Screening times:

09/12/2022 – 8:45 PM – Scotiabank 3
09/14/2022 – 6:00 PM – Scotiabank 14
09/17/2022 – 9:30 AM – Scotiabank 13

Award-winning director, Asia Youngman of Visceral Village Productions and Mike Johnston of Studio 104 Entertainment have announced that their dramatic/fantasy short film, n’x̌ax̌aitkʷ: Sacred Spirit of the Lake, will have its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival in the Short Cuts programme.
Filmed in Peachland, British Columbia, the dialogue is in English and Salish.
Written by Youngman (Hatha, This Ink Runs Deep), n’x̌ax̌aitkʷ: Sacred Spirit of the Lake stars Kiawentiio (Beans, Anne with an E, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Emilie Bierre (Une Colonie, Le Guuide de la familia, Les beaux malaises), Isla Grant (Broken Angels, When Calls the Heart), Riley Davis (Dying for Chocolate), Aiden Howard (Firefly Lane). The film is produced by Mike Johnston (Hatha, Sol, The Beehive, Wild Goat Surf) and executive produced by Youngman.

After moving to a new town, a teenager must navigate peer pressure when her next-door neighbour convinces her to explore a nearby island in search of a legendary lake monster. However, she quickly learns that her new friends might be harbouring some secrets and ulterior motives of their own.
Youngman says, “n’x̌ax̌aitkʷ is a coming-of-age story about an Indigenous teenager navigating identity, bullying and peer pressure, inspired by some of my own experiences growing up and spending summers in the Okanagan. I wanted to make a film that touched upon these universal themes while also incorporating the legend of the “Ogopogo”, whose real name is “n’x̌ax̌aitkʷ”. This is the first time that there has been a fiction film about the “n’x̌ax̌aitkʷ” told from an Indigenous perspective, and it was important for me to collaborate with the Syilx people of the Okanagan Nation to ensure that it was done in an accurate and respectful way. It’s a dream come true to have our world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and I look forward to sharing this film with audiences in September.”

Cinematography by Alfonso Chin (Freya, British Columbia: The Untold History), edited by Sarah Hedar (SGaawaay K’uuna, Now is the Time), production design by Amanda Christmas (The Lake that Disappeared), costumes by Cassandra Phillips-Grande (Sickening Love) and music composed by Jean Sebastien Williams (Sashinka).