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Climate Action — Future Changes Arctic Indigenous Film Event: Panel Discussion


On April 21 & 22, 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. The program will begin with a panel discussion and reception on Friday, April 21, followed by film screenings on Saturday, April 22.

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?



In this two-day program 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), Aslak Holmberg (President, Saami Council), and Petteri Vuorimäki (Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland). The discussion will be followed by a screening of the documentary short Salmon Reflection (dir. Anna Hoover, Alaska, 2022), and a reception. 

The program will continue on Saturday, April 22 with film screenings from 2-4 PM. Click here to learn more. 


About the Speakers

Liisa Holmberg works as the Film Commissioner, at the International Sámi Film Institute in Norway. She is a Sámi filmmaker who originally comes from the Finnish side of  Saamiland. Since 1994, she has worked in the film business as a producer, production manager, and film consultant. The main part of her work as a Film Commissioner is to support Sámi and other Indigenous filmmakers in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Sápmi, and Russia through Arctic Indigenous Film Fund. During the years 2008 to 2017, Holmberg worked as the Rector of the Sámi Education Institute in Inari, Finland, which works to develop Sámi languages, cultures, and livelihoods.  From 2016-2021, Holmberg was nominated as the Chair of the Assembly of the University of the Arctic, a network of 203 Universities. Holmberg was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cultural Fund of Finland from 2017-2021 and a member of the Cultural Fund of Lapland from 2012-2022.  She is working currently as the Chair of the Board at the Sámi Museum Siida, Inari Finland. 

Norwegian/Unangax̂ writer, director and filmmaker Anna Hoover produces documentary, fiction and art films via her home state of Alaska. Her films share honest stories to audiences around the world. Hoover is faculty in the MFA in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts and is a 2021 recipient of the Native Arts and Cultures SHIFT Grant. She has received support in her career from Alaska Humanities Forum, Anchorage Museum, International Sami Film Institute, Rasmuson Foundation, and others, as well as having screened at imagineNATIVE, Berlinale Native, Northwest Filmmakers, MoCNA, Maoriland, etc. Hoover has written four episodes for the television show Molly of Denali, an Emmy-nominated children’s animation show that takes place in Alaska and airs on PBS in the U.S. and Canada. A private pilot and commercial salmon fisher, Anna lives for a challenge and does not shy away from adventure.

Emile Hertling Péronard is an Oscar-nominated Greenlandic film producer based in Denmark with production company Ánorâk Film operating out of both Nuuk and Copenhagen. Working to build bridges between Europe and the Arctic through films, Emile focuses on documentaries as well as fiction projects. He recently launched Greenland’s first production service company, Polarama Greenland, to advance the Greenlandic film industry and pave the way for more authentic screen content from Greenland. He has been an advisor for the Berlinale, is on the steering committee of ARTEF – the Anti-Racism Taskforce for European Film, and his films have screened at film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlinale, and Sundance.

Elle-Maij́á Tailfeathers is a filmmaker, writer, and actor based in Canada. She is Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) from the Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve) as well as Sámi from northern Norway. Tailfeathers was the 2018 Sundance Institute Merata Mita Film Fellow and is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Lab, the Hot Docs Accelerator Lab, the CFC/NFB/Ford Foundation Open Immersion Virtual Reality Lab, the Whistler Film Festival Aboriginal Film Fellowship, and the International Sámi Film Institute Indigenous Film Fellowship. Tailfeathers received an American Indian Motion Picture Award for her performance in On the Farm. Her narrative feature-length directorial debut, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, co-written and co-directed with Kathleen Hepburn, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Generation Program and was given the honourable mention for Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open was also named the Best BC Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival where Tailfeathers was also presented with the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award. She is currently directing a feature-length documentary about the opiate crisis in her home community of Kainai with the support of the National Film Board of Canada as well as the Hot Docs Cross Currents Fund.

Jason Ryle is a producer and curator currently based in Toronto. He is Anishinaabe and a member of Lake St. Martin First Nation, Manitoba. Jason was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE from July 2010 to June 2020. In this capacity, Jason oversaw all operational and artistic activities of the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. As an independent producer, his current projects include the TV series Amplify (for APTN), the documentary feature Singing Back the Buffalo (directed by Tasha Hubbard), and the VR series Sunalimat (NFB & Parks Canada). Jason is also the International Programmer, Indigenous Cinema for TIFF.


Anne Lajla Utsi, CEO International Sámi Film Institute
Kyle Reinhart, ASF Manager of Education and Cultural Programs

Mr. Dariio Mejia Montalvo, Chair of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues
Mr. Aslak Holmberg, President, Saami Council
Mr. Petteri Vuorimäki, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.


Elle Máijá Tailfeathers (Film Director, Sámi/Blackfoot, Canada)
Emile Hertling Péronard (Film Producer, Inuk, Greenland)
Anna Hoover (Film Director, Unangax̂, USA)
Liisa Holmberg (AIFF, Sápmi)
Jason Ryle (Canada)

Salmon Reflection
Dir. Anna Hoover (Alaska) | 2022 | Documentary | 4 min.

Refreshments from the Arctic


Salmon Reflection
Dir. Anna Hoover (Alaska) | 2022 | Documentary | 4 min.
Dir. Elle-Marja Eira (Sápmi, Norway) | 2021 | Documentary | 15 min.
Dir. Anders Walter (Denmark), Pipaluk K. Jørgensen (Greenland) | Producers: Rebecca Pruzan, Kim Magnusson (Denmark), Emile Hertling Péronard (Greenland) | 2023 | 16 min.
Night Riders
Dir. Danis Goulet (Canada) | Prod. Taika Waititi (New Zealand) | 2021 | Feature | 101 min.


This event has been organized by the American-Scandinavian Foundation with Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (Kautokeino, Sápmi), International Sami Film Institute, Saami Council (Sápmi), 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.

Munch Cinema at Scandinavia House