Directed by Madison Thomas, and screen played by Madison Thomas, and Andrea Warner, legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s documentary ‘Carry It On’ was world premiered at the 47th Toronto International Festival (TIFF) depicting Sainte-Marie’s life, music, and activism breaking barriers to become an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike.
Produced by Lisa Meeches and Stephen Paniccia in Canada in 2022 in production companies, Eagle Vision, and White Pine Pictures, and edited by Brina Romanek, the documentary is an inspiring biography of Sainte-Marie, as well as a testimony of the tribute to the life and career of Sainte-Marie.
She was the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar in 1983 for Best Original Song “Up Where We Belong” which was co-written by her and was featured in An Officer and a Gentleman). Besides, she was also the first recurring Indigenous guest star on Sesame Street.
Being more than just a singer, Sainte-Marie’s integrity and insistence on addressing subjects others hesitated to gained her great respect. When she appeared on the TV show The Virginian in 1968, she demanded the producers hire Indigenous actors. She remains one of the few pop artists to refuse to have her rights bought out by Elvis.
Because of this, she was targeted. Angered by her activism, the FBI demanded radio stations refuse to play her records in an effort to derail her career. With her art and activism deeply intertwined, Sainte-Marie is also withdrawn and said that she really shouldn’t be the only North American Indigenous to win the Oscar to date.
The documentary casts Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, John Kay, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Sonia Manzano, George Stroumboulopoulos, Jeremy Dutcher, and cinematographed by Gabriel Levesque, Andy Hourahine, and Jon Elliott.
The film’s Publicist is V Kelly & Associates and distributor by Canada’s White Pine Pictures.
Born in Winnipeg, Madison Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in filmmaking from the University of Winnipeg. With her extensive writing and directing credits in television, Thomas was nominated in 2018 for a Canadian Screen Award for her work on the award-winning series Taken. Her features include Ruthless Souls (19). Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On (22) is her latest film.