Canada | 2018 | 89 min
English, Italian | Subtitles in English
Editing: Mahi Rahgozar
Cinematographer: Nicolas Canniccioni, Mark O'Fearghail
Producer: Ina Fichman, Robin Mckenna
Script: Robin Mckenna
Composer: Serge Nakauchi Pelletier
Categories :
FIFA Competition


Presented in partnership with VIA Rail and in association with the exhibition LOFFRE at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art which runs until March 11, 2018.

World Premiere – Director in attendance

Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s beloved classic The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, GIFT is a richly cinematic film, interweaving character-driven stories. On North America's Pacific Northwest Coast, a young indigenous man undertakes the elaborate preparations for a potlatch – to make a name for himself by giving everything away. In Rome, Italy, a factory occupied by migrants is transformed into a living museum, protected by a barricade of art: a model of resistance and an invaluable gift. In the “pirate utopia” of Burning Man, a mutant bumblebee art car distributes honey in a post-­apocalyptic desert landscape. Meanwhile, in Auckland, New Zealand, artist Mingwei Lee prepares to launch Sonic Blossom – a “transformative gift” of song.

GIFT is a tribute to something that can’t be measured or counted, bought or sold. Exploring the parallels between artists’ work and a gift economy, it’s a reflection on the creative process, the reasons we “labour in service of our gifts”, and a celebration of the imagination.


Robin Mckenna

Robin McKenna is director, producer, and writer of GIFT. She is producer and co-director of Medicine, a feature documentary in post-production, about ayahuasca, medicine, and healing. Currently, she is directing the short film Art = Vie with the National Film Board for the Governor General’s Awards for the Performing Arts – and finishingThanadoula, a short animated documentary fairytale about a girl’s search for her older sister and the “crow magic” connecting them, will premiere in 2019. Robin began making films with La Course destination monde. Her film The Great War Experience won Yorkton Film Festival’s Founders’ Award in 2007. Her cinematography credits include City of Borders (Berlinale, Hot Docs 2008) and The Take (AFI Best Documentary, 2004.) She has been a filmmaker-mentor with Wapikoni Mobile.
Filmography | Art = Vie (2018) ; 70 ans: Et au placard ? (2012) ; The Great War Experience (2007).

Screenings playing this movie

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal – Auditorium Maxwell-Cummings / Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Maxwell-Cummings Auditorium
Screening # 34
Presented by VIA Rail + DHC
FIFA Competition


Canada | 89 min | 2018

English, Italian | Subtitles in English