May 2, 2019

Youth Day

Dreamspeakers Festival Society empowers young Aboriginal artists to express their creativity, entertain audiences, and share their visions.  Youth Day is our engagement with community, a celebration of youth culture, and a showcase for the richness and diversity of a new generation of filmmakers. Rolling off our 2017 event, producing a ‘dance video’ we are looking towards the future and the innovative ways filmmaking is today. 


Youth Day 2019

May 2, 2019

Registration $25 – 2 for 1 available

(includes, programming, lunch and prizes)


Accommodation is available through Macewan’s Summer Suites

Talent search

Free of charge to everyone, please see details below for your chance to audition with Rene Haynes Casting.  Space is limited and you must sign up the Youth Day Coordinator.


360 Degree Video

Ryan Jackson, Founder of Full Circle Visuals will provide a workshop for youth blending technology and storytelling presenting 360 filmmaking and new formats including VT and dome projection.  

There are few individuals in Canada with experience in 360 degree video comparable to Ryan Jackson. In 2011, at a world breaking dodgeball game, Jackson developed his own 360 camera rig to create an immersive visual experience that captured the event like no one else could. After completing this project, he posted the first beginning-to-end online tutorial on creating 360 video on his blog, cementing his reputation as a global leader in the medium. Since then he has been committed to staying at the leading edge of 360 video technology and focusing merging this innovative video medium with exceptional story telling.

3D Imaging & Animation

Joe Raffa, Managing Director of Plastic Thought began in 1994 developing 3D stock images and animations for artists and creative professionals. They quickly expanded to create 3D tools and Plugins for software packages and current browsers.  Today Plastic Thought Studios is a one-stop shop specializing in computer graphics, motion graphics, animation, 3D and service. With our experiences Plastic Thought found a new vision diving into the television market creating show opens, graphic explainers, animated maps, and 3D animation for broadcast television.

Cinematic Storytelling

Antonio Coello was born in Mexico City in 1977. He studied screenplay writing at the Center for Cinematic Training (CCC) in Mexico City, filmmaking and cinematography at the Superior School of Cinema and Audiovisuals of Catalunya (ESCAC) in Spain, and actors' direction at the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in Cuba. He has been pupil of renowned screenplay teachers such as Eliseo Alberto, Syd Field and Orlando Senna. His work as a screenwriter and director makes use of anthropological observation and sense of humour to approach different cultural environments and latent social conflicts.

Lunch Hour Career Fair

Youth with interact with various companies that serve the arts and culture sectors. Meet the real people who create and support you in our community and a chance for door prizes!

Film Presentation 

A special Youth Day screening from the Dreamspeakers International Film Festival. 

Talent Night

In the evening, we will showcase Indigenous Youth Talent from the community and bring the evening to a close announcing the two awards for the Youth Day ‘Emerging Filmmaker’. Participants will have their names put in for a draw for a prize.

Free and Open to all Aboriginal youth for a chance of 3 Top Cash Prizes. Sign up with Youth Day Coordinator.


Youth Day 2017

 A major component of our festival is the Youth Day event providing information on art career options available in the film industry. Youth have access to industry professionals, film presentations and will work alongside accomplished Aboriginal producers, choreographers, music producers, directors, entertainers and actors. The purpose of this type of programming is to make available and introduce youth in areas of working in the film industry.

Dreamspeakers International Film Festival is pleased to announce the return of Youth Day.  2017 we set up a new approach in changing our way of teaching youth about filmmaking. We had youth participate in a hands on opportunity by helping us make a video to promote our event and reach out to a wider audience on social media.  

We want to develop into the ‘go to’ film festival for Aboriginal Youth in Canada.


Youth Day Bios 2017


Alexis Mah


Alexis Mah is 19 years old and resides in Edmonton. Featured in several documentaries for NCSA’s Bearpaw Media such as ‘Out in the Cold’ & ‘Hidden’ which educate & inform Aboriginal issues in our communities. She did a commercial for cable TV ‘Together’ Cancer Prevention in Alberta. Photo shoots for “Milk co” & “Gang Prevention” by WrapED where the posters were featured in Edmonton Schools. Her most recent work in Film was for a recent popular TV series ‘Blackstone’ which aired on APTN. Alexis’ character “Heather Roy” was re-occurring for three seasons.


Boogey the Beat

Music Producer

Lesley Boulanger AKA Boogey the Beat is an Anishinaabe DJ and Producer. A member of the Berens River First Nation, he was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. First discovering music production in high school, he quickly rose to become one of the top music producers in the city. Working with fellow indigenous artists such as Wab Kinew, Leonard Sumner, Drezus, and Winnipeg’s Most has earned him production credits on award winning projects. His DJing skills have landed him on stages for the Indspire Awards, Canada Day 150 Mainstage, Stage 49 at the Gathering of Nations, and multiple festivals across Turtle Island.


Connor McNally


Conor McNally is from amiskwaciwâskahikan. Bypassing formal film training, Conor creates works though a combination of instinct, hands-on trial and error, and a keen ability to make friends who are talented and helpful. Conor has made numerous short films, with his most recent being ôtênaw (2017). Conor is a proud father, a consummate garlic grower, and a yerba mate connoisseur.


Coty Savard

Filmmaker & Producer

Coty Savard is an emerging Dene, Cree, and Metis Filmmaker/Producer. One of her first works, Pehonan concentrated on the over-representation of Indigenous people in Edmonton, Alberta’s homeless population. In the past year, Coty has directed 3 projects, edited a feature-length documentary, worked as an Associate Producer for Mosaic Entertainment, worked on two scripted broadcast television series for APTN and Super Channel, as well as volunteered and produced monthly videos on Indigenous History with the Amiskwaciy History Project, a project aimed at sharing the often untold history of the Edmonton area.


Darrell Joe Brertton

Cultural Choreographer

Darrell Joe Brertton, 18, has been dancing and traveling the powwow trail ever since he could walk. He shares Aboriginal Awareness at school bookings, and community events throughout the year within Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and North America. His passion is traveling the powwow trail across Canada & USA, recently winning second place in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Worlds Largest Gathering of Nations Powwow. He showcases the skill and pride in his dance moves; prepare to be mesmerized by the color the movement and the resonating beat that unites us all.


Kendra Shorter


Kendra Shorter, at 19 years of age, has been dancing since the age of 3, is trained in ballet (RAD and Cecchetti), contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and tap. Kendra began her dance training at the Sherwood Park School of Dancing and has since then trained in Edmonton (Edmonton School of Ballet), Calgary (School of Alberta Ballet), and Toronto (School of Toronto Dance Theatre). She has had the opportunity to attend pre-professional summer schools such as The Joffrey Ballet School, School of Alberta Ballet, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Performance experience includes: Edmonton Contemporary Dancers, Edmonton Festival Ballet, and the Edmonton Prospects Dance Team.


Miika Whiskeyjack


Miika Whiskeyjack is 13 years of age, resides in Edmonton and is already an accomplished actor/dancer/voice over artist. She got her start at 7 landing her first role for the award winning Canadian Drama series ‘Blackstone’ her character Wendy Bull went on for 4 seasons. Her film debut in ‘Rhymes for Young Ghouls’ had her travel to Montreal, QC to film. She loaned her voice as Fairy Z in LaLaloopsy animation. She has done multiple commercials and multi-media productions to date.



Comedian & Filmmaker

Nigel’s a comedian and filmmaker originally from Cold Lake First Nations. He studied at Humber College in the Comedy: Writing and Performance program. Exploring Indigenous culture through comedy is one of Nigel’s main interests. The study of improvisational comedy has been very important to his work and is highly influential in his practice today. Nigel is an alumni of the Dreamspeakers On Tour program. Nigel has produced many comedic shorts as well as a few short docs.


Ricky Marty


Ricky Marty lead and paved the way for his younger brothers’ with his first photo shoot creating a portfolio into his acting career, he is now 21. In 2014 Ricky landed his first small role as Shorty in the film ‘Fantasies of Flying’ directed by filmmaker Georgina Lightning. In 2016 Ricky co-starred as Adam in the feature film ‘The Grizzlies’ based on a true story by the youth lacrosse team from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Canada.


Samuel Marty


Samuel Marty, 14 years old, is known for his work in ‘Diablo’ (2014) as Ishani (opposite Scott Eastwood). Appearances in TV series ‘Blackstone’ (2015) as foster child Matty, ‘Fargo’ (2015) as Hanzee Dent, ‘Ray Donovan’ (2016) as Alan, ’40 Below and Falling’ as young cree boy, ‘Hells on Wheels’ (2014) as Comanche Boy. 2016 has landed Samuel a principle role on ‘GODLESS’ as Truckee for a Limited Netflix Series. Currently he has already signed on for the lead male in a Sci-Fi feature film ‘The Next’ to be filmed later this year in Nova Scotia.


Skye Demas

Dancer, Actor, Performer & Choreographer

Skye is of Cree, Ojibway and Dakota Sioux descent. Graduating from Victoria School of Performing Arts in 2017, she is a dancer, actor, performer and choreographer. She has performed in productions with Punctuate Theatre, Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts, SOAR Arts and Victoria School. Skye has performed dance in many Arts festivals since the age of seven and eight years of competitive dance training as well as one year of acrobatic gymnastics training. Her dance competitions/performances have brought her to Edmonton, Vancouver, Phoenix, and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. In 2018, Skye took part in Punctuate Theatre & Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts’ Canadian Tour. She played the lead role in the production Minosis Gathers Hope, in addition to being a dancer in the chorus production of Bears. This tour showcased to multiple locations, which include Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Canmore, Vancouver. and 2 First Nations communities in Alberta. Skye is looking forward to continuing her artistic journey with the production of Bears for 2019 beginning in Victoria, BC.


Taran Kootenhayoo

Actor, Poet & Playwright

Taran Kootenhayoo is an actor, spoken word poet and playwright is based out of Vancouver, BC. He received his Acting for Stage & Screen Diploma from Capilano University (2015), is signed with Premiere Talent Management, and is in Full Circle's First Nations Performance Ensemble. Past projects include; Exit 22 Productions, rEvolver Festival, Talking Stick Festival, the SOAR Aboriginal Arts Program. Currently, Taran is doing an internship with Savage Society as an artistic associate. 2017: Raven Spirit Dance’s Salmon Girl, Axel Theatre’s TH’OWIXYA, Savage Society’s Pipeline Project, and a residency in Kamloops as part of the (RE)Imagine Series; The Cure for Death by Lighting, Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth. Taran would like to thank all of his mentors, friends and family who have supported him on his journey of discovery.


Tarene Thomas


Tarene Thomas, at 20 years of age is a third year Nêhiyaw, Gitxan, Haisla and Tahltan Arts student at the University of Alberta with a background in writing and acting. Tarene has been a part of performing arts with the Soar Aboriginal Arts Program as well as the U Alberta Art scenes. She grew up on the Enoch Cree Nation and is solidly involved in the Indigenous community on and off reserve.


Tristen Marty


Tristen Marty is 20 years old and currently co-manages Tristen and Carrie Kohans ‘Freedom Master Workshop’. In 2016 Tristen landed an inspiring supporting role as Buddy Blackwolf in the feature, ‘Indian Horse’ written by Gary Wagamese, a true story of residential school survivors and their horrific experiences as children & teenagers. ‘Indian Horse’ will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.