Sonya Ballantyne

If I don't see myself, how do I know I exist?


Sonya became interested in film because she wanted to see people like her mother as a starship captain on Star Trek, or fighting aliens like Ripley. She wanted a Native hero that existed in the present or in the future, to show us that we made it. Sonya asks – for better or worse, how do today’s representations shape the self-image of people like her?


Sonya Ballantyne is a Cree filmmaker originally from Misipawistik Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. Her tale-telling father and movie-loving mother raised Sonya with a wild imagination, a bizarre taste in movies, and a love of creating stories. Her films put Aboriginal girls and women in film genres where they are not traditionally included: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero films.

Sonya won the 2014 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition at Gimli Film Festival for her short film Crash Site, and the 2016 Short Film Pitch competition at ImagineNative Film Festival with the forthcoming Eagle Girl. Sonya’s next film, Nosisim, focuses on her grandmother Virginia.