The IWM Short Film Festival showcases films responding to past and contemporary conflict across 5 days of screenings, featuring animations, dramas and documentaries
Discover more about some of the films shortlisted for the 2018 festival in our interviews with the filmmakers behind them.
Alex Lazarowich’s documentary Cree Code Talker focuses on Charles ‘Checker’ Thomkins, a First Nation Canadian Cree group member and reveals how Canadian Cree Native languages were used as a code for exchange vital military information during the Second World War.
Here she reflects on why she made the film and why it is important is being shown at the IWM Short Film Festival.
"The inspiration for Cree Code Talker came from my family and friends who live in Northern Alberta specifically my aunty Nora Chapdelain and my mother Pearl Calahasen. They had been pushing me to make a film about the Cree code talkers and it was them who helped get this documentary made and who have both been constant supporters of the project.
It was important that we tell this story because often Indigenous people's history is re-written, told from a colonized perspective, and disregarded as just a story but with this film and with this project we were able to honour these men, offer new insight into WWII, and create a new chapter in the history book for Indigenous people. We hope this inspires other communities to learn about their history, explore their past and honour their people.
Cree Code Talker has never had a British premiere and we were very excited to be selected to premiere at the IWM Short Film Festival. We think that this film and this story needs to be heard by those in Europe and this venue and festival is the perfect way for citizens to learn about Charles and other Indigenous men's work in WWII."