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A Bear Named Jesus

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In A Bear Named Jesus, a stop-motion film by Terril Calder, we meet Archer Pechawis, who is living on the rez. At Archer’s Aunty Gladys’ funeral, his mom is abducted by rabid bears and converted to fundamentalist Christianity. That night, he hears a tap on the window — it’s a bear named Jesus, who has come to apologize for the actions of the rabid bears. A Bear Named Jesus is an allegory for religious interference, with an aching yet humorous look at estrangement and mourning for the loss of someone still living.

Directors Spotlight

Terril Calder


Terril Calder is a Métis artist, born in Fort Frances, Ontario, currently residing in Toronto. Compelled by the love of hybrid media and fusion art, she currently experiments with the amalgamation in her stop frame animated films that she writes, directs, crafts and animates. The films screen nationally and internationally and have received attention, most notably an Honorable Mention at The Sundance Film Festival and at Berlinale a Canadian Genie Award Nomination as well as TIFF’s top ten list in 2011 for Choke. In 2016 she was awarded the Ontario Arts Council’s K.M Hunter award for her work in Media Arts.

  • Year: 2023
  • Runtime: 6 minutes
  • Country: Canada
  • Language: English, Cree
  • Director: Terril Calder (Métis)
  • Animator: Terril Calder (Métis)
  • Composer: Melody McKiver (Anishinabe)
  • Producer: Christa Couture (Cree) and Michelle St. John (Wampanoag)
  • Screenwriter: Archer Pechawis (Cree)
  • Premiere: United States

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