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Cree Elder and astronomer overcomes a harrowing history to take us to the stars. Lisa Jackson’s Wilfred Buck opens in Canadian cities.


May 7, 2024 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Fresh from its North American premiere at Hot Docs, Toronto-based Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson’s Wilfred Buck is opening in cinemas across Canada, distributed by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

Co-produced by Door Number 3 Productions and the NFB, this hybrid, time-travelling road trip takes us into the stellar life of charismatic Cree Elder, star expert and ceremonial leader Wilfred Buck, adapted from Buck’s rollicking memoir I Have Lived Four Lives.

Theatrical screening schedule

Q&A with director Lisa Jackson at select screenings: check cinema websites for details and showtimes.

Plus, special screenings

  • May 9 at 7:45 p.m., DOXA Film Festival, VIFF Centre, Vancouver
    • Wilfred Buck in attendance
  • Opening Night Film, May 23, Yorkton Film Festival
    • Free screening
  • June 27, Adäka Cultural Festival, Whitehorse

Lisa Jackson in attendance at all special screenings.

About the film

Wilfred Buck by Lisa Jackson | 92 min
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/wilfred-buck
New trailer: vimeo.com/942488273/38a2dbba43

Producers: Lisa Jackson, Lauren Grant and Alicia Smith (NFB)

  • Executive Producers: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, David Christensen (NFB)
  • Co-Executive Producers: Janice Dawe, Kathy Avrich-Johnson, Greg Boustead, Jessica Harrop
  • Editor: David Schmidt; Co-Editors: Eui Yong Zong, Matt Lyon
  • Drama DOP: Justin Black

He’s from the “fresh-out-of-the-bush, partly civilized, colonized, displaced people,” and he’s here to take us to the stars. Lisa Jackson’s portrait of Cree Elder Wilfred Buck moves between earth and sky, past and present, bringing to life ancient teachings of Indigenous astronomy and cosmology to tell a story that spans generations. Adapted from Buck’s rollicking memoir I Have Lived Four Lives, the film weaves together stories from his life, including his harrowing young years of displacement and addiction. Seamlessly fusing present-day scenes with cinematic re-enactments and archival footage, this intimate yet expansive documentary takes us on an inspiring journey to the space beyond, and to the spaces between us all.

Wilfred Buck had its world premiere at the CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, followed by its North American premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.

Press quotes

“By weaving together stories from Buck’s life, including his troubled past, Anishinaabe writer-director Lisa Jackson has made a documentary that lives and breathes… The result is a story that exists everywhere, every time, all at once. The documentary is shot beautifully and set to an eclectic soundtrack, and it shifts seamlessly between archival footage and cinematic re-enactments. It’s a masterful blending of styles and genres, woven together in a cohesive and compelling narrative tapestry. This doc is a wild and thoughtful ride that shows the knowledge of our ancestors will never be lost as long as we are looking in the right places.”

Lucius Dechausay, CBC Arts

“Jackson’s profile of star gazer and brilliant speaker Wilfred Buck is an engaging, startling piece.”

Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

About Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson is an Anishinaabe (Aamjiwnaang) filmmaker whose work has garnered two Canadian Screen Awards, been nominated for a Webby and screened at top festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Berlinale and Hot Docs. Her NFB VR experience Biidaaban was viewed by more than 25,000 people, while her film Indictment won Best Doc at imagineNATIVE and is one of CBC’s top watched documentaries. She won the 2022 Chicken & Egg Award and the 2021 DOC Vanguard Award, and has an MFA from York University.

About Wilfred Buck

Wilfred Buck is an Ininiw (Cree) astronomer, author, educator, Knowledge Keeper and lecturer originally from Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN). He graduated from the University of Manitoba with two degrees in Education and has 25 years of experience as an educator, working with students from kindergarten to university. Considered the foremost authority on Indigenous astronomy in the world, Wilfred is the author of Tipiskawi Kisik: Night Sky Star Stories (2018), the semi-autobiographical I Have Lived Four Lives (2021) and Kitcikisik (Great Sky): Tellings That Fill the Night Sky (2021).

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French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.