Now Is The Time - Screening and Discussion
Join us for a special screening and discussion with local filmmaker Christopher Auchter, and from the Haida Nation, artist and author, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas in a program featuring Auchter's 2019 NFB film Now Is The Time, fresh off the international film festival circuit.
The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q & A with filmmaker Christopher Auchter and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
In 1969, when internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he was instrumental in changing the history of his people forever. During visits to museums in Vancouver, Davidson had seen photographs of Old Massett Village, with its forest of totem poles facing the sea; but at home there were no traces of these once prominent poles. It wasn’t just the totems that had been razed and destroyed: Haida songs, ceremonies, and culture had also been obliterated. “I would go and visit the elders, and they seemed really, like, not connecting to anything,” he says. “I could feel the sadness, and I wanted to create an occasion for them to celebrate one more time.” With help from his grandparents, his father, and his younger brother Reg, Davidson committed to carving the first new totem pole in almost a century.
On the 50th anniversary of pole’s raising, Christopher Auchter's 2019 film Now Is The Time steps fluidly through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire Massett village gathered to celebrate an event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit. Resplendent with original footage shot by what was then known as the NFB’s Indian Film Crew, Now Is the Time is filled with archival images, animation, and emotional interviews with Robert and Reg Davidson, and Haida scholar Barbara Wilson.
The film’s bright, kaleidoscopic scenes highlight women dancing in their bare feet, men egging each other on, elders wearing paper headdresses, and children drawn in gorgeous watercolour hues. The sound of laughter and tears permeate, as three generations of Eagle and Raven clan come together to ceremoniously raise the pole.
In his studio, Robert Davidson smiles at the memory. “I was just a young smart-aleck kid thinking I was going to teach the elders something, but it turned around,” he says. “It was the other way around.”
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Admission: Admission: *Early Bird: $13/$11. General Admission: $15 Adults, *$13 Students, Senior and **MOV Members
*Early Bird tickets end on Monday, November 11 at 5pm.
**MOV members, please be prepared to show your valid identification along with your ticket at the door.
Now Is The Time Preceded by: The Mountain of SGaana (2017, 10 min.)
Auchter's debut film spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. Auchter’s dream-like gem brilliantly entwines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, which are brought to life by a rich, evocative palette and stylized effects. Will the lovers manage to escape the undersea Mountain of SGaana, or will they, too, become part of the Haida spirit world forever?
Christopher Auchter grew up roaming the beaches and forests of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. His art is rooted in the land and stories of the Haida people, his art practice is fueled by his close connection to the natural environment, his adventures in forestry and commercial fishing, and the colourful people with whom he has lived and worked. Auchter studied media arts at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and graduated with honours in computer animation from Sheridan College in Ontario. His goal is to create films that are as engaging and entertaining as the many people and environments that have inspired him, to help facilitate genuine contact between the Haida people and the global community. Auchter’s directing debut was the multi-award-winning animated short The Mountain of SGaana. His previous projects include Daniel Janke’s How People Got Fire, Electronic Arts’ NHL Games and Nintendo’s Punch Out!, and he is a regular contributor to Loretta Todd’s TV series for children, such as Coyote Science and Tansi! Nehiyawetan. Auchter has illustrated three children’s books, including Jordan Wheeler’s Just a Walk, Richard Van Camp comic book titled Kiss Me Deadly, and a graphic novel by W.L. Liberman entitled The Ruptured Sky: The War of 1812.
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an award-winning visual contemporary artist, author and professional speaker. His work has exhibited in public spaces, museums, galleries and private collections across the globe. His institutional collections include the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. His large sculptural works are part of the public art collection of the Vancouver International Airport, City of Vancouver, City of Kamloops and University of British Columbia. Yahgulanaas's publications include national bestsellers Flight of the Hummingbird and RED, a Haida Manga. When not writing or producing art, Yahgulanaas pulls from his 20 years of political experience in the Council of the Haida Nation and travels the world speaking to businesses, institutions and communities about social justice, community building, communication and change management. His most recent talks include the American Museum of Natural History and TEDxVancouver.