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// 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.


“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


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 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.


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

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