Saguenay international
short film festival

Our initiatives

Each year, the entire festival team attends training to raise awareness and think about improving cultural safety for First Nations during the festival.

• In 2022, la Boîte Rouge VIF, an Indigenous organization involved in creating and presenting multidisciplinary and multicultural productions in Saguenay, came to meet our team. The Short film market produced a series of short videos titled Natives On Film - Des autochtones en cinéma , hosted by Jess Murwin, to address issues facing Indigenous filmmakers.

• In 2022 and 2023, the Uashashkutuan organization led team training sessions on cultural safety.

• In 2023, working in close collaboration with Jess Murwin, the festival’s programming team developed a project called Forming our Circle - Créons un tout - Pitshitshipanu. This long-term effort is aimed at improving our relationships with Indigenous filmmakers and creating new opportunities in the arts and culture. It is the result of our sincere desire to help communities – Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike – thrive and support each other in the Saguenay region and beyond.

The project, which initially, aimed to launch a competition for indigenous shorts at REGARD, was detailed over the course of multiple meetings to discuss the different issues and needs to be considered, in particular  with La boîte rouge VIF, Le  Bureau de l’Écran Autochtone, then with a collaborative committee including the artist and filmmaker Anishnabe Caroline Monet, Alexandre Bacon, producer at Terre Innue from the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, Mélanie Brière, producer at the NFB and member of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, André Dudemaine, artistic director and founder of the Festival Présence Autochtone.

We also hosted a Carte Blanche presented by the most important International Festival, dedicated to indigenous films in Quebec This Carte Blanche was a perfect initiation for our audience, presenting many essentials of the last decade and showing all the richness and diversity of short films

• In 2024, Vincent Careau joined the Festival team as programming assistant. For a period of one year, Vincent will work with both REGARD and Présence Autochtone in order to learn the profession of programmer and ensure better representation of indigenous cinema. This internship is intended to return from year to year to ensure succession in indigenous cinema programming.

We are also launching a new competition « Regards Autochtones ». Signed by programmers Jess Murwin and Vincent Careau, this first edition is the result of a long journey, but also the starting point of an evolving journey. In the spirit of retro-prospective, the films in this program, all from North American communities, look at the past, present and future.

And we also have the honor of presenting a retrospective of Alanis Obomsawin, one of the most eminent indigenous filmmakers, who has received countless international distinctions. A golden opportunity to revisit in her company some of the shorts that marked her long and prolific career.

Artiste : Eruoma Awashish
Artiste : Amélie Courtois, « Je suis une survivante du pensionnat »


We program short films from around the world, and each one explores unique political and cultural realities. Thanks to the filmmakers and their films, multiple voices resonate in our programming. As a cultural organization with an international profile, it is important to us to do more to highlight issues that are closer to home – specifically the realities of Indigenous communities that have made the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region their home since time immemorial.

In the fall of 2021, we reached out to la Boîte Rouge VIF, an Indigenous non-profit whose mission is to preserve, transmit and publicize cultural legacies. The idea was to invite the entire REGARD team to a two-part training session: first, an overview of the history and current situation of Indigenous communities here and elsewhere in Quebec, followed by an exploration of specific actions we can take to become a more inclusive and culturally safe event.

The result was the formation of the Mikinawk-Tortue Committee. The name comes from the expression “slowly but surely”: it will take time for things to change for the better, but we are committed to being part of the process, one step at a time. Because the turtle represents the creation of the world in some Indigenous cultures, the symbolism seemed particularly apt. Mikinawk means “turtle” in Atikamekw, the language spoken by one of the nations whose territory we live on.

This new committee, made up of people from various departments within the organization, has the mission of developing actions and communications aimed at promoting discussion and raising the profile of Indigenous communities in future editions of the festival.

*The banner image on this page is a work by artist Eruoma Awashish