Sep 10, 2021
The Winnipeg Film Group is pleased to announce that Darryl Nepinak is the recipient of the 2021 Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for Creative Development.
Darryl Nepinak (Anishinaabe/human/little bear scampering out of the forest) works as an arts facilitator with inner city youth in Winnipeg, MB. Nepinak was previously on the board of Urban Shaman Gallery and currently serves on the board of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Nepinak’s films have been supported and archived by the National Film Board, and have screened at numerous venues around the world including at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Art Festival in Toronto, the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, and the Berlin International Film Festival.
A widely celebrated and esteemed filmmaker, Darryl Nepinak burst onto the Winnipeg filmmaking scene in the early 2000s and has since created a radical canon of satirical short films that are as big-hearted as they are scathing. He lists the Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) as his influences. Socially engaged and committed, Nepinak’s community includes Skownan Reserve on Turtle Island to Ngati Parou in Aotearoa. Nepinak exemplifies the filmmaker as community leader and social critic, one who is mercifully seeking catharsis and understanding through satirical humour. Nepinak explores themes of cultural property, systems of image-making, and the intricacies of inter-cultural misunderstanding on Treaty One land. Working variously in found-footage collage, docu-fiction, animation, mockumentary, music video and comic sketches, Nepinak’s filmmaking trajectory is both deeply challenging and resolutely upbeat. Recently, he has been working with individuals suffering from mental illness and addiction.
The Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for Creative Development recognizes the career of an established mid-career Manitoba filmmaker. It comes in the form of $10,000 in cash and $5,000 in WFG services to support ongoing research and development work leading towards the production of one or several film productions or projects. In conjunction with his Hothouse Award, the Winnipeg Cinematheque will feature a retrospective screening of the Darryl’s work in 2022.
The award will support Darryl Nepinak in:
- the research and collection of traditional stories and histories from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers in his community
- collaborating with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous local filmmakers and artists on a series of short films utilizing said stories
- participating in multiple WFG workshops to further his technical skills and knowledge and artistic language
Darryl was selected for the award unanimously by a peer assessment selection committee comprised of: Daina Warren, a contemporary artist, curator, and Gallery Director of Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery; Kevin Nikkel, an award-winning documentary writer/producer/director; and Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, an interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer, and cultural worker, and is the founder of Patterns Collective. He is also the current editor of Plug In ICA Editions Online.
There were a total of 18 applications for this year’s cycle of the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for Creative Development. We thank all of the applicants for their time, effort, honesty and vulnerability in applying for this competitive award.
The Winnipeg Film Group acknowledges the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Heritage of the Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Arts Council for their support of the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award.
Photo By Reil Munro. Photo description: Photo of Nepinak taken in his art studio.