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Portraits From a Fire film image

Portraits From a Fire

Ignite High School Screening


Possessing more determination than discernible talent, teenage Tyler (William Magnus Lulua) routinely premieres his lo-fi DIY films on his reservation for a smattering of viewers who struggle to stay awake. Undaunted, he retains his belief that he and his films are bound for bigger things. At the very least, they can be a bigger draw than bingo. Just as his new friend Aaron (Asivak Koostachin) practically manifests from the ether to provide him with some welcome encouragement, a DV tape resurfaces that casts new light on his family’s history and may just provide answers to questions that he’s long harboured.

Returning to the Tl’etinqox Reserve in BC where he grew up, director Trevor Mack delivers an accomplished, open-hearted first feature both made about and in collaboration with his community. With an endearing ensemble of memorable characters and a mix of English and Tsilhqot’in dialogue, Portraits From a Fire blends humour, heartbreak and ultimately, healing, in a coming-of-age film about eccentric misfit Tyler, his community, and healing the rifts within his family. This film introduces students to contemporary Indigenous storytelling and filmmaking, and shows how the work of even amateur teen filmmakers like Tyler can lead to a powerful reckoning between the past and the future, life and death, and father, mother, and son.


Funded by

Director Trevor Mack
Credits See Full Credits
Country of Origin Canada
Year 2021
Language English and Tsilhqot’in
Content Warning Violence, coarse language. This film addresses the impacts of accidental death and suicide.
Rating PG
92 min

Education Resources

Primary Curriculum Interests:

  • Media 10
  • Film and Television 11
  • BC First Peoples 12
  • Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12
  • English First Peoples
  • New Media 11 + 12
  • English 9

Other Curriculum Interests:

  • Directing and Script Development 12
  • Drama 9 + 10

In-Cinema: June 16, 9:30 am, Vancity Theatre

Available on VIFF Connect

How to Book

Free for schools, capacity for all films is limited. To book, submit your request with the online form below. Our Ignite team will respond to confirm availability and complete your booking.


Questions? Contact our Ignite team at [email protected]

Booking Request Form

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Executive Producer

Trish Dolman


Kate Kroll, Rylan Friday, Trevor Mack


Manny Mahal


Kaayla Whachell


Elad Tzadok

Production Design

Shona Vass