This Ink Runs Deep

Films by Genre


Availability ended 7/11/2020 BST
(23 Oct-7 Nov worldwide) All across Canada, Indigenous artists are reawakening both traditional and contemporary tattoo practices as a way to reclaim their cultures and identities.

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Director Bio

Asia Youngman is an award-winning film director and screenwriter from Vancouver, Canada. Her films have premiered at a variety of festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. Asia’s first film LELUM’ won the award for Best Documentary Short at imagineNATIVE in 2017 and her latest film THIS INK RUNS DEEP won Best Documentary Short at the 2019 Calgary International Film Festival. She has worked on numerous projects commissioned by CBC, Creative BC, Bell Media, Telus, History Channel, and Corus Entertainment. In 2020 she was selected to participate in the prestigious TIFF Filmmaker Lab and the TIFF Talent Accelerator to develop her feature narrative DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER. She is also a participant in the 2020 Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, the 4th World Indigenous Media Lab, and a member of the Directors Guild of Canada. Asia is currently in post-production on her short comedy HATHA and is in development with Telefilm Canada on her feature-length documentary GAME 7. She is an alumna from the Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women, the Berlinale DocSalon Toolbox Programme, Vancouver Film School’s 3D Animation and Visual Effects program, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria.

Director's statement 
As an avid traveller, I've been fortunate to have explored many different parts of the world and have had the honour of receiving traditional tattoos in countries such as Thailand and New Zealand. However, when I was contacted to direct a documentary on traditional Indigenous tattoo practices in Canada, I realized that I didn't know much about this art form that my people were doing right here on Turtle Island. I was excited at the opportunity to gain this knowledge and meet some of the artists who were passionately working to revive these practices that had been taken away from our people.

As the title suggests, This Ink Runs Deep is about more than just tattooing. It’s a celebration of the growing pride that is happening across Canada as we revive different aspects of our culture and reconnect to our ancestral teachings. While growing up, I struggled with acknowledging my own identity as a young Indigenous woman. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties when I really started to learn about my culture and became more grounded in my identity. I could relate to our subjects in terms of understanding what it was like to have a fractured identity and feeling that disconnect, especially as a youth. It was essential for me that this film emphasized the importance of sharing these teachings with our youth, and that they were represented and given a voice.

Each of our subjects brought something unique and special to this documentary. When I reflect on the process of making this film, I am warmly reminded of how our team was welcomed into the lives and homes of these inspiring artists. Thank you Nakkita, Dion, Jana, Audie, Kwiaahwah, and Gregory for sharing your time, your teachings, and your stories.


Directed by Asia Youngman

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