Wakening

In the near future, the environment has been destroyed and society suffocates under a brutal military occupation. A lone Cree wanderer, Wesakechak, searches an urban war zone to find the ancient and dangerous Weetigo to help fight against the occupiers.

Creative team

Writer: Tony Elliott
Director: Danis Goulet
Co-producers: Glen Wood, Jordana Aarons

Filmmaker’s statement

Wakening re-imagines characters from classic Cree stories into a post-apocalyptic tale set in a dystopian future [in which] North America is under military occupation.

Wesakechak is the most famous Cree character, a trickster and shapeshifter that is said to have come from the stars. Weetigo is the most feared being in the Cree storytelling tradition, a cannibalistic spirit with an insatiable appetite that can inhabit the bodies of humans and animals.

Within the Cree narrative tradition, there are countless stories about Wesakechak and Weetigo. They are intellectual rivals, using trickery as their form of combat.

The awakening of these two characters is a metaphor for Cree cultural resurgence.

If the telling of Indigenous stories can be an act of resistance, then these two infamous characters from Cree stories are staging a comeback. Under a ruthless occupation and against the odds, the two of them will find a way to survive – for themselves, and for the good of all.

About Danis Goulet

Danis Goulet

Danis Goulet (Cree/Metis) is an award-winning writer and director.

Her short film Barefoot (2012) was recognized with a special mention from the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival Generation 14plus international jury following its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Her acclaimed short film Wapawekka (2010), called “a beautiful film” by Canada’s Globe and Mail, was selected for Sundance, TIFF, Aspen Shortsfest and Berlin.

Her previous films have screened at numerous festivals in Canada and around the world including Sundance, imagineNATIVE, the Smithsonian’s Native American Film + Video Festival and the Message Sticks Film Festival at the Sydney Opera House.

Her work has been broadcast on ARTE, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Air Canada and Movieola – The Short Film Channel.

She is an alumnus of Canada’s NSI Drama Prize program and the TIFF Talent Lab, and a former director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto.

Danis was born in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and now resides in Toronto.

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