There Are No Fakes - HotDocs Premiere

Dateline: March 19th, 2019

Announced today There Are No Fakes will be premiering at the 2019 Hot Docs Film Festival.

Hot Docs screenings:

World Premiere: Monday, April 29, 6:00PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1

2nd screening: Wednesday, May 1, 8:15PM at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3

From award-winning director Jamie Kastner and executive producer Mark Anthony Jacobson comes There Are No Fakes, a journey into the largest art fraud scam in Canadian history.

Musician Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies buys a painting, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth,” attributed to Norval Morrisseau, the Ojibway founder of the Woodland School. Acclaimed by Picasso and Chagall, Morrisseau is widely recognized to be the world’s first Indigenous art star.

But Hearn begins to have doubts about the painting’s authenticity, and winds up suing the gallery that sold it to him. In short order he finds himself in the middle of a feud between two warring factions of white people, each claiming to be the true defenders of Morrisseau’s legacy. Questioning the authenticity of Hearn’s painting throws into doubt some 3000 Morrisseau-attributed works worth $30,000,000. Epithets are slung, suits and countersuits pile up, rocks are thrown through gallery windows…

The film follows leads to Thunder Bay, Morrisseau’s birthplace, known for its shameful history of Indigenous-white relations. Then, as Hearn’s court case proceeds, an almost-unbelievable new tale emerges about the origin of the paintings, and the story turns several shades darker.

Laura Baron Kastner