‘Yintah’ grabs 2024 Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary

Yintah. Image crdit: HotDocs

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CMEDIA/Toronto: ‘Yintah’ grabbed the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary film courtesy of Rogers at the 2024 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

The award with a cash prize of CAD 50,000 for Yintah was announced last night at a free encore screening at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema which was recognized as the best Canadian feature determined by audience poll.

Directed and produced by Jennifer Wickham and featuring Tsakë ze’ Howilhkat Freda Huson, Tsakë ze’ Sleydo’ and Molly Wickham the film Yintah is an urgent call to climate justice action and indictment of the Canadian government and its partnerships as they continue to violate First Nations sovereignty in the name of profit.

The film recorded the resilient journey of the Wet’suwet’en people confronted with the challenges of pipeline construction on their ancestral lands.

Never surrendering their territory, the Wet’suwet’en have been governing the Yintah (land) with their own laws for centuries. 

The Canadian government and several large fossil fuel companies continued to invade and occupy Wet’suwet’en lands to construct polluting natural-gas pipelines stretching across several bodies of water, directly impacting the communities that surround them.

Recording a decade of growing resistance to the forces bent on exploiting their land, Yintah follows Howilhkat Freda Huson and Sleydo’ Molly Wickham on the frontlines of this fight.

During a critical juncture of the movement in early 2020, several nations and their allies across Canada stood up in protest in defence of land checkpoints and blocking train service across major cities, in an incredible display of solidarity.

Hot Docs Audience Awards are determined by votes submitted by Festival audiences after in-person screenings.

The festival which ran from April 25 – May 5 wrapped up its 11-day Festival last night and showcased 168 documentaries from 64 countries to audiences in Toronto cinemas featureing 274 live screenings on seven screens at three venues across the city, with 248 live filmmaker Q&As.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)