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Obomsawin, Alanis 1932–

OBOMSAWIN, Alanis 1932

PERSONAL

Born August 31, 1932, in Lebanon, NH; raised on the Odonak Reservation, Quebec, Canada; daughter of Herman and Maria (maiden name, Benedict) Obomsawin; children: Kisos.

Addresses: Office National Film Board of Canada, Box 6100, Station A, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3H5, Canada.

Career: Documentary director, screenwriter, producer, actress, and singer. Began filmmaking career with Film Board of Canada, 1967; also produced numerous filmstrips and two vignettes. Made singing debut, Town Hall, New York City, 1960; since then performed throughout North America and Europe. Native Women's Shelter, Montreal, board member; Native Advisory Committee, Canada; Studio 1, board member; Dartmouth College, guest instructor in the music department, 1982.

Awards, Honors: Outstanding Canadian of the Year, MacLean's (magazine), 1965; Grand Prix, International Festival of Arctic Film (Dieppe, France), and Best Documentary Award, American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA), 1977, for Mother of Many Children; Order of Canada, 1983; Best Documentary Award, American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA), 1986, for Richard Cardinal; Best Documentary Award, American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA), 1988, for No Address; 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, 1992; National Aboriginal Achievement Award, 1993; honorary LL.D., Concordia University, 1993; Award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction, Toronto Women in Film and Television, 1994; fellow, Ontario College of Arts, 1994; Outstanding Contribution Award, Canadian Sociology & Anthropology Association, 1994; Best Documentary Feature Award, Vancouver International Film Festival, Best Canadian Feature Film Award, Toronto International Film Festival, 1993, Genie Award nomination (with Wolf Koenig), best documentary, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1994, and Media-wave Award (Hungary), best long documentary, 1997, for Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance; Taos Mountain Award, Taos Talking Pictures, 1997; Genie Award nomination, best documentary, 2001, for Rocks at Whiskey Trench; Genie Award nomination, best documentary, 2003, for Is the Crown at War with Us?

CREDITS

Film Director; Documentaries:

Christmas at Moose Factory (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1971.

Mother of Many Children, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Amisk, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Gabriel Goes to the City, National Film Board of Canada, 1979.

Canada Vignettes: Wild Rice Harvest Kenora (short film, also known as Canada vignettes: Le riz sauvage ), 1979.

Canada Vignettes: June in PovungnitukQuebec Arctic (short film), 1979.

Incident at Restigouche, National Film Board of Canada, 1984.

Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Metis Child (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1986.

Poundmaker's LodgeA Healing Place (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

No Address (also known as Sans adresse ), National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

A Way of Learning, 1988.

Le patro le prevost: 80 Years Later, National Film Board of Canada, 1991.

Walker (short film), 1992.

Voices of Experience, Voices for Change, Part 1 (compilation; includes Richard Cardinal ), 1993.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, National Film Board of Canada, 1993.

My Name Is Kahentiiosta (short film; also known as Je m'appelle Kahentiiosta ), National Film Board of Canada, 1995.

ReferendumTake 2/Prise deux, 1996.

Spudwrench (also know as Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man ), National Film Board of Canada, 1997.

Rocks at Whiskey Trench (also known as Pluie de pierres a Whiskey Trench ), National Film Board of Canada, 2000.

Is the Crown at War with Us?, National Film Board of Canada, 2002.

Our Nationhood, National Film Board of Canada, 2004.

Film Work; Documentaries:

Coproducer, Mother of Many Children, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Coproducer, Amisk, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Coproducer, Incident at Restigouche, National Film Board of Canada, 1984.

Coproducer, Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Metis Child, National Film Board of Canada, 1986.

Coproducer, Poundmaker's LodgeA Healing Place, National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

Coproducer, No Address (also known as Sans adresse ), National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

Coproducer, A Way of Learning, 1988.

Coproducer, Le patro le prevost: 80 Years Later, National Film Board of Canada, 1991.

Coproducer, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, National Film Board of Canada, 1993.

Coproducer, My Name Is Kahentiiosta (short film; also known as Je m'appelle Kahentiiosta ), National Film Board of Canada, 1995.

Producer, Spudwrench (also know as Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man ), National Film Board of Canada, 1997.

Rocks at Whiskey Trench (also known as Pluie de pierres a Whiskey Trench ), National Film Board of Canada, 2000.

Is the Crown at War with Us?, National Film Board of Canada, 2002.

Our Nationhood, National Film Board of Canada, 2004.

Film Appearances; Documentaries:

Indian maiden, Eliza's Horoscope, 1975.

Narrator, Mother of Many Children, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Narrator, Canada Vignettes: June in PovungnitukQuebec Arctic (short film), 1979.

Narrator, Incident at Restigouche, 1984.

Narrator, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, National Film Board of Canada, 1993.

Television Director; Episodic:

"Old Crow," Sounds from Our People, 1979.

"Gabriel Goes to the City," Sounds from Our People, 1979.

Television Appearances; Series:

Regular guest performer for Sesame Street, Canada.

RECORDINGS

Albums:

Bush Lady (album of traditional Abenaki and original songs), 1988.

Multimedia Education Packages:

Manowan, 1973.

L'ilawat, 1976.

WRITINGS

Documentary Screenplays:

Christmas at Moose Factory (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1971.

Mother of Many Children, National Film Board of Canada, 1977.

Canada Vignettes: Wild Rice Harvest Kenora (short film; also known as Canada vignettes: Le riz sauvage ), 1979.

Canada Vignettes: June in PovungnitukQuebec Arctic (short film), 1979.

Incident at Restigouche, National Film Board of Canada, 1984.

Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Metis Child (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1986.

Poundmaker's LodgeA Healing Place (short film), National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

No Address (also known as Sans adresse ), National Film Board of Canada, 1988.

A Way of Learning, 1988.

Le patro le prevost: 80 Years Later, National Film Board of Canada, 1991.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, National Film Board of Canada, 1993.

My Name Is Kahentiiosta (short film; also known as Je m'appelle Kahentiiosta ), National Film Board of Canada, 1995.

Rocks at Whiskey Trench (also known as Pluie de pierres a Whiskey Trench ), National Film Board of Canada, 2000.

Is the Crown at War with Us?, National Film Board of Canada, 2002.

Our Nationhood, National Film Board of Canada, 2004.

Film Scores:

Charley Squash Goes to Town, 1969.

Luna, Luna, Luna, 1981.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Kuhn, Annette, and Susannah Radstone, editors, The Women's Companion to International Film, 1990.

Pallister, Janis L., The Cinema of Quebec: Masters in Their Own House, 1995.

Steven, Peter, Brink of Reality: New Canadian Documentary Film and Video, 1993.

Women Filmmakers & Their Films, St. James Press, 1998.

Periodicals:

Cinema Canada, May, 1987.

International Documentary, December, 1993.

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