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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 11, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

CBC pop culture critic Jesse Wente on Indigenous cinema and Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Nov 15/12| For Immediate Release


Katherine Spring, Associate Professor
Department of English and Film Studies
519-884-0710 ext. 4149 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Jesse Wente, CBC pop culture critic and head of film programmes for the Toronto International Film Festival, will visit Laurier Nov. 16 to deliver a presentation on Indigenous cinema and the landmark Canadian film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. in room 201 of the Bricker Academic Building, and will be followed by a screening of the film at 7 p.m.

Winner of 20 awards, including the prestigious Camera d'or at Cannes for Best First Feature Film, The Fast Runner is a film adaptation of an oral legend passed down through generations of the inhabitants of Igloolik, a community of 1,200 people located on a small island in the north Baffin region of the Canadian Arctic. Wente’s talk will provide an historical context for The Fast Runner by accounting for the film’s place in cinematic history, detailing the rise of an Indigenous cinema movement and the instrumental role the film played in the movement’s evolution.

Wente joined the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2006 as one of the Canadian features programmers. The landmark film programme “First Peoples Cinema: 1500 Nations, One Tradition” and its accompanying gallery exhibition “Home on Native Land” marked Wente’s first major curatorial project at TIFF Bell Lightbox. He is well known as a film critic and broadcaster in Toronto and across Canada.

Wente’s presentation is part of the Fall 2012 installment of the annual Laurier Free Film Series, titled “From the Source: 25 Years of Film Adaptations.” The Friday-evening screenings showcase notable adaptations of the past quarter-century and are introduced by speakers who provide insight into each film and the process of its adaptation.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Katherine Spring at or 519-884-0710 ext. 4149, or visit the “Laurier Film Series” page on Facebook.


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