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Foster Child

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An important figure in the history of Canadian Indigenous filmmaking, Gil Cardinal was born to a Métis mother but raised by a non-Indigenous foster family, and with this auto-biographical documentary, he charts his efforts to find his biological mother and to understand why he was removed from her. Considered a milestone in documentary cinema, it addressed the country’s internal colonialism in a profoundly personal manner, winning a Special Jury Prize at Banff and multiple international awards. “Foster Child is one of the great docs to come out of Canada and nobody but Gil could have made it,” says Jesse Wente, Director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office. “Gil made it possible for us to think about putting our own stories on the screen, and that was something new and important.”

1987, 43 min 05 s

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Gold Apple Award - Category: Human Relations / Life Styles and Life Passages
National Educational Media Network Competition
May 17 to 21 1989, Oakland - USA

Gemini Award for Best Direction in a Documentary (Gil Cardinal)
Gemini Awards
December 1 1988, Toronto - Canada

Honorable Mention - Category: Health and Medicine / Adoption
International Film and Video Festival
October 26 to 28 1988, Columbus - USA

Special Jury Award - with a cash prize of 1,500$
World Media Festival
June 5 to 11 1988, Banff - Canada

NFB Kathleen Shannon Documentary Award - with a cash prize of 1,000$
Yorkton Film Festival
May 25 to 29 1988, Yorkton - Canada

Golden Sheaf Award - Category: Best Production of the Festival
Yorkton Film Festival
May 25 to 29 1988, Yorkton - Canada

Certificate of Merit for Cinematography (James Jeffrey)
Yorkton Film Festival
May 25 to 29 1988, Yorkton - Canada

Golden Sheaf Award - Category: Best Documentary over 30 minutes
Yorkton Film Festival
May 25 to 29 1988, Yorkton - Canada

Red Ribbon Award - Category: Family Relations
Itinerant - American Film and Video Festival
May 23 to 28 1988, New York - USA

Special Jury Award
Annual Alberta Film and Television Awards
March 19 1988, Edmonton - Canada

Best Documentary Short Award
Annual American Indian Film Festival
November 12 to 15 1987, San Francisco - USA

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