LIFT and imagineNATIVE 2022 Mentorship Announcement

2022 LIFT and imagineNATIVE Mentorship Winner Caelin Holmes


Toronto, March 25, 2022—The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) are pleased to announce that Toronto-based artist Caelin Holmes is the recipient of the 17th annual LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship. This annual mentorship was developed to offer an Indigenous artist living in the Greater Toronto Area the opportunity to expand their practice into the realm of film, and present their new work in a professional context. His planned film, Take It Back will focus on Toronto skateboarders as they navigate the urban landscape, using a lens that both mocks the objectifying gaze of old-school “educational” documentary films and creates a new portrait of a vibrant subculture.

Caelin will be enrolled in LIFT’s seasonal workshops and will be provided with access to and mentorship around LIFT’s production and post-production equipment. He will receive additional financial and resource support from imagineNATIVE and other to-be-confirmed mentorship partners to complete a film for premiere at the 2022 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (October 18-23). Through the generous support of lead industry partner Netflix, imagineNATIVE has been able to expand their financial contribution to the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program to help Indigenous artists bring their short films to life.

“We were really taken with Caelin’s proposal and look forward to helping him make it into a film,” says Chris Kennedy, LIFT’s Executive Director. “The kinetic melding of skateboard culture and analogue film promises to create an energetic and visually exciting film.”

“We are so excited to be supporting Caelin on his short film Take It Back. We can’t wait to see the skateboarding subculture in an urban landscape weaved through Caelin’s viewpoint and experience,” adds imagineNATIVE’s Institute Manager Jamie-Lee Reardon, (Ojibwe/Irish).

“I’d like to thank LIFT and imagineNATIVE for providing me the opportunity to create my first short on 16mm film, and for giving me a space where I know I’m going to get to work with a rad group of Native creatives! imagineNATIVE’s film festivals are a huge platform to showcase what Indigenous people, specifically Toronto’s Indigenous youth, are capable of. Being able to work within my community is such an honour, and I can’t wait to express ourselves in a new medium together.”
—Caelin Holmes

Caelin Holmes (Inuk) is an aspiring filmmaker based in Toronto, Ontario. Starting out in 2014, Caelin used photography to capture weddings and families and has since gained experience across various mediums and professional settings. He studied Integrated Media at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD U) with a focus on film production and mixed digital spaces, and has since graduated from Indigenous-specific film training programs from across the city. During his tenure at OCAD U, Caelin also built on his skills in illustration and digital collage. Skateboarding has served as a point of inspiration, as well as a tool for development, throughout Caelin’s career. His work in video began with shooting and editing clips for members of the local skate scene. The trial-and-error nature of the activity, as well as the diverse community it attracts, have been his favourite subjects for video and documentary. Using these learned aesthetics and values, Caelin’s work aims to address relationships between urban and rural landscapes, intersectionalities within the skateboarding community, and the journeys involved in connecting with Indigenous heritage and community.

Previous year’s mentees include actor and choreographer Michael Greyeyes (Seven Seconds); Dora and Juno Award nominee Jani Lauzon (eu•tha•na•sia); Michelle Latimer (Tomorrow); Tyler Hagan (Estuary), Adrienne Marcus Raja (Soli), Jaene Castrillon (Celebration of Darkness), Jamie Whitecrow (Heidi Lost), Samay Arcentales Cajas (In Moment), Natasha Naveau (Menaptwi (Smoked)), Cole Forrest (Into Water) and Tim Myles (Little Bird). Caelin will premiere his new short at the 22nd annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, October 18-29, 2022.

On behalf of the Selection Committee, thank you to all of this year’s incredible applicants! To find out more about this annual mentorship, and other artistic opportunities available through imagineNATIVE, please contact imagineNATIVE’s Institute Manager Jamie-Lee Reardon at

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About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is Canada’s foremost artist-run production and education organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. LIFT is supported by its membership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the largest international festival of its kind that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media. The imagineNATIVE Institute, a department within the organization, also runs year-round professional development opportunities for Indigenous screen creatives, and hosts a series of industry relevant talks each Spring. Each fall, the Festival presents a selection of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. The festival’s screenings, parties, panel discussions, and cultural events attract and connect filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture in contemporary media. This year’s festival runs October 18-23, 2022.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


Friday 25 March 2022 – Saturday 29 October 2022