Friday, June 9 | Parkade behind Gottingen St. Staples | 9-12PM | FREE ADMISSION

New in 2017, HIFF included DIFFERENT, an alternative presentation section of the festival focused on expanded cinema and moving image installations. DIFFERENT offers presentation opportunities and project support for artists experimenting with the moving image outside of the traditional cinematic presentation format.


 Photo from the ENSEMBLE audio recording session with Halifax Music Co-op

Photo from the ENSEMBLE audio recording session with Halifax Music Co-op


ENSEMBLE is an interactive multimedia installation by Halifax-based artists Kiersten Holden-Ada, Zak Miller-Ada, and Michael McCormack that uses broadcast media technology to project the sounds of a traditional pit orchestra within the setting of a drive-in movie theatre. The project encourages what might normally be a passive, non-participatory, viewing public into active engagement by using their car radios as interactive audio components of the work. The orchestral component was recored by Halifax Music Coop musicians: John Bogardus, James Shaw, Amy O'Neill, Addison Sowery-Quinn, Liz Nagel, David Brister, Nadia Pona, Steve MacNeil, Chelsea Alexi, Michelle Footz, Blythe Haywood, Greg Jones.

ENSEMBLE marks the first-ever DIFFERENT: Alternative Presentation.


 Still from Ch'aak' S'aagi (Eagle Bone) by Tracy Rector

Still from Ch'aak' S'aagi (Eagle Bone) by Tracy Rector



Friday, June 9 | Nearby Planet VR | 12pm-11pm | FREE with HIFF pass or ticket stub 


This year HIFF is partnered with imagineNATIVE and Nearby Planet to offer a glimpse into the exciting world of virtual reality. Experience Indigenous storytelling in a whole new way with these three VR pieces that include The Highway of Tears, POI360, and Ch’aak S’aagi (Eagle Bone). Immersive, inventive, and innovative, VR is a rapidly growing storytelling medium that these Indigenous filmmakers use to their advantage.


The Highway of Tears is a short virtual reality documentary directed by Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson, about the story of one young woman, Ramona Wilson, who went missing along the highway in 1994 as told by her mother Matilda Wilson.


POI360 is an interactive digital documentary home for the poi. As a timeless Indigenous instrument of Aotearoa, it has an artistic beat that enamours the world. At first sight, the poi can be simply described as a ball on the end of a string. For Māori, it is the heartbeat of a nation and an extension of themselves. Created by Lanita Ririnui-Ryan (Māori).


Ch'aak' S'aagi (Eagle Bone) by filmmaker Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), an immersive VR experience. Through freestyle spoken word and lush Pacific Northwest scenes, we enter into a journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones, and teachings that remind us that we are all individual vessels of spirit and change yet inextricably connected.