October 22, 2003
World Premiere of "The Ghost Riders"
Featured at the National Museum of the American Indian's 12th
Native American Film + Video Festival
in New York City from December 4 - 7, 2003
The world premiere of "The Ghost Riders,"
narrated and produced by Benjamin Bratt (Quechua), and a special
screening of "Dreamkeeper," produced by Hallmark Entertainment,
are among the highlights of the 12th Native American Film + Video
Festival, organized by the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian's
National Museum of the American Indian. The festival, which will
screen more than 85 works presented by filmmakers and other Native
community members, runs from Thursday, Dec. 4, through Sunday,
Dec. 7 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower
Additional screenings will be presented at The Donnell
Media Center at 20 West 53rd Street and at The Circle of the American
Indian Community House at 404 Lafayette Street.
The festival begins with an invitation-only opening
night on Wednesday, Dec. 3 featuring the world premiere of Tony
Hillerman's "A Thief of Time" directed by the award-winning
Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Arapaho) for PBS' "Mystery!" series.
The festival opens to the public on Thursday, Dec.
4, and will present five World Premieres and 42 U.S. premieres.
Works are from throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Arctic
including Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico,
Russia, and the United States. The festival's program reflects
the strength of Native American production today in fiction, documentary,
animation and experimental works.
The closing night on Sunday, Dec. 7, will be held
at the American Indian Community House and will feature the screening
of "Eagle Song," a music video focusing on poet and
musician Joy Harjo (Muskogee), and "Thunderbird Woman - Winona
La Duke," a documentary about the Anishnabe environmentalist,
novelist, journalist and human rights activist. The evening will
close with an honoring event for Native youth in media.
All screenings are free and open to the public.
Reservations for evening programs are strongly recommended and
can be reserved online at the festival Web site www.nativenetworks.si.edu
or by phone at (212) 514-3737.
Featured at this year's festival will be "The
Ghost Riders," directed by V. Blackhawk Aamodt (Blackfoot/Lakota/Mexican),
which documents the participation of Lakota elders and youth in
the Bigfoot Memorial Ride, a 300-mile journey on horseback to
honor those massacred at Wounded Knee. Native American legends
are presented in "Dreamkeeper," the upcoming epic fictional
mini-series from Hallmark Entertainment that features an ensemble
cast including Eddie Spears (Saulteaux), Tantoo Cardinal (Métis),
Gary Farmer (Cayuga) and Sheila Tousey (Menominee). "Kla
Ah Men," which focuses on the voices of the Sliammon First
Nation elders of British Columbia, is the directorial debut of
Evan Adams (Coast Salish), who played Thomas Builds-the-Fire in
Other films include the U.S. premiere of "Anaana/Mother,"
featuring Vivi Kunuk, an Inuit woman who practiced traditional
hunting and is the mother of eight, recounting stories of her
family, her cultural traditions and her life prior to her people
being relocated into government settlements in the 1950s.
The festival program was selected by a team made
up of Native American media makers and cultural activists and
the program staff of the Heye Center's Film and Video Center.
The Native American Film + Video Festival is a non-competitive
showcase. Updates will be posted at the festival Web site: www.nativenetworks.si.edu
(English) or www.redesindigenas.si.edu (Spanish).
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American
Indian's George Gustav Heye Center is located at One Bowling Green
in New York City, across from Battery Park. The museum is free
and open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays until
8 p.m. Call (212) 514-3700 for general information and (212) 514-3888
for a recording about the museum's public programs. By subway,
the museum may be reached by the 1 or 9 to South Ferry, the 4
or 5 to Bowling Green or the N or R to Whitehall Street. The museum's
Web site is www.AmericanIndian.si.edu.
The Ghost Riders - courtesy of V. Blackhawk Aamodt (Mexican/Blackfoot/Lakota)