Skip to main content

// Gift - Distribution

Gift - Distribution


Still from GIFT

Cinema Politica is proud to be the Canadian distributor of GIFT, an intimate exploration of real-life gift economies and the first feature documentary by filmmaker Robin McKenna. Below you can read the film's synopsis, learn about the fllmmaker, and importantly—book this stunning, poetic documentary for a screening in your community or at your festival/institution today! 


Director: Robin McKenna
Running time: 89 minutes
Languages: English, Italian, with French and English subtitles
Release: 2018

Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s beloved classic The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern WorldGIFT 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 migrant families 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.

To learn more, visit the official website of the film and watch the film's trailer below.


"You'll think the world is a better place after seeing Robin McKenna's documentary..."
- Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"At a time when art is relentlessly commercialized and commodified, Robin McKenna’s “Gift” provides a gentle and welcome reminder of other values."
- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Robin McKenna’s intelligent and life affirming documentary Gift will make viewers consider how they give, receive, and create art in a fresh, new light... A wonderful plea for people to step outside of themselves and let art into their hearts and minds at every opportunity."
- Andrew Parker, The Gate

“More than a worthy tribute to one of my favorite books, Robin McKenna’s GIFT translates Lewis Hyde’s remarkable notion into new terms. A beautiful, moving, and thought-provoking reflection on the creative process and the things that make us human.”
- Jonathan Lethem, American novelist

"A beautifully crafted film and such a thoughtful exploration of the idea of The Gift."
- Faye Ginsburg, David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology, New York University

"GIFT is a poetic outlook on gift economies through art and cultural practices. It follows four storylines linked by creativity, generosity, resistance and defiance."
- Phi Centre

“Above all, GIFT honours the creative impulse, and asks us to reflect on what art has to offer humanity, regardless of its market value.”
- Brava.Media

“GIFT presents us with a rare opportunity to escape the relentless logic of the market and to reclaim a little bit of our human freedom.”
- Caroline Montpetit, Le Devoir

“GIFT is [a film] worth watching, and a must-see if you are an artist.”
- Laurette Folk, Compassion Anthology


Robin McKenna 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, HotDocs 2008) and The Take with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis (AFI Best Documentary, 2004). She is an alumnus of Hot Docs Doc Lab, and has been a filmmaker-mentor with Wapikoni Mobile. GIFT is Robin's first feature documentary. Currently, she is direction a short film with the National Film Board for the Governor General's Award for the Performing Arts and finishing Thanadoula, a short documentary fairytale about a girl's search for her older sister and the "crow magic" connecting them. She is a producer/co-director of Medicine, a feature documentary in post-production about ayahuasca, medicine and healing.

Ina Fichman, Intuitive Pictures, has been producing award-winning documentaries, fiction films, and youth series for more than 25 years, and is one of Canada's pioneers in cross-platform media projects. In collaboration with partners worldwide, Ina has produced films which have premiered at international festivals, distributed in theatres in Canada and the United States, and broadcast on major networks including CBC/Radio-Canada, ARTE, Canal Plus and PBS. Recent credits include The Wanted 18, Monsoon (TIFF People's Choice Award 2014), Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, and Game Fever. Daniel Sivan's The Patriot is currently being released in theatres in the US. Most recently, The Oslo Diaries, in co-production with Medalia Films, Israel, had its world premiere at Sundance 2018 where it sold to HBO and Laila at the Bridge will premiere at the prestigious CPH-DOX.


To obtain an educational or institutional license for GIFT for an institution, click here and fill in the educational request form.


To book GIFT for a film festival, a theatre, a grassroots screening or a community event, simply follow this link to our online booking form, or scroll to the bottom of this page where you'll find the form. We'll get back to you in a jiffy.


Kingston, ON
- April 23, 2020
, The Screening Room (120 Princess Street)

London, ON
- May 20, 2020
, Hosted by Youth Council (421 Ridout St. N)

Kingston, ON
- March 22, 2020
, The Screening Room (120 Princess Street)

Belleville, ON
- March 6, 2020
, Belleville Downtown DocFest, Belleville Public Library (254 Pinnacle Street)

Regina, SK
- Feb 28, 2020
, Regina Public Library (2311 12th Ave.)

Victoria, BC
- Feb 18, 2020
, Hosted by Sunset Labs (400 Herald Street)
- Feb 20, 2020, Hosted by Sunset Labs (400 Herald Street)

Montreal, QC
- Feb. 3, 2020
, Hosted by Ciné-Verdun (4322 Wellington St.)

Regina, SK
- Jan 28, 2020
, Hosted by Regina Public Library (2311 12th Ave)

Creston, BC
- Jan 25, 2020
, Empire of Dirt Residency Asssociaton(3426 Goat Mountain)

Kingston, ON
- Dec. 1, 2019, 4:00 PM
, Barb Danielewski, The Screening Room(120 Princess Street)

Vancouver, BC
- Nov 24, 2019, 6:30 PM
, North Shore Unitarian Church, (370 Mathers Ave)

Powell River, BC
- Nov 30, 2019, 2:00 PM
, Presented by Council of Canadians and The Powell River Film Festival and First Credit Union, The Patricia Theatre, (5848 Ash Ave)

Tofino, BC
- Oct 28, 2019, 8:00 PM
, Monday Night Movies in Tofino, Clayoquot Sound Theatre, (380 Campbell St)

Toronto, ON
- Sept 23, 2019, 8:00 PM
, Alternative Film Festival, The Burroughes Building, (639 Queen Street West Suite 300)

River John, NS
- Sep 4, 2019
, Sunrise Film Festival, (20 Carleton Street)

Baddeck, NS
- Aug 18, 2019, 19:00
, Bad Buoy Film Society, AGB National Historic Site (559 Chebucto Street)

Maberly, ON
- August 17 , 2019
, The Barn Loft at Fieldwork, (2501 Old Brooke Rd)

Montreal, QC
- July, 23 , 2019
, Cinema Sous Les Etoiles, Parc Saint Gabriel, (Rue Grand Trunk)

Lethbridge, AB
- May 30, 2019
, Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association, (20 Carleton Street)

Toronto, ON
- May 17, 2019, May 23 1:30 & 6:30 PM
, Carleton Cinema, (20 Carleton Street)

Vancouver, BC
- May 14, 2019, 6:30 PM
, Rio Theatre, (1660 E Broadway)

Victoria, BC
- May 5 , 2019, 5PM & 7 PM,
Cinecenta, (Cinecenta Films Student Union Building, 3800 Finnerty Road)
- May 6, 2019, 7PM & 9 PM, Cinecenta, (Cinecenta Films Student Union Building, 3800 Finnerty Road)

Sutton, QC
- Apr 25 , 2019
, Salle Alec Gerard Pelletier, (4c Rue Maple)

Vancouver, BC
- Apr 22 , 2019
, Vancity Theatre, (1181 Seymour St)

Antigonish, NS
- Apr 5, 2019, 7PM
, St. Francis Xavier University, Gerald Schwartz School of Business, (Schwartz 215)

Calgary, AB
- Feb 22 - Mar 7, 2019
, Globe Cinema, (617 - 8 Avenue SW)

St. Catharines, ON
- Feb 16, 2019, 6:30PM and Feb 17, 2019, 4PM
, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre Film House, (250 St. Paul Street)

Montreal, QC
- Feb 8, 2019 - Feb 14
, Cinéma du musée (1379-A Sherbrooke St W)

Montreal, QC
- March 16, 2018, 8:45PM
, WORLD PREMIERE, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, in association with DHC/ART, MBAM (1380 rue Sherbrooke W.)

GIFT Screening Requests

If in doubt, please mention your venue's seating capacity

Please enter full address with postal code

if different from Shipping Address

If relevant

If relevant


Join us on Facebook