On October 19, 2017, Heather Condo and her husband Stephen Jerome Jr., the main character of her short film My Father’s Tools, were showing their film at Toronto’s 18th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. After the screening, the audience had lots of questions for Stephen who was delighted to talk about his work.
This is what Heather had to say about her experience on the red carpet:” What an amazing ride it's been. I'm trying hard to take it all in and remember every moment. I wish I could make it to every screening I've been invited to. Every one of them is an opportunity for us to meet new people. Seeing other people's films and watching their stories come alive is incredible. We feel very fortunate to be included in these events. Stephen has gotten a lot of attention from other communities and non-Indigenous people. We feel partly responsible for what seems like a resurgence of the craft of basketmaking.”
As for Stephen Jerome Sr, he has gone to schools and local festivals to give lectures and demonstrations. He feels very proud of the skills his father taught him. The latter worked very hard to teach his boys this craft. Stephen is very glad it’s still alive inside him and he’s delighted to see great interest from many different people and teaching them how skillful one has to be to make such baskets. He likes to joke that these are not “made in China!”
imagineNATIVE is the world's largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The organisation is recognised locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and as the global centre for Indigenous media arts. imagineNATIVE is a registered charity committed to creating a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures through the presentation of contemporary Indigenous-made media art (film, video, audio and digital media).
We are an Indigenous-run organisation based in Toronto with a national and international reach. We acknowledge the diversity of the First Peoples of the area on which we work, live and meet and honour the stewardship of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Iroquois-Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat. Today, Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and around the world and we are grateful to be on this territory.
imagineNATIVE presents the world’s largest Indigenous film festival, a national Tour focused on reconciliation, and numerous other activities throughout the year. imagineNATIVE is one of the leading arts organisations in Canada that was twice nominated for the highly competitive and prestigious Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (Ontario).
imagineNATIVE is committed to public education and strives towards dispelling stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities. To this end we conduct professional development workshops and panels, public education initiatives, research projects, and curriculum/educators’ packages for secondary schools created from Indigenous pedagogies.
Check out Heather Condo’s Instragram account to see Stephen’s amazing baskets.