Métis filmmaker, Daniel Foreman, has a lot to celebrate thesedays. Coinciding with the Native American Heritage Month in the U.S. and Métis week here in Edmonton, he was honoured to have three of his animated films screened at two separate Indigenous festivals: American Indian Film Festival (AIFI)) in San Francisco and Red Nation Film Festival in Beverly Hills. Raven Goes Fishing won the award for the Best Animation at AIFI and Raven and the Dogfish Woman won for Best Animation at the Red Nation Film Festival. A second animation, Raven and the Sea Wolf, was also screened at Red Nation.
“My goal in creating these stories was to offer an entertaining way to teach about Indigenous culture, history and language,” Foreman explains. Using a unique blend of live action and 2D animation, a Kokum (Grandmother) introduces the theme to her grandchildren and then the film morphs into animation where Raven’s adventure begins.
Foreman, who has been creating films from his Edmonton base for over 10 years, has found his storytelling niche in his Métis roots. In 2017, he was awarded $75,000 in funding from TELUS to create a series of animations featuring the lovable mischief-maker, Raven, and his friends. This financial support followed the phenomenal success of the pilot episode Raven Steals the Light which has one of the highest viewerships on TELUS Optik and has been screened at festivals all over the world, winning best animation at the 2016 Red Nation Film Festival.
Along with his producing partner, Sharlene Millang, Foreman travelled down to San Francisco and LA and was in attendance at the AIFI gala to receive the award personally. One of the young co-stars of the series, Leanne Gomez, was also at the event to share in the spotlight. He learned of the win in Beverly Hills on November 18.