View Award-Winning NFB Shorts Free of Charge



Starting November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Canadians everywhere can access Katherena Vermette and Erika MacPherson’s award-winning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) short documentary this river free-of-charge on, the NFB’s YouTube channel, as well as on the CBC Short Docs platform.

Watch this powerful short documentary on the platform of your choice, or download it from It’s a 20-minute Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who’s disappeared―and a film you won’t forget.

Winner of the Coup de coeur du jury award at its world premiere at the Montréal First Peoples Festival, this river is written and directed by Katherena Vermette, a Métis writer, and filmmaker Erika MacPherson.

The film focuses on Vermette and Kyle Kematch, Winnipeggers who have both experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one. Kyle has a sister who went missing over five years ago. He now works with Drag the Red, a volunteer organization that searches the Red River for clues relating to missing members of the Indigenous community. Vermette’s poetry stems from a family tragedy of her own, which took place over 20 years ago. Though their stories are different, they each exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something. this river is produced by Alicia Smith and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio.

The film has also inspired an Instagram companion piece, What Brings Us Here, now online. Created by author and filmmaker Katherena Vermette and Alicia Smith, What Brings Us Here profiles volunteers of Drag the Red and the Bear Clan Patrol, grassroots MMIWG and MMIP movements in Winnipeg. These dedicated individuals patrol neighbourhoods and search the banks and water of the Red River in response to the problem of missing people in their community.

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