG)
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) is an urgent issue affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada and the Unites States, including the Canadian First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Native American communities. In Canada, Indigenous women make up only 4% of the female population, but they represent 25% of the country’s missing and murdered cases and at least 50% of all sex trafficking victims. A national crisis, it is estimated that between 1,000 and 4,000 Canadian Indigenous women have been lost over the last 30 years.
ABOUT 7TH SCREEN
7th SCREEN is a Quebec-based Indigenous distribution company for independent films made for theatrical, home video, or broadcast release, that range from feature films to documentaries. The name 7th Screen is connected to Indigenous teachings and art philosophy. The Seven generation teachings are based on the understanding that the decisions we make today should result in sustainability for the next seven generations, with each new generation having responsibility in ensuring the survival of the 7th generation ahead of them. The phrase "7th art" was originated by Ricciotto Canudo in 1912 and reflects how cinema is categorized as an art form alongside architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, music, poetry with cinema as the 7th category. In harmony with these understandings, 7th Screen creates Indigenous content that is accessible to people in rural communities and urban centres across Canada and internationally.
ABOUT NISH MEDIA
Nish Media is a Quebec-based Indigenous production company that has produced over 200 hours of television for various networks such as APTN, CBC, PBS, SRC, Ici ArtV, Canal D, TV5 and CBC Docs. The company produced its first feature film Le dep in 2017. Rustic Oracle is its second feature.
Toronto: Montreal & Quebec:
Margaret Sirotich Lyne Dutremble
647-466-1746 514-844-8864 #136