By Pam Fossen from Toronto Film Scene · AUGUST 17, 2011

It seems strange to be making announcements for this year’s imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival which doesn’t start its run until October. However, passes go on sale today and some parts of the line up have already been confirmed, so really, it’s never too early to get excited about film programming! Running from October 19th to 23rd, this international festival celebrates the work of Indigenous peoples from around the globe.

The big name announcement for the 12th annual imagineNATIVE festival is legendary artist Buffy Sainte-Marie. She’s set to participate in a panel called “In Discussion with Buffy” at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, October 21st at 7:00 pm. Sainte-Marie will also be headlining “The Beat” music night, a program of international music videos and performance, at the Phoenix Concert Hall on Saturday, October 23rd at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and will be available online starting October 3rd. For more information, check out the full details here.

The other recent announcement was on opening and closing night films. On October 19th at 7:00 pm is the Canadian premiere of On the Ice from director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq). The film tells the story of two teenagers living in an isolated Alaskan community. Their cover up of a tragic accident during a seal hunt sows the seeds of suspicion and the two must figure a way out of it. This “character-driven thriller” has already received acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

The closing night film, on October 23rd at 7:00 pm, is the world premiere of Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes, a stop motion animated feature  which portrays life on a Saskatchewan First Nation. The film was directed, written and produced by Dennis Jackson (Cree) and produced and co-written by Melanie Jackson (Métis/Saulteaux), and is based on the couple’s award-winning TV series.

Opening and closing night films all take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W). Early bird festival passes go on sale today at the imagineNATIVE website or in person at TIFF box office. For all the details and upcoming festival programming announcements, keep watch right here at Toronto Film Scene, or go directly to imagineNATIVE.

Read the original article here!