Shooting Indians – A Journey with Jeffery Thomas, Ali Kazimi, 1997

Shooting Indians – A Journey with Jeffery Thomas, Ali Kazimi, 1997

Still Indian?
Ali Kazimi (Indo-Canadian) | Jeffrey Thomas (Iroquois) 
October 20 – November 19, 2021

Reel Asian 2021 Canadian Artist Spotlight
Ali Kazimi (Indo-Canadian) 
October 24 – November 19, 2021
A film and conversation program presented by SAVAC, imagineNATIVE & Reel Asian International Film Festival

Still Indian? is film and conversation program produced in collaboration with SAVAC, Reel Asian, and imagineNATIVE. The program highlights Ali Kazimi’s 1997 film Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas, originally shown by SAVAC and TRIBE Inc. in 2005 in a program titled Define Indian. Kazimi’s film came at a time when work about Indigenous and immigrant settler relations pushed the envelope in art and filmmaking on Turtle Island. 15 years on, SAVAC, Reel Asian, and imagineNATIVE are excited to share this work again and revisit the conversation with our community through screenings and supplementary programming.


Still Indian? In Conversation
Artists: Jeff Thomas | Ali Kazimi
Moderators: Rhéanne Chartrand | Indu Vashist

Artists and friends Jeffrey Thomas and Ali Kazimi join Métis curator Rhéanne Chartrand and Executive Director of SAVAC, Indu Vashist in conversation reflecting on the film Shooting Indians and their collaboration touching upon notions of cross-cultural relationality, time, and friendship. 


Reel Asian 2021 Canadian Artist Spotlight
Documentary filmmaker, media artist, activist, author, and educator Ali Kazimi is Reel Asian’s Canadian Artist Spotlight in 2021. Appropriately for their 25th festival, Kazimi has been a fixture in the Asian Canadian community and they celebrate his over three decades of vital contributions to Canadian media. A Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts winner in 2019, Kazimi is the first Indo Canadian to receive the award. His documentary and media arts work deal with race, social justice, migration and memory, and emphasizes essential connections across racialized communities, between personal and public, through past and present. 

From October 25 to November 19, 2021, Reel Asian will be offering a sampling of Kazimi’s seminal documentary films as well as a suite of talks that will give greater insight into his process and view excerpts from new works in progress. 

Reel Asian 


Ali Kazimi is a filmmaker, author and media artist who was born and raised in India. His work deals with race, social justice, migration, history and memory. Moving to Canada in 1983, he earned his BFA in Film Production from York University. He is the recipient of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts, and the same year he received a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from the University of British Columbia.

Ali is internationally recognized for his documentary films. His critically acclaimed works include Narmada: A Valley Rises (’94), Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (’97), Documenting Dissent (’01), Continuous Journey (’04), Runaway Grooms (’06), Rex versus Singh (’09) and Random Acts of Legacy (’16).

In 2006, Kazimi joined the Department of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University as a full-time professor.

Jeff Thomas is an independent curator and photographer who deals, in examination of his own history and identity, with issues of aboriginality that have arisen at the intersections of Native and non-Native cultures in what is now Ontario and northern New York state. Nationally recognized for ground-breaking scholarship and innovative curatorial practice in this area, he has been involved in major projects at such prominent cultural institutions in Canada as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Woodlands Cultural Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Library and Archives Canada.


Indu Vashist has been the Executive Director of SAVAC since 2013. She is interested in art that is not precious and words that are precise. 

Rhéanne Chartrand (Métis), MMSt, is the Curator of Indigenous Art at McMaster Museum of Art and a sessional lecturer with the University of Toronto, X (Ryerson) University, and McMaster University. Over the past eight years, Chartrand has curated interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exhibitions, programs, showcases, and festivals for venues and organizations across the GTHA. Her curatorial work focuses on the praxis of survivance, Indigenous epistemes, relational aesthetics, representational politics, and gratitude.


SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a non-profit, nomadic artist-run organization dedicated to fostering imaginative thought among artists and curators of colour and integrating them into the Canadian contemporary arts ecology through frameworks of self-representation.

imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. Recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and committed to creating a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures through the presentation of contemporary Indigenous-made media art including film, video, audio, and digital media. 

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by Asian-identifying artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

HST EXEMPTION: For Status card holders, please email if you wish to use your Status card to purchase packages or tickets online. Otherwise, you can visit the imagineNATIVE Box Office in person starting October 18 and present your Status card when purchasing tickets or packages.