Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Jules Arita Koostachin : part one

Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules Arita Koostachin was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a survivor of the Canadian Residential school system.  Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, Moshkekowok territory, and she currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at UBC – her research focus is Indigenous documentary. In 2010, she completed graduate school at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she was awarded the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement.  While pursuing her Masters, Jules finished her first feature length documentary film, Remembering Inninimowin about her journey of remembering Cree.  After graduation, Jules was one of six women selected for the Women in the Directors Chair program at the Banff Center in Alberta, where she directed a scene from her feature script Broken Angel, currently in development. Jules’ television series AskiBOYZ (2016) co-produced with Big Soul Production about two urban Cree youth reconnecting with the land is currently being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Over the years, Jules has established herself within the film and television community, her company VisJuelles Productions Inc. has a number of films and other media works in development. In 2017, she released her short documentary NiiSoTeWak with CBC Short Docs and also Butterfly Monument with her co-director/producer Rick Miller.  Jules was also the 2017 Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence with the Vancouver Public Library.  Planet In Focus invited Jules as the lead filmmaker to work with Cree youth in Attawapiskat First Nation where they made over twenty films. In the fall of 2018, Jules’ latest short film OChiSkwaCho premiered at ImagineNative, and she is also in development with two (2) television series Threshold with Jules Koostachin and SACRED.  Her first book of poetry Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was also recently released. She will be writing her first manuscript Moccasin Souls in 2019, regarding intergenerational resilience.  Jules is lead editor and contributor of her upcoming collection Children of Survivors with the University of Regina Press.  Jules was a selected filmmaker for the TIFF Filmmakers Lab 2018, and releasing her second CBC short documentary OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day in 2019.

Jules carries extensive knowledge working in Indigenous community in several different capacities providing support to Indigenous women and children who face barriers; these community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and her arts practice.

Photo Credit: Karolina Turek

What are you working on?

• I am a writer, a PhD candidate at UBC, as well as a filmmaker.  I have a few projects on the go right now, but in terms of writing, I will be working towards writing my first novel memoir entitled Moccasin Souls with Kegedonce Press this spring.  I am also releasing my second CBC short documentary OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day in February 2019.

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