Content not appropriate for children under 13 years

Firecracker Bullets

Documentary Short | Chad Charlie

In this personal documentary, Indigenous comedian Chad Charlie goes to participate in the Standing Rock occupation and has a transformative experience. The film takes us on Charlie’s powerful passage of self-discovery, from the irreverent jokester to the culturally aware poet whose powerful spoken word piece encapsulates his realizations at the close of the film. In this blend of cinema, vlog, and social media with tons of humour, Charlie uses a real mix of formats (phone streaming, news footage, fly-on-the-wall documentary style) very effectively, and doesn’t try to work in a huge narrative or have a tidy conclusion. Like many who were there and endured violence by police against their peaceful marches, Charlie is still working through trauma and mental health issues he experienced from it. In his case, this journey has left him with a greater awareness of the ongoing injustices that Indigenous people must still contend with.

TRT: 14 Minutes

Release: September 1, 2021

Chad Charlie

CHAD CHARLIE is an Afro-Indigenous filmmaker from Ahousaht First Nation. Beginning his career in 2008 as a stand-up comedian and spoken word artist, he now extends the same passion for poetry and humour in his writing for TV and film. He is currently a writer and actor for the hit television series Reservation Dogs (FX).

Cass Gardiner

CASS GARDINER is an Anishinaabe Algonquin filmmaker, curator, and writer from Kebaowek First Nation. She is currently in the process of mentor-producing Firecracker, Bullets, a short film exploring Indigenous and Black identity, supported by Visionmaker Media. She produced the short documentary Jewels Hunt, which was supported by ITVS and TFI, and broadcast on Independent Lens. Her documentary film The Edible Indian has met critical acclaim in classrooms and theatres internationally and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the American Indian Film Festival. Gardiner is also a passionate arts activist within Indigenous communities and has worked as a film mentor and youth outreach worker on reserves across Canada. A 2017 Curatorial Fellow at the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Asheville, North Carolina, her latest curatorial work, Forward Facing, was a featured show for the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in collaboration with Critical Distance Centre for Curators and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. Her writing can be found in Inuit Art Quarterly. Gardiner has held a variety of positions within North American film institutions, namely the National Film Board of Canada, Wapikoni Mobile, and most recently at the Tribeca Film Institute. She holds an MFA from Ryerson University and a BA from NYU Gallatin.

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Project Coordinator​

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.