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Director: Ritchie Hemphill, Ryan Haché

8min, 18 sec I Animation (Stopmotion, Claymation), Adventure, Indigenous I 2021

Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw (Port Hardy, Canada)

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Məca is a stop motion representation of the late Elder Ida Smith telling her grandson the 'Nakwax'daxw legend of the Mink. In this film Ida tells the story in the Bak̓wa̱mk̓ala language. Mink, or "Məca", is an impatient son of the Sun who is trying to force himself into being someone other than he is, so that he can impress love interests. Throughout his journey Məca will learn what it means to have humility, patience, and to be better at self acceptance.

cast: Ida Smith

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Ritchie Hemphill grew up on Tsulquate reserve and was raised by his community, the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people. He is currently living on Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, Canada. Ritchie is both a filmmaker and a recording musician, working to create art that is healing for himself and for his people. Ritchie co-founded the award winning stop motion animation film studio Bronfree Films with his film partner Ryan Haché in 2015, and created a number of short films that include Indigenous legends, language revitalization and Elder storytelling. Ritchie has an integral role in producing, directing, designing, composing for and marketing films with Bronfree Films. The studio’s short film “Məca,” recently won the Indigenous Language Production Award from imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2022), and was nominated for Best Animated Short at the American Indian Film Festival (2022). Ritchie’s goal is to render his people’s traditional stories in a beautiful light through his films.

Ryan Haché is a self-taught stop motion animator and short film director working in claymation and 2D animation. His works range from realism to abstract absurdity and macabre humour. Ryan is driven to create alluring oddity in his work hoping to charm people with the innate strangeness of claymation. In 2015 he co-founded the creative studio Bronfree Films and has since produced dozens of independent short animations in collaboration with indie artists and musicians. Ryan and his studio have successfully won numerous arts grants including funding from Telus Storyhive (2018), Canada Council for the Arts (2019), and First Peoples Cultural Council (2020). He continues to seek creative collaboration with diverse artists to facilitate and actualize human expression and beauty.

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Skoden Indigenous Film FestivalVancouver (Canada)

imagineNATIVE Film FestivalToronto (Canada) Winner, Indigenous Language Production Award

American Indian Film FestivalSan Francisco (USA) Nominee, Best Animated Short

Pocahontas Reframed Film FestivalRichmond (USA)

Margaret Mead Festival (USA)

Invermere Film Festival (Canada) Winner, Best Short Film Award

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