Arctic Indigenous films to New York – at the UNPFII Twenty-Second Session

ISFI and AIFF with Saamicouncil and others are arranging a side-event at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) Twenty-Second Session


The event is  “Climate Action — Future Changes,” exploring the Arctic Indigenous peoples’ fight against climate change through films and media, April 21 & 22.


Highlighting the importance of film

The UNPFII is the most important indigenous meeting at world level. With this event we are highlighting the importance of film in shedding light on Indigenous issues, our lives, and our challenges in arctic areas, says Anne Lajla Utsi, CEO International Sámi Film Institute.

Showing the impact of climate change

The film is a very good tool giving the voice to the Arctic Indigenous peoples and showing the impacts of climate change. The UNPFII is the most important forum to address this political questions for the Arctic Indigenous peoples, and we are very pleased that the Saamicouncil is addressing this important issues in this way , says Liisa Holmberg at AIFF (Arctic Indigenous Film Fund).

The program will begin with a panel discussion and reception on Friday, April 21, followed by film screenings on Saturday, April 22.

The Arctic area is home to many Arctic indigenous people. It is important that we have our own voice when we focus on challenges in our areas. It is particularly important to show the challenges and consequences of climate change, and the changes that have been made in the name of the green industry in Arctic Indigenous areas, says Anne Lajla Utsi, CEO International Sámi Film Institute.

The event is introduced by Anne Lajla Utsi ( CEO International Sámi Film Institute) and Kyle Reinhart (ASF Manager of Education and Cultural Programs). Welcoming notes to the program will be provided by Dariio Mejia Montalvo (Chair of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues), Aslak Holmberg (President, Saami Council), and Petteri Vuorimäki (Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland).

The panel discussion is with film director Elle Máijá Tailfeathers (Sámi/Blackfoot, Canada), film producer Emile Hertling Péronard (Inuk, Greenland), director Anna Hoover (Unangax̂,  USA), and AIFF’s Liisa Holmberg (Sápmi), moderated by Jason Ryle (Canada).

The second day of the program on Saturday, April 22 will feature screenings of four films, including the documentary short Salmon Reflection (dir. Anna Hoover, Alaska, 2022); the documentary short Ealát (dir. Elle-Marja Eira, Sápmi, Norway, 2021), and the short film Ivalu (dir. Anders Walter, co-dir. Pipaluk K. Jørgensen, prod. Rebecca Pruzan, Kim Magnusson, co-prod. Emile Hertling Péronard, Denmark/Greenland, 2023), followed by the feature film Night Raiders (dir. Danis Goulet, Canada; prod. Taika Waititi, New Zealand, 2021).

A great achievement

It is the first time ISFI and AIFF is organizing a side-event at the main public program of UNPFII.

It is a great achievement for ISFI and AIFF. We are very proud and happy to have this event right here right now this year in New York, at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Twenty-Second Session, says Utsi and Holmberg.

This event has been organized by the  American-Scandinavian Foundation, Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (Guovdageaidnu, Sápmi), International Sami Film Institute, Saami Council (Sápmi), Greenland Film Makers (Nuuk, Greenland), University of the Arctic — UArctic — Education & Research Network in the Arctic.

Read more about the program here.  

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Twenty-Second Session is in New York 17-28 April 2023. The theme is  “Indigenous Peoples, human health, planetary and territorial health and climate change: a rights-based approach”