For more information go to www.nativelynx.qc.ca/English/2002prix.htm.
Awards are announced for the 2003 First Peoples' Film Festival, held June 10-22 in Montreal:
For more information go to www.nativelynx.qc.ca/.
The 2004 Geografías Suaves Cine/Video/Sociedad festival in Mexico was presented April 30 - May 7 in Mérida, Yucatán; was then shown in several community settings, and concluded July 31 - August 7 in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. This sixth annual presentation included invitational screenings, a children's program, multimedia events, workshops, a roundtable discussion about the boundaries of documentary, and an open forum to present projects and discuss issues.
Other awards given included the following indigenous productions:
Geografías Suaves is an independent festival which throughout
the year promotes audiovisual expression in all kinds of film
and electronic media through contests, workshops, meetings, and
an annual festival. It has developed in seven southern states
of Mexico--Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz
and Yucatán-and in Belize and Guatemala. It includes a
strong focus on urban, rural, and indigenous topics produced in
the many languages of the region.
Festival: April 30 - May 7 (Merida) and July 31 - August 7
The dynamic Heard Museum Film Festival, held biennially
in Phoenix, and the museum's biennial film showcase have been
put on hold. In the meantime the museum has begun a series of
regular monthly screenings of outstanding new films and videos.
For further information contact Wendy Weston or Lorinda Simmons
The Heard Museum Film Festival, held October 12 - 14, 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona, presented more than 40 films. Most works were about the indigenous Americas, but the festival also included films set in countries such as Bosnia, Morocco, South Korea and South Africa.
Feature narrative films and long documentaries included:
For more information go to www.heardmuseum.org
The Heard Museum Film Festival, October 12 - 15, 2006, opened with a screening of Expiration Date (director: Rick Stevenson) preceded by the short work Cowboys and Indians (director: Patrick Mehaffey).
Other feature films and documentaries included
A special program featured the original 1920 movie version of
The Last of the Mohicans, with a new musical score composed
by Mohegan composer Brent Michael Davids who also conducted a
workshop on composing for films. Short films screened included
My Darkest Hour, Gesture
Down (I Don't Sing), and the American Indian Film Institute
Tribal Touring Program Student Films.
The Heard Museum Film Festival, held June 19 - 22, 2003
on the Museum's grounds in downtown Phoenix and at the AMC Arizona
Center Theaters, presents more than 50 outstanding Native works
from Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and U.S.-feature films, documentaries,
and student works. The festival opens and closes with two Maori
feature films, The Whale Rider (Director: Niki
Caro) and the U.S. premiere of Crooked Earth (Director:
Sam Pillsbury) that focus in different ways on contemporary Maori
life in New Zealand and the richness of Native traditions.
The 7th annual IMAGeNation Aboriginal Film and Video Festival was held February 17 - 20, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by the Indigenous Media Arts Group (IMAG), a center for the festival, media programs for area Reserve communities, critical discussion of Aboriginal film issues, and media training.
The highlight of opening night at the Vancouver Friendship Centre was an honoring event for actor and filmmaker Gary Farmer. Opening Ceremonies started with a traditional welcome by the people of the territory, featuring traditional drumming and dancing by the Coast Salish and, highlighting the inclusion this year of a new program of films from Latin America, by guests from Vancouver's Latino community. Closing Night featured the world premiere of Our City, Our Voices, created as part of Storyscapes, a project conceived and developed by Kamala Todd (Métis/Cree) as a storytelling initiative for people in Vancouver. Provided multimedia tools and training to tell their own stories, residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside produced the two films in the program, Follow the Eagle and Slo-Pitch.
Feature films screened included The Business of Fancydancing, Bearwalker, and American Indian Graffiti. Outstanding short features and documentaries included award winning fiction Two Cars, One Night (director: Taika Waititi (Maori)); Stolen Spirits, on Residential Schools (director: Judy Manuel-Wilson (Secwepemc)), Memory, a reflection on death and family (director: Cedar Sherbert (Kumeyaay)); Goodnight Irene, set in a reservation hospital waiting room (director: Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek and Cherokee)); and Indians and Who? a meditation on family and image, (director: Dorothy Christian (Okanagan/Shuswap)).
This year IMAG organized its first REDSKINS Drive Home
festival, April 29 - May 1, 2005, on the Splats'in Reserve near
Enderby, British Columbia, which screened 20 films at the Vernon
Performing Arts Centre and the Starlight Drive-In, one of British
Columbia's two remaining drive-in movies.
The 6th annual IMAGeNation Aboriginal Film and Video Festival was held February 26 - 29, 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by the Indigenous Media Arts Group (IMAG), a center for the festival and media training. More than 60 works were screened, including international indigenous works, stories from the North, indigenous athletes, and stories of resilience and resistance. Opening night was hosted by actor/director/physician Evan Adams, along with a Salish welcome from members of the Musqueam and Squamish communities.
The Festival honored Alanis
Obomsawin (Abenaki) for "the monumental stature"
of her achievements in the documentary field, and screened Our
Nationhood. World and North American premieres included
Inuk Woman City Blues by Laila Hansen (Inuk), Resistance
by Doreen M. Manuel (Secwepemc/Ktumexa), In the Name of the
Lord by Shawn Mussell (Skwah), and Powwow, directed
by Uhduh Pahwooned and produced by Clair Pahwooned (Comanche).
Redwire Native Youth Media Society presented 23 short works by
emerging artists. A special forum sponsored by Vancouver's Museum
of Anthropology, "Voices of Repatriation," focused on
documentaries from Canada, Australia, and Norway by Gil
Cardinal (Metis), Loretta Todd (Metis/Cree), Paul Anders-Simma
(Sami) and the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association.
The 8th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival was held October 17 - 21, 2007, in Toronto. The festival screened nearly 100 films, held two pitch competitions, and presented panels on acquisition, indigenous language in film [list topics]. Other original programs included a standing room only performance by artist and media maker Kent Monkman [and Gerald McMaster]. The festival award winners are below.
For more information go to www.imaginenative.org.
The 7th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival took place October 18 - 22, 2006, in Toronto, Ontario. The festival screened 96 films; held two pitch competitions and a screenwriting workshop; and presented panels on acquisition, first features, funding, and international markets. The festival award winners are below.
The imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, held October
19 - 23, 2005, in Toronto, Ontario, selected more than 100 international
indigenous works and performance arts, and offered both documentary
and fiction pitch sessions and excellent panel discussions.
For more information, enter
The 5th ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, October 20 - 24, 2004, announces its 2004 award winners.
4th ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, October 22-26, 2003, Toronto, announces its 2003 award winners:
For contact information enter
3rd imagineNATIVE Media Arts Festival, held October 24-27 in Toronto, announces its 2002 award winners:
For contact information enter
The Indian Summer Film & Video Image Awards were held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 10, 2005. The Image Awards are part of Indian Summer Festival, a three day outdoors event, and are a collaboration between the festival, Looking Glass Productions, Milwaukee Public Museum, and the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. A Thousand Roads, the Signature Film of the National Museum of the American Indian won two top awards and was screened as the closing event of the awards ceremony. Truman Lowe, NMAI curator of contemporary arts, accepted the awards.
2005 Award winners:
For further information, please go to www.indiansummer.org.
On September 10, 2004 the 2nd Indian Summer DeltaVision Film and Video Image Awards were given to 9 productions:
For further information about other events and this year's new
music awards go to www.indiansummer.org.
On September 6, 2003 the 1st Indian Summer DeltaVision Film and Video Image gave Spirit Awards to:
Winners of Awards of Excellence were:
For awards of distinction and other information go to www.indiansummer.org.
The 4th annual Indigenous Film & Arts Festival was held October 8 - 14, 2007, in Denver, organized by the International Institute for Indigeous Resource Management and presented with partners including the University of Denver, the Native Student Alliance, Native American Law Student Association, and Center for Multicultural Excellence.
Feature films included:
Short works included:
The festival featured exhibitions by artists Bunky Echohawk and Natasha Keating and musical performances by jazz singer Andrea Menard, and musical and dance groups Ritmos di mi Peru, Comparza Morelos en Denver, and Halau Hula O Na Mauna Pohaku.
For more information go to www.iiirm.org/Events/
The Indigenous Film Festival was launched in Denver, Colorado, on November 19 - 21, 2004, to showcase the creative work of indigenous filmmakers, writers, directors and actors. The theme for the first festival, which is organized and presented by the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management, was "The Continuum of Culture: Reclaiming Tradition, Preserving Culture, and Adapting for the Future."
The festival screened Kunuk Family Reunion, Finding My Talk: A Journey Into Aboriginal Languages, The Whale Rider, American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai'i, and Qayaqs & Canoes: Native Ways of Knowing. A student program, held in conjunction with the Denver Public Schools Office of Indian Education and the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, screened Christmas at Wapos Bay and The Rabbit's Tail and other animations from the American Indian Resource Center.
The 2nd Indigenous Rights Film Festival was held June
17 - 19, 2005 at American University in Washington, D.C. The festival
is co-sponsored by Indigenous Rights Watch and the American University
Washington Internship for Native Students Program. This year featured
Oil on Ice (directors: Dale Djerassi and Bo Boudart), Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native Action (director: Roberta
Grossman), and Bones of Contention and Cahto Tribe
Laytonville Rancheria Dump.
The Indigenous Rights Film Festival, at American University
in Washington, D.C., is organized by Indigenous Rights Watch in
partnership with the university's Washington Internship for Native
Students (WINS) program, Washington College of Law's Center for
Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Amazon Watch, and Amazon Alliance.
Held November 5 - 7, 2004, the program included screenings of
To Protect Mother Earth: Broken Treaty II, Incident
at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story, In
the Light of Reverence, Drumbeat for Mother Earth**,
Una Muerte en Sion/A Death in Zion, and Soy Defensor
de la Selva/I am a Defender of the Forest.
On October 13 - 17, 2005, the 2nd International Cherokee Film Festival was held in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Participating filmmakers and actors included Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Joseph Erb (Cherokee), Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo), Georgina Lightning (Cree), Cody Lightning (Cree), Chris Kientz (Cherokee), and Eddie Spears (Lakota). Director Shirley Cheechoo (Cree) was honored with a retrospective of her work.
Opening Night, emceed by Wes Studi at the Cherokee Casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma, featured the screening of NMAI's signature film A Thousand Roads, introduced by director Chris Eyre and the NMAI Film and Video Center's Michelle Svenson, with opening remarks by Principal Chief Chad Smith. A Thousand Roads was also presented at Tahlequah High School and Sequoyah High School.
Awards given were:
The 18th Latin American Film and Video Festival, held
November 1 - 16, 2004 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, screened
16 works from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States,
and Venezuela, including La Historia de Todos/Our Story,
directed by Blanca Xóchitl Aguerre, featuring claymations
by the children of indigenous migrant farm laborers. Filmmaker
Byrt Wammack, the founder of Geografias Suaves, a regional film
and video festival showcasing productions from southern Mexico,
Guatemala, and Belize, was in residence at the University of North
at Chapel Hill from November 8 - 16, screening new Mayan works
by the production company Turix/Dragonfly
and discussing film and video from these regions.
The 2007 Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, held November
9 - 11, 2007, at the American Museum of Natural History in New
York, featured approximately 30 films concerned with diverse cultures
and indigenous life around the world. This festival was founded
in 1977 to celebrate the 75th birthday of the eminent anthropologist.
Works in the program illuminated themes of music in contemporary
cultures and, to complement a current exhibition, various films
concerned with water, community and the environment. Two documentaries
located in indigenous communities were Nömadak Tx
(director: Raul de la Fuente) follows two Basque musicians who
visit with musicians in a number of other autonomous communities
in the world and Grito de Piedra/Scream of the Stones (director:
Ton van Zantvoort) looking at the relationships to mining and
tourism by in an indigenous community in Peru.
The Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, held November
11 - 14 and November 20 - 21, 2004 in New York City, screens independent
cultural documentaries from around the world, including views
and viewpoints of Native peoples. This festival began in 1977,
to celebrate the seventy-fifth birthday of anthropologist Margaret
Mead and her fifty years of service at the American Museum of
Natural History. The festival includes panel discussions by filmmakers
and academics as well as networking opportunities for participants.
Some of the films screened at the 2004 festival will also be featured
in the 2005 Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival. The
following films were co-presented with the Smithsonian National
Museum of the American Indian Film and Video Center:
For more information, go to www.amnh.org/mead.
In November the 2002 Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival
in New York features two Native American productions. In The
Spirit of Annie Mae, Mi'kmaq director Catherine Martin explores
the story of activist Annie Mae Aquash, killed in 1975 in South
Dakota, The Chiapas Media Project's Walking Towards the Dawn
explores the unique community workshops developed to aid the thousands
of indigenous people displaced by violence in Chiapas.
Margaret Mead Film Festival
Message Sticks Film Festival held May 4 - 6, 2007, at the Sydney Opera House, presented Australian and world indigenous documentaries and short fictions. Curated by Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale, the festival was produced in association with Indigenous Screens Australia and the Indigenous Unit of the Australian Film Commission. This year there were 21 world premiere films showcasing the latest in indigenous drama, comedy, documentary and shorts plus the Sydney premiere of Crocodile Dreaming starring Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil. Actress Tamara Podemski (Saulteaux) attended to introduce, Four Sheets to the Wind (director: Sterlin Harjo) for which she won the Special Jury Award for Best Actress at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival..
For more information: www.sydneyoperahouse.com/sections
Message Sticks Film Festival, held May 27 - 29, 2005, at the Sydney Opera House, presented Australian and world indigenous documentaries and short fictions. Curated by Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale, the festival was produced in association with Indigenous Screens Australia and the Indigenous Unit of the Australian Film Commission. The film festival is part of the Message Sticks Indigenous Arts Festival, an extensive cultural showcase at the Sydney Opera House held during Reconciliation Week.
The festival screened Case 442 (director: Mitch Torres), The Djarn Djarns (director: Wayne Blair), The Dream of Love (director: Lawrence Johnston), Endangered (director: Tracey Rigney), Goodnight, Irene (director: Sterlin Harjo), Grange (director: Catriona McKenzie), Green Bush (director: Warwick Thornton), The Lore of Love (director: Beck Cole), Our Bush Wedding (director: Adrian Wills), Plains Empty (director: Beck Cole), Sa Black Thing (director: Rima Tamou), Tama Tu (director: Taika Waititi), Trudell (director: Heather Rae), Two Cars, One Night (director: Taika Waititi), and Yellow Fella (director: Ivan Sen).
Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute and filmmaker Merata Mita held a public conversation on the subject "Coulouring the Landscape: The Emergence of Indigenous Film". Awards given were:
For more information, enter
The Message Sticks Film Festival, held June 11 -13, 2004,
in Sydney, Australia, presented an international selection of
indigenous films. Curated by Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale, the
festival was presented by Indigenous Screen Australia in association
with the Sydney Opera House. This year's event featured as special
guest Bird Runningwater, director of the Sundance Institute's
Native Program. Presentations from New Zealand included programs
from the recently-launched Maori Television. From Australia were
a new documentary by Ivan Sen
and three documentaries from the Central Desert by Catriona McKenzie,
Beck Cole, and Warwick Thornton, as well as programs from Francis
Jupurrula Kelly's acclaimed series Bush Mechanics. The
festival also featured the Australian premieres of works by Chris
Eyre, Zoe Hopkins, Alanis
Obomsawin, Randy Redroad
and Cedar Sherbert.
The 5th Morelia International Film Festival/Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia, October 5 - 14, 2007, presented works in state, national, and international competition; special screenings; documentaries; panels and other events-filling the streets and theaters of the historic downtown of Morelia, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. A highlight this year was the festival's inaugural First Nations Forum, a 3-day international screening program and panel discussions.
Festival award winners included two works with indigenous subjects:
Other works in competition by indigenous directors were:
Other works in competition with Native stories and locations were:
The inaugural First Nations Forum built on programs and discussions organized during previous Morelia Film Festivals that focused on indigenous works and filmmakers from the state of Michoacán, from Mexico, and from the United States. This year's far-reaching programming was developed by UNESCO's cultural officer Frederic Vacheron to include both indigenous American and international productions from UNESCO's ICT4ID program. Thirty works were screened from Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Gabon.
In addition to Vacheron, other participants in the two panel discussions and screenings were Yolanda Cruz (Chatin), Juan José García (Zapotec), José Alfredo Jimenez (Tzotzil), Damian Lopez (Zapotec), José Luis Matias (Nahua), Raul Maximo Cortes (P'urhepecha), Pedro Daniel López (Tzotzil), Pavel Rodriguez (P'urhepecha), Hector Sandoval (Driki), and Amalia Córdova, program manager of the NMAI Film and Video Center's Latin American Program.
For more information go to www.moreliafilmfest.com.
The 3rd Morelia International Film Festival, October 8 - 16, 2005 in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico presented works by the following indigenous directors:
A full-day conference on October 10, "Native Agents: A Binational Conference on Indigenous and Indigenist Media", was curated by filmmaker and scholar Jesse Lerner. The event was covered in local and Mexican national newspapers, and the New York Times. Three roundtables were presented:
The awards included the following indigenous works:
For contact information, enter
The 2nd annual Morelia International Film Festival, was presented October 1 - 9, 2004 in the city of Morelia, in Michoacán, Mexico. Nine indigenous works were screened in Documentary and Shorts competitions. Dante Cerano's (P'urhepecha) first feature, Uarhicha en la Muerte, had a sold-out screening. A panel on "Forms and Destinies of Indigenous Media," included P'urhepecha videomakers Dante Cerano, Aureliano Soto and Raúl Máximo Cortés, and was moderated by Amalia Cordova of the NMAI's Film and Video Center.
The Morelia festival offers film screenings, panel discussions, exhibitions, and other events to meet outstanding figures in Mexican and international film. The Festival promotes new talents of Mexican cinema and promotes the cultural wealth of the state of Michoacán.
A reprise of Mexican shorts and documentaries from the Morelia
International Film Festival was held at the Cineteca Nacional
in Mexico City from October 13-17, 2004.
Naalkid (Moving Pictures) Film Festival,
organized by media producer Charmaine Jackson (Navajo), made its
debut on June 28 - 30 2002 in Farmington, New Mexico with a focus
on films set in the Four Corners area, including Rocks
with Wings and The
Return of Navajo Boy.
Nanookfilmfest screens documentaries about peoples of
diverse cultures and about the environment. International submissions
are welcomed. The Festival was held October 7 - 12, 2005 in Palermo,
Italy. World indigenous works included Fata Morgana, a
documentary about the Chuckchis of Siberia, directed by Anastasia
Lapsui (Nenets) and Markku
Lehmuskallio. Nanookfilmfest, founded in 1998, was formerly
known as Il Silenzioso Richiamo della Terra/The Silent Call of
On November 22 - 26, 2004, the 6th "Il Silenzioso Richiamo
della Terra" international documentary festival
in Palermo, Sicily, selected 18 works for screening (the festival
will be known as Nanookfilmfest starting in 2005). Directed
by Giovanni Massa, the festival was organized with the Nanook
Cultural Association and the Cooperative of Workers in Cinema
and Theater, with participating filmmakers from Italy, Germany,
Belgium, Finland, Israel, the United States, and Canada. In 1998,
the festival's first year, a Native American documentary program
was featured with Hopi videomaker Victor Masyesva, Jr., independent
filmmaker Peter von Puttkammer, and NMAI's Elizabeth Weatherford
presenting the screenings and participating in a panel discussion.
Featured in 2004 was The Shirt
by Shelley Niro. This video had
premiered in Italy at the 2003Venice Biennale, one of the world's
most prestigious art exhibitions. Niro's exhibit at the Biennale,
Pellerossa Sogna (Redskin Dream), was organized by the
Indigenous Arts Action Alliance (IA3) and the National Museum
of the American Indian.
Native American Film + Video Festival
On April 13-15, 2007, the Friends of the Oglala
Lakota and Keene State College Film Society presented the Native
American Film Festival in Keene, New Hampshire. Opening Night
featured a lecture by Penobscot leader Barry Dana, and a screening
of NMAIs A Thousand
Roads, directed by Chris
Eyre. Among the other works screened were: Aboriginal
Architecture, Living Architecture, directed by Paul
Rickard; Expiration Date, directed by Rick Stevenson;
One More River, directed by Tracey
Deer and Neil Diamond
and Pulling Together, directed by James
Fortier. During the festival, Barry Dana demonstrated paddle
carving and traditional uses of birch bark, and there was also
basket making demonstration and basket sales. For more information,
please go to www.lakotafriends.org.
On March 25 - 26, 2006, the Friends of the Oglala
Lakota presented the 4th Native American Film Festival
in Keene, New Hampshire. Among the works screened were: Johnny
Tootall (director: Shirley
Cheechoo), Paloma de Papel/Paper Dove (director: Fabrizio
Aguilar), The Salt Song Trail (director: Esther Figueroa),
Aleut Story (director: Marla Williams), Hank Williams
First Nation (director: Aaron James Sorenson), A Seat at
the Table (director: Gary Rhine),
Heather Rae) and We're Still
Here (director: Sindi Gordon).
The National Museum of the American Indian and the Center for
Contemporary Arts presented the 5th annual Native Cinema Showcase,
August 19 - 22, 2005, in Santa Fe, during Indian Market, Opening
Night presented NMAI's signature film,
A Thousand Roads, with executive producer and NMAI
director Rick West, director Chris
Eyre, producer Scott Garen,
writer Joy Harjo, and actor
Jeremiah Bitsui. Other works,
introduced by their directors, included Trudell
(director: Heather Rae), which
was featured on the cover of The Reporter weekly journal, Other
features included 5th World
(director: Larry Blackhorse Lowe),
Edge of America
(director: Chris Eyre) and Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native Action (director: Roberta
Grossman. The program presented short fictions, including
films by Sierra Ornelas and Nanobah
Becker; cinema classics; a live musical performance by Gary
Farmer and The Renegades; and a discussion with artists Nora
Naranjo-Morse and James Luna
moderated by Paul Chaat Smith. Screenings and other events were
held at the CCA, with an off-site screening of IAIA 2005 Summer
Workshop productions at the IAIA Museum and an encore program
organized by Tazbah McCullah and Charmaine Jackson-John at the
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
The 2001 Native Cinema Showcase was launched in Santa
Fe by the Institute for American Indian Arts, National Museum
of the American Indian and Taos Talking Pictures on August 13
- 16, 2001 in Santa Fe, NM. The festival, held at the time of
Indian Market, features outstanding Native feature films and documentaries.
Among the participants are Irene Bedard, George Burdeau, Shirley
Cheechoo, Gary Farmer,
Michael Horse, Jim Jarmusch, Victor Masayesva, Jr., and Randy
In September 2005 the 2nd annual Native Eyes Film Showcase was held in Tucson, Arizona. On September 16 - 17, 5th World was presented by director Larry Blackhorse Lowe, preceded by his short film Shush. On September 24, A Thousand Roads was screened twice, for the Tucson High School Media Literacy Program and for the general public. Poet/musician and screenwriter Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek) introduced the film and discussed her own development as a writer in dialogues with filmmaker Lurline Wailani McGregor (Native Hawaiian), and with Elizabeth Weatherford.
Each Saturday in September a curated program of Native animations
was shown for the Tucson Citizen Kids' Movie ClubWesakechak
Tales: The First Spring
Flood and How
Wesakechak Got His Name; Raven
Tales: How Raven Stole the Sun; and Two
Winters: Tales from Above the Earth. On September 25 the
curator presented short works from the U.S. and Australia: Green
Bush (director: Warwick
Thornton), Flat (director:
Nanobah Becker), Goodnight,
Irene (director: Sterlin
Harjo), and Kava Kultcha
(director: Leah Kihara). The
2005 Native Eyes guest curator was Elizabeth Weatherford, head
of NMAI's Film and Video Center. On September 26, she also spoke
on "Complexities: Visions of Native Women in Film" at
the University of Arizona. Native Eyes was presented by the Arizona
State Museum, the Jack and Vivian Hanson Film Institute and The
In Tucson, AZ on November 12, 2004, the University of Arizona
presented Native Eyes: An Evening of Film, screening Yada
Yada and The
Return of Navajo Boy with filmmaker Bennie
Klain and writer Beverly Singer.
The Kiva Club of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque
produced its Native Filmmakers Showcase, April 26 - 29,
2005, as part of the 50th anniversary of UNM's Nizhoni Days. Among
the more than 30 works screened were 5th
World, Cold Feet, Happy Boy, and Shush
(director: Blackhorse Lowe),
Flat (director: Nanobah
Becker), His Light (directors: Pierre Barrera and Migizi
Irene (director: Sterlin
Harjo), The Snowbowl Effect (director: Klee
Benally), Our Nationhood
(director: Alanis Obomsawin),
and Trudell (director:
Heather Rae). Filmmakers speaking
included Randy Redroad (Cherokee),
Beverly Singer (Tewa and Navajo),
and Dustinn Craig (White Mountain
Apache and Navajo).
The Native Filmmakers Showcase presented by the Southwest Film Center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque was held April 22 - 25, 2004. Feature films screened were The Business of Fancy Dancing by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene), Dancing on the Moon by Rodrick Pocowatchit (Pawnee/Shawnee/Comanche), and A Seat at the Table by Gary Rhine. Also screened were short films by producers Corey Allison (CRIT/Navajo), Thomas Andrews (Navajo), Arlene Bowman (Navajo), Henry Brownwolf (Santo Domingo Pueblo/Sioux), Tazbah Chavez (Bishop Paiute/Navajo/Apache), Steve Gonzales (Paiute/Shoshone/Yokuts/Kumeyaay), Larry Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo), and Jonathen Sims (Acoma Pueblo).
Also in April, the UNM Anthropology Department celebrated its
75th Jubilee Anniversary with a benefit for its Indigenous Film
Series, screening Honey
Moccasin by Shelley Niro
(Mohawk) and Shush by Larry Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo). An
Indigenous Filmmakers Roundtable discussion, moderated by Charmaine
Jackson (Navajo), director of Ná'ál kíd (Moving
Pictures) Summer Film Festival, included filmmakers Lena
Carr (Navajo), Darren Kipp (Blackfeet), and Tazbah
Chavez (Bishop Paiute); UNM professors Les Field and Ann Ramenofsky;
and Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), director of
the Native American Program at Sundance Film Festival.
The 2007 Native Voice Film Festival and Media Awards was presented November 11 - 14 in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians' annual meeting in Denver. The annual festival is produced by Native Voice Media, Inc., the South Dakota-based business that also publishes the news weekly The Native Voice.
This year's festival showcased recent outstanding Native films presented by the filmmakers and cast members, with panel discussions. They were Indians for Indians (director: Ava Hamilton), Way of the Warrior (director: Patty Loew), Four Sheets to the Wind (director: Sterlin Harjo), Waterbuster (director: J. Carlos Peinado), Our Land, Our Life (directors: George Gage and Beth Gage) and Imprint (director: Michael Linn). Ivan Maki of Arizona PBS organized and produced the program "Native Vision," two panel discussions on "Renewable Energy in Indian Country" and on "Native Youth in America."
Actress Q'orianka Kilcher hosted the Native Voice Media Awards, which included a keynote speech by Wilma Mankiller and traditional and contemporary musical performances. The awards were:
For more information go to www.native-voice.com
Pacifika: New York Hawaiian Film Festival has announced a hiatus because of the closing in 2007 of its parent organization the Hawai'i Cultural Foundation. Founded in 1997, HCF was created with the vision of building a vibrant community for Hawaiian and Pacific Islander traditional and contemporary arts to thrive in New York City. In 2003 the HCF founders, Janu Cassidy and Michelle Akina, launched the film festival, which was presented annually in New York until 2006. Among the filmmakers, musicians, specialists, and leaders featured in these years were Hawaiian filmmakers Eddie Kamae (the noted musician) and Myrna Kamae, film archivist DeSoto Brown, kuma hula Robert Cazimero, kuma hula Patrick Makuakane, Maori filmmaker Merita Mita, President Te Maru of Tahiti and Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa.
In May 2007 Pacifika and the NMAI Film and Video Center produced the first Pacifika Showcase: A Celebration of Pacific Islands Films at the George Gustav Heye Center. The opening night on May 10 featured Naming Number Two (director: Toa Fraser) with film great Ruby Dee portraying the matriarch of a family of Fijians living in New Zealand. A lively roundtable with Ruby Dee, Janu Cassidy and Elizabeth Weatherford of NMAI followed. On May 12 nine additional works were screened including Tama Tu (director: Taika Waititi), Hawaikii (director: Mike Jonathan) and Rolling Down Like Pele (director: Laura Margulies) and Polynesian Power: Islanders in Pro Football (directors: Jeremy Spear and Robert Pennington), with Margulies and Spear discussing their works. For more information and to download the Pacifika Showcase brochure, enter here. These works and more were screened during May at the NMAI in Washington, D.C. in daily and special weekend programs; for program information enter here.
Currently Pacifika is redefining its goals and objectives for
the future, including continuing its partnership with the National
Museum of the American Indian and other key cultural institutions
and organizing a traveling, global component of the festival.
For more information about HCF and Pacifika, go to http://hawaiiculturalfoundation.org.
The 3rd annual Pacifika: New York Hawaiian Film Festival,
was presented May 20 - 22, 2005 by the Hawai'i Cultural Foundation
in cooperation with New York University Graduate Department of
Film and Television. The opening night featured the documentary
The Hawaiians: Reflecting Spirit, introduced by director
Edgy Lee, and preceded by the short film Gravity (director:
Josefa Enari). Highlights included documentaries An Island
Invaded, introduced by co-director Esther Figueroa, Blue
Horizon (director: Jack McCoy) and Kamea (director:
Jennifer Akana-Sturla). Closing night featured Polynesian Power:
Pacific Islanders in Pro Football, introduced by directors
Jeremy Spear and Robert Pennington, preceded by Two
Cars, One NIght (director: Taika
Waititi). Special featured filmmaker was Maori director Merata
Mita, who introduced both her documentary on a renowned Maori
artist, Hotere, and the 1980's classic feature Utu
(director: Geoff Murphy). Opening and closing nights also featured
musical performances, and the festival offered workshops on Hawaiian
language, hula and ukulele, along with lectures on massage and
chanting and a presentation by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
on Native Hawaiian self-government.
The 2004 Pacifika New York Hawaiian Film Festival, May
21 - 23, 2004 screened 22 films at 3 Manhattan venues. The festival
opened with the New York premieres of On the Waves at Waikiki,
a short work filmed in the 1920s, introduced by Desoto Brown of
the Bishop Museum Archives, and The Ride, Nathan Kurosawas
film about a surfer who time travels back to the era of Waikiki
surfing legend Duke Paoa Kahnanamoku. The opening gala featured
music performed by Robert Cazimero, who also conducted hula workshops
during the festival. Among the short works screened were Leah
Kihara's Kava Kultcha
and Stan Wolfgramm's Dot's
Death. Produced by the Hawaii Cultural Foundation
with the cooperation of New York University, the festival also
featured workshops on hula and Hawaiian language, dance performances
and lectures on subjects such as Native Hawaiian self-government.
May 15 - 18, 2003
On March 14 - 18, 2007, the Palm Springs Native American Film Festival and Cultural Weekend was presented by Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and Camelot Theaters in Palm Springs, California. The festival opened with One Dead Indian, introduced by lead actress Pamela Matthews. Also shown at the festival was Trespassing (director: Carlos Demenezes), When Your Hands Are Tied (director: Mia Boccella Hartle) and The Canary Effect (directors: Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman). The centerpiece of the festival was Smoke Signals, with both Sherman Alexie and Chris Eyre in attendance. The closing night film was The Velvet Devil, about a young Métis woman who leaves home to find fame as a 1940s jazz singing sensation.
For more information: www.accmuseum.org/page40.html
On March 14 - 19, 2006, the Palm Springs Native American Film
Festival and Cultural Weekend was presented by Agua Caliente
Cultural Museum and Camelot Theaters in Palm Springs, California.
The festival's opening night featured Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native Action (director: Roberta
Grossman). The closing night screening was Trudell
(director: Heather Rae), preceded
by a short work, Ramona. Other short works included Numbe
Whegeh, Grace, One-eyed Dogs Are Free, and
Documentaries included Aleut Story, Teachings of the
Tree People: The Life of Bruce Miller, and Spirit Riders:
Riding to Mend the Sacred Hoop. The family program included
Sigwan and Wapos Bay:
There's No "I" in Hockey. The festival and Cultural
Weekend culminated in an exhibition of contemporary art and a
gala dinner honoring author N.
Scott Momaday. For more information, enter
The 4th annual Palm Springs Native American Film Festival,
was presented March 3 - 6, 2005 in Palm Springs, California by
the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (ACCM) and the Camelot Theatre.
The opening night reception followed the screening of Hank
Williams First Nation (director: Aaron Sorensen). The festival
hosted the world premiere of Pulling Together (director:
James Fortier) and screened
for its special closing night, A
Thousand Roads (director: Chris
Eyre) and Raven Tales (directors: Simon
James and Chris Kientz).
During this year's festival ACCM and the Californian Indian Storytelling
Association co-hosted the Southern California Indian Storytelling
Festival, with Native storytellers from California and Hawai'i
and a program of family storytelling animated short films. Among
the more than 20 films screened were A Journey Home: Reclaiming
Our Children (director: Tina House), A Tattoo on My Heart:
The Warriors of Wounded Knee (directors: Charles Abourezk
and Brett Lawlor), The Ghost Riders
(director Vincent Blackhawk
Aamodt), Vis a Vis: Native
Tongues (director: Steve Lawrence and Phil
Lucas), and Kikkik (director: Martin Kreelak).
The 3rd annual Palm Springs Native American Film Festival,
held March 11 - 14, 2004 in Palm Springs, California was presented
by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and the Camelot Theatres.
More than 20 feature-length and short films were shown. A lively
panel discussion with participants, moderated by NMAI's Elizabeth
Weatherford, included directors and producers Alanis
Obomsawin, Gary Rhine, Rick
Schroder, Sonny Skyhawk, and Jeremy
Torrie, and actors Adam Beach
and Russell Means.
The Premio Anaconda festival features a touring program of productions from the Amazon region and the tropical forests of Latin America and the Caribbean. During October and November, 2004, screenings were held in sixteen indigenous communities in the tropical forest regions of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, and Peru. The festival program was selected by Carlos Gutiérrez from Peru and Jaime Iturri Salmín, M. Leonarda Mosua (Moxena), and Iván Sanjinés, all from Bolivia. The tour culminates in an awards ceremony in La Paz, Bolivia, on February 17, 2005.
Premio Anaconda winners receive cash awards and other prizes:
The 2004 international awards jury members were Mario Tuki (Rapa
Nui), Chile; Juan José García
(Zapotec), Mexico; Eduardo López, Bolivia; Lesvia Vela,
Guatemala/Canada; Roberto Haudry, Peru; and Sebastiao Haji Manchineri
The 2002 Premio Anaconda announced its awards on July 31, 2002 in Caracas, Venezuela. Dedicated to indigenous productions from the Amazon region and tropical forests of Latin America and the Caribbean, this festival features Native community screenings in May and June in six Latin American countries. The winners were selected by an international jury from more than 60 works entered and received cash awards and other prizes.
For more information go to www.videoindigena.bolnet.bo
The Anaconda Awards for Native video in the Amazon region was launched in Fall 2000 to support Native production and authentic portrayals of Native cultures. Works from seven countries were screened in various Native communities, with a showcase of 15 works screened December 2000 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
For more information go to www.videoindigena.bolnet.bo
The 2004 Red Fork Native American Film Festival
(formerly the Muscogee Nation Film Festival) was held November
12 - 13 and 19 - 20 at Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma. Musician
and producer Joy Harjo (Muskogee)
performed songs from her latest album, Native Joy for Real.
Among the eight productions screened were Cowboys
and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story; American Indian
Graffiti, introduced by director Tvli Jacob (Choctaw); and
Dancing on the Moon, introduced by director Roderick Pocowachit
On July 13 - 17, 2004, the Riddu Riddu Indigenous
Peoples Festival in Norway presented its second Urfilm
program, showcasing 28 films and videos in various genres. Works
screened are both Sami films and international indigenous works.
Special invited guests were Dene filmmakers Allan and Mary Code
from Canada with their documentary Nuhoniyeh: Our Story and
indigenous videomaker Mayaw Biho (Pangcah) from Taiwan, with three
works he has made about the Pangcah people. Other films included
If the Weather Permits.
Informal discussions with these and other filmmakers attending
were held in the Sámi turf hut. Riddu Riddu Festival offers
an extensive program of musical performances. This year a special
invitational section featured a number of musical groups from
Nunavut, including Taima with lead singer and filmmaker Elisapie
The Sami Film Festival, held April 2 - 6, 2007, in Guovdageaidnu, Norway, featured more than 50 feature films, documentaries and short works. Screenings each day were held in the Cultural House, and each evening in the Ice Cinema, the first and only snowmobile/reindeer drive-in. Three Sami premieres in the Ice Cinema included Anne Risten Sara ja Ena II, Varit Leat Seammat, and Ailo Cavge Davas. Sami director Nils Gaup introduced a special program of works. Among the Native American works featured were Miss Navajo (director: Billy Luther), Waterbuster (director: Carlos Peinado), Mohawk Girls (director: Tracey Deer) and The Snowbowl Effect (director: Klee Benally). Short works included Conversion (director: Nanobah Becker), Two Winters (director: Carol Geddes), The Winter Chill (director: Paul Rickard) and First Fire (director: Nathan Young). Theatrical releases that led to lots of discussion included Kill Buljo (director: Tommy Wirkola) and Apocalypto (director: Mel Gibson). Other feature films included the New Zealand production Eagle vs. Shark (director: Taika Waititi). The festival also featured a Storytelling Film Workshop led by Navajo directors Blackhorse Lowe and Nanobah Becker, and Sami storytellers.
For more information: www.samifilmfestival.no/index.jsp?lang=en
The 8th Santa Fe Film Festival, held November 28 - December 2, 2007, screened feature and short films from around the world while recognizing the lifetime contributions of select film artists. Native films appeared [in the competition,] as well as in the programming of the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival which has partnered with the Santa Fe Film Festival since 2005 to present works by indigenous and minority filmmakers, and to present an award for the best indigenous film at the Festival.
Other Native films were screened in the festival's Governor's Cup Awards programA Return Home (director: Ramona Emerson)and in the New Mexico Shorts programsReclaiming Our Children (director: Marcella Ernest), Future Warrior (director: Jeana Francis), Two Hearts (director: Jason Asenap), Echoes from Our Ancestors (director: Ed Breeding) and Sculpting Heart (director: Tobias Katz).
The Santa Fe Film Festival awarded a Luminaria for lifetime achievement to director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki). Obomsawin has produced more than 30 documentaries, working under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada. In partnership with the All Roads Film Festival, her festival tribute included the screening of Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Metis Child (1986) and her two most recent works, Gene Boy Came Home (2007) and Waban-aki (2006).
The festival's award for Best Indigenous Film went to Miss Navajo (director: Billy Luther). The Best Short Film award went to the Aboriginal short drama from Australia, Crocodile Dreaming (director: Darlene Johnson). These works were part of the All Roads Film Festival's Santa Fe program (a description of the 2007 All Roads Film Festival can be found above).
For additional information go to http://santafefilmfestival.com.
The Santa Fe Film Festival was held December 6 - 10, 2006, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Films by or about indigenous people included:
National Geographic's All Roads Film Project presented the New
Directions symposium, an indigenous film and photography workshop,
along with a slate of films. These were
The 5th annual Santa Fe Film Festival, held December 1 - 4, 2004, has announced the winner of the 2004 Milagro Award for Best Native Film: Raven Tales [Directors: Chris Kientz (Cherokee) and Simon James (Kwakwakawakw)] This digital animation tells the story of how, in the beginning times, Raven instigated a series of events that resulted in the release of Sun to light the Earth.
Other Native American works screened:
For more information, go to www.santafefilmfestival.com.
Winner of the 2003 Best Native Film award at the 4th Santa Fe Film Festival, held December 1 - 5, 2003, is Spirit of the Game (2003, 47 min., Canada), directed by Annie Frazier-Henry, which focuses on the rich legacy of sports for First Nations people, profiling young participants in the Indigenous Olympic Games held in Winnipeg.
Other Native American works screened, by both Native and non-Native
For further information go to www.santafefilmfestival.com
Winner of the 2002 Best Native Film award at the Santa Fe Film Festival, held December 4 - 8, 2002, is Lady Warriors directed by John C.P. Goheen. The work focuses on the 2000 "dream season" of the Tuba City High School girls' cross country team. It also won Best Documentary in the first Tribeca Film Festival in New York in May 2002.
Other Native American and Aboriginal Australian works screened:
For contact information enter
Each year the Skábmagovat Film Festival screens new Sami works and invites the films from one other indigenous people of the world, with a focus this year on African cinema. Held January 25 - 30, 2007 in Inari, Finland, this year's festival screened more than thirty films and short videos from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Sudan. The feature films included Non Profit (director: Pauliina Feodoroff), a Finnish feature on the encounter of researchers go to an Arctic village to find out how little energy a community needs if it has all the possible high technology available. Saamelainea/Sápmelas (directors: Anastasia Lapsui and Markku Lehmuskallio) explores the Finnish Arctic. Archival films and short works were also included including a children's protest in Sami Children Demand Sami TV. The South African, Oscar-awarded Tsotsi (director: Gavin Hood) tells the story of a young and angry gang leader in the Johannesburg slums of Soweto and an event that changes his life. In the critically-acclaimed Son of Man (director: Mark Dornford-May), the South-African theatre group Dimpho di Kopane projects the New Testament into today's Africa. Short documentaries took up serious topics of communitydepression, AIDS, rapefaced by indigenous people and villagers in both continents.
For more information: www.siida.fi/skabma/800en.html
The Skábmagovat Film Festival was held January
26 - 30, 2006 in Inarintie and Ivalo, Finland. The festival screened
more than twenty Sámi films and eleven films produced by
Mexicos Promedios de Comunicación/Chiapas Media Project,
including The Sacred Land
and Xulum'chon: Weavers in Resistance
from the Highlands. Amaranta Cornejo Hernández
of Promedios center in San Cristóbal de las Casas,
Chiapas, attended the festival. The Skábmagovat Prize for
achievements in cinema went to Sverre Porsanger (Sámi).
Porsanger has acted for thirty years. He performed the lead role
in Bázo (2003), directed by Lars-Gorän Petterson
and screened by the festival. In addition to his feature film
roles, Porsanger directs for NRK Sámi Radio, a radio and
The Skabmagovat: Reflections of the Endless Night film and television festival, organized annually in January during the polar night, was held January 27 - 30, 2005, at the Sami Museum and Nature Centre Siida in the village of Inari, Finland, in the Arctic Circle. The festival screens fiction films and documentaries by Sami directors and producers, and each year also presents films made by one other indigenous people in the world. In 2005 the festival will host Maori of New Zealand as special guests. Among the new Sami productions to be screened is Ánne Lajia Utsis documentary Tundra Settlers and the feature film Bazo.
The Skabmagovat Film Festival has been held since 1999 and consists of three visual events, the festival, the Sieiva Govat Seminar on Sami photography, and Camera Borealis photography exhibition. The festival translates large numbers of films and subtitles them into Finnish and Sami, with interpretation in English. In previous years the festival has focused on films from the Komi Republic (2004), HawaiI and the Pacific with guest Kalai Okona Ontai (2003), Video in the Villages project in Brazil with guests Mari Correa and Divino Tserewahu (2002), works from Nunavut and Igoolik Isuma productions with guest Norman Cohn, (2001), First Nations films from Canada with guest Alanis Obomsawin (2000) and Aboriginal Australian work with guests Willie Gordon and Walter Saunders (1999).
The third Southwest Native American Film and Video Festival
took place July 14 - 15, 2006 at the Museum of Northern Arizona
in Flagstaff, Arizona. The festival was coordinated by Klee
Benally and presented by Indigenous Action Media, Flagstaff
Cultural Partners, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. The opening
night feature documentary was Trudell
by Heather Rae, and there was
a panel discussion on Saturday about Native filmmaking. The festival
showcased 21 short by local young talents, including Leahn Cox,
Tori Nez, Shonie de la Rosa,
and Sarah del Saronde.
On July 9, 2005, the 2nd Southwest Native American
Film & Video Festival took place at the Museum of Northern
Arizona in Flagstaff. The screenings were part of the six-week
Native American Festival of Arts and Culture, concluding with
an evening screening of the feature 5th
World (director: Blackhorse
Lowe). A selection of short films explored sociological and
political issues facing Native communities in the Southwest, curated
by filmaker and musician Klee
Benally, including Native Aspect Ratio and Playing NDN?
(director: Alan Natachu), Blood Ties (director: Leahn Cox),
and A Call to Action! (director: Carey Tully). Longer works
included The Snowbowl Effect (director: Klee
Benally) and Methamphetamine Abuse on the Navajo Nation
(director: Shonie De La Rosa).
Southwest Native American Film & Video Festival
was held at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, July
16 - 17, 2004. with cooperating partner Indigenous Action Media.
Filmmakers whose works were screened include Klee Benally (Diné),
Malcolm Benally (Diné), Norman Brown (Diné), Kelly
Byars (Choctaw), Dustinn Craig (White
Mountain Apache), Bennie Klain
(Diné), Larry Blackhorse Lowe (Diné), Ramona Emerson
(Diné), Shonie De La Rosa (Diné), Wallees Crittendon
(Diné), Aiyana Elliot/Dick Dahl, Joseph Stacey (Hopi/Laguna)
and Gabriel Lopez Shaw (Paiute).
At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, held January 18 - 28, in Park City, Utah. Eagle vs. Shark, directed by Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui) screened in the World Dramatic Competition, and Four Sheets to the Wind, directed by Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek) screened in the US Dramatic Competition. The Festival awarded a Special Jury Prize for Acting to Tamara Podemski (Saulteaux) for her role as Miri Smallhill in Four Sheets to the Wind.
Miss Navajo, directed by Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo) and Tuli, directed by Auraeus Solito (Palaw'an) screened in Spectrum. Conversion, directed by Nanobah Becker (Navajo) and Move Me, directed by Jonathan Pulley (Laguna) screened in the US Shorts Competition.
Native Forum Roundtables included "The Burden of Representation", moderated by Heather Rae (Cherokee), with participants Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek), Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), Auraeus Solito (Palaw'an), and Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui). George Palelei led the discussion "Art & Technology Blended Worldwide" with a presentation of First Vision, his streaming video distribution platform for the internet.
Indigenous Sundance Institute/Ford Foundation Film Fellows attended the Festival to discuss their projects with industry leaders. The 2007 fellows were Ginew Benton (Ojibway/Cree), Julianna Brannum (Comanche), Melissa Henry (Navajo), and Nathan Young (Pawnee/Kiowa/Delaware).
Elizabeth Weatherford, head of NMAI's Film and Video Center (FVC),
was selected as on of the twenty-four jurors from the global film
community, serving on the World Documentary Award jury with directors
Juan Carlos Rulfo from Mexico and Raoul Peck from Haiti and the
The 25th Sundance Film Festival, held January 19 - 29, 2006, in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, screened four indigenous works this year.
Between January 23 - 26, the Sundance Native Forum held five events. Native Program director Bird Runningwater moderated two panel discussions. "Native Cinema and the Marketplace" brought together filmmakers at the festival with industry professionals: producers, distributors, and publicists and "Investing in Indigenous Cinema" invited Festival directors and funders to discuss strategies for Native independent film. A festive brunch launched the events, which concluded with a gala reception at the Legends Bar at Park City Mountain Resort.
A major component of the Native Forum is the Sundance Ford Fellowship Workshops in which Native American filmmakers and their projects are selected to attend the festival and participate in one-on-one meetings with established filmmakers and industry leaders. This year's filmmakers were Leslie Gee (Caddo/Delaware/Choctaw), Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo), Billy Luther (Navajo/Hope/Laguna Pueblo), and Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Inupiaq). The workshop is made possible with a grant from The Ford Foundation's New Works Initiative.
Other Native participants in this year's festival included two
jurors: Heather Rae in
the Documentary Competition and Rachel Perkins in the World
Cinema Documentary Competition.
In 2005 the Sundance Film Festival, January January 20 - 30, 2006 - increased the number of screenings of Native and indigenous works by playing them within the major festival categories., including the Independent Feature Film Competition and the World Cinema Competition, as well as in American Spectrum, the Short Film Competition, and Special Screenings categories. In previous years such films were screeened on a more limited basis within the Native Forum category of the festival. Eleven films by Native American and indigenous filmmakers were selected, including five films from Native American directors, compared to three films in 2004. An award winner was Tama Tu, which garnered an honorable mention in Best Film Shorts category.
2004 Sundance Film Festival, held January 15 - 25 in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, announces its Native Forum selections of Native American, Aboriginal Australian and Maori works:
The Opening Night of the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake
City featured Chris Eyre's Edge
of America, starring James McDaniel, Irene Bedard, with
Tim Daly and Wes Studi. In this fiction based on a true story,
a teacher at the Three Nations Reservation high school agrees
to coach the girls basketball team. As John Cooper has written,
"Chris Eyre is a clear, original voice in American cinema.
In Edge of America he ventures into the heartland and returns
with a tale that tugs at your heartstrings
2003 Sundance Film Festival, held January 16 - 26 in Park City, Utah, announces its Native Forum selections of Native American, Aboriginal Australian and Maori works:
Other works of interest in the Festival are Whale Rider,
a story of hereditary leadership in Maori tradition, and the issue
arising when a young woman best qualifies for what is customarily
a male right and duty (2002, Director: Nikki Caro) and The
Passion of Maria Elena (2002, Director: Mercedes Moncada)
a documentary in which a mother seeks justice for the death of
her son from the Mexican and then Raramuri Indian authorities.
Sundance Film Festival
Native films to showcase in other sections are: The Business of Fancy Dancing directed by Sherman Alexie in the American Spectrum category and Chris Eyre's Skins in the Premiere section. The Sundance Film Festival's events will take place January 10 - 22, 2002 in Park City, Utah.
For contact information, enter
Taos Talking Pictures has closed its doors after
nine wonderful and meaningful years, Interim Executive Director
Glen Dickerson has announced. The Taos Mountain Award was
given annually by Taos Talking Picture Festival to recognize the
lifetime achievements of an outstanding Native film professional.
The most recent had been awarded in April 2003 to the Native media
organization Ojo de Agua Comunicación,
in Oaxaca, Mexico. The organization was founded by producers from
Indian communities throughout Oaxaca to produce for Native communities,
develop local television initiatives, and support training and
post production for Native media makers. The Taos Mountain Award
has been given to outstanding Native American film and video professsionals
in Canada and the US--Victor Masayesva, Jr (1995), Sandra Sunrising
Osawa (1996), Alanis Obomsawin
(1997), Loretta Todd (1998), Phil Lucas (1999), and Gary
Farmer (2001), and to Maori filmmaker and actress Merata Mita
(2000). Recognition of Latin American indigenous media organizations
included Ojo de Agua and
the CEFREC and CAIB national
indigenous media organizations in Bolivia (2002).
The True West Cinema Festival, held August 25 - 28, 2005
in Boise, Idaho, is dedicated to the advancement of independently-produced
feature and short subject films by filmmakers who are either from
the West or whose films center on the landscape and/or spirit
of the region. The 2nd annual festival featured several Native
American works including 5th
World (director: Blackhorse
Lowe) and Trudell
(director: Heather Rae). Water
Flowing Together, a special work-in-progress about New York
City Ballet Principal Dancer Jock Soto (Navajo), was discussed
by Soto and director Gwendolyn Cates.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro,
The first Wairoa Maori Film Festival, held June 2 - June
4, 2005 at the Gaiety Theatre and Cinema in Wairoa, Aotearoa/New
Festival judges were Cliff Curtis, Merata Mita, and Tania Cotter, moderated by Leo Koziol. The award-winning works:
For more information go to www.manawairroa.com.
(formerly the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival)
The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival took place November 15 - 18, 2007, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, screening 70 films. On its first day actor and director Gary Farmer and other professionals conducted a workshop for young people in the fundamentals of acting, production, and screenwriting.
The festival award winners were:
For more information, go to www.aboriginalfilmfest.org.
The 4th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film & Video Festival was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November17 - 20, 2005, with screenings, panels and a Filmmaking Bootcamp for Youth. Opening night featured Johnny Tootall (director: Shirley Cheechoo), preceded by First Stories: Patrick Ross (director: Ervin Chartrand (Metis)), with remarks by elder Nelson James (Ojibwe) and festival director Coleen Rajotte (Cree/Metis). Closing entertainment included fiddle music and dancing, hoop dancing, a rap performance, and the presentation of festival awards:
The 3rd annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival,
November 17 - 19, 2004, presented Native productions, panel discussions,
and media workshops at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba.
Actress Tantoo Cardinal (Métis)
gave the opening night key note address and introduced a new episode
of the series Moccasin Flats. Highlights included the premiere
of Back to Pikangikum, attended by director Coleen
Rajotte (Cree/Métis) and Peter Quill (Ojibwe), the
chief of Pikangikum First Nation. Other films included Deep
Water (director: Shirley
Cheechoo) and I Am Inuk, I Am Alive (directed by 8
Inuit students) and the independent film The King of Zinacatan.
Representatives of the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada
led panels, and a competitive youth pitching forum offered winners
internships and broadcasting opportunities at CBC Television.
The Winnipeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival was held
November 8 - 9, 2002 at the University of Winnipeg. Among the
works screened were the new documentaries The Spirit of
Annie Mae by Catherine Anne Martin (Mik'maq) and Is
the Crown at War with Us? by Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki).
In New York, the 15th African Diaspora Film Festival was
held November 23 - December 9, 2007. Among the approximately 100
works screened were several with indigenous themes, including
the US premiere of Gene Boy Came Home (director: Alanis
Obomsawin), a profile of a Wabanaki man and his struggle against
the trauma of military service in the Vietnam War. Two from Australia
included The Tracker (director: Rolf de Heer), a complex
thriller starring David Gulpilil as a professional tracker leading
police as they pursue a wanted man and a documentary about the
actor by Aboriginal director Darlene Johnson, Gulpilil: One
Red Blood. For more information go to www.nyadff.org/
The African Diaspora Film Festival was held November 24
- December 10, 2006, in New York, New York. Two films with indigenous
themes were screened: The Canary Effect, directed by Robin
Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman, and Muxes: Authentic, Intrepid
Seekers of Danger, directed by Alejandra Islas.
The 15th annual African Diaspora Film Festival, held in
New York City, November 25 - December 11, 2005, screened Tales
of Sand and Snow (director: Hyacinthe Combary) in which a
filmmaker from Africa films his encounter with members of a Cree
community in northern Quebec. It also included Roberto Olivares'
documentary on African-Mexican communities on the coast of Oaxaca
The 2nd annual Alaska Native Revolution Film Festival was held in Fairbanks on October 26 - 27, 2007, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, hosted by Native Movement and Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Films selected from Canada, New Zealand, and the US included:
For more information go to www.nativemovement.org/alaska/filmfest.html
On November 16, 2002 the Alutiiq Film Festival!, sponsored
by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and the Smithsonian
Arctic Studies Center, screened nine recent documentaries on Alutiiq
and Sugpiaq life made with much community participation. The day-long
event was shown in connection with the exhibition "Looking Both
Ways: Heritage and identity of the Alutiiq People."
The Native American Student Association of Rice University organized
an American Indian Film Festival at the American Indian
Genocide Museum in Houston, focused on the past and present struggle
of American Indian peoples. The festival, held June 17-18, 2005,
included Black Cloud
(director: Rick Schroder),
introduced by lead actor Russell Means (Lakota) and American
Holocaust: When It's All Over I'll Still Be Indian (director:
Joanelle Romero), introduced by the director.
The 5th annual American Indian Film Festival at Bellevue Community
College took place November 15 - 16, 2007 near Seattle. The
festival opened each day with a ceremony led by Jessy Lucas, followed
by screenings of new Native films. On the opening night, following
a community potluck, the festival presented "Honoring the
Legacy of Phil Lucas," a retrospective of works by the award-winning
Choctaw director, who made more than 100 films. Phil
Lucas founded this festival in 2003 and was a faculty member
at the college until his death in February, 2007. The next evening
featured a keynote address by John
Trudell, following the screening of Trudell
(director: Heather Rae). Other
works, presented by their directors, included The
Duck-In (director: Rachel
Naninaaq Edwardson), Half
of Anything (director: Jonathan
Tomhave), Finding Dawn (director: Christine Welsh),
and works by Native youth, produced by Longhouse Media and Native
The American Indian Film Festival at Bellevue Community College
was held April 12 - 14, 2006 in Bellevue, Washington. Actor Gary
Farmer, independent filmmakers Heather
Rae and Phil Lucas, Native
Voices Graduate Program filmmakers Rachael Nez and Alicia Woods
from the University of Washington, Frank Blythehead of Native
American Public Telecommunications, and hip-hop artist Redskin
presented their work at the festival. Special highlights were
a panel discussion, "The Canoe Journey and Native Youth",
and a demonstration of canoe construction. Screenings included
Pulling Together (director: James
Fortier), The Border Crossed Us (director: Rachael
Nez) and Dead Man
with lead Gary Farmer (director:
Jim Jarmusch). The festival opened with a performance by the Snoqualmie
Drum Group. The closing night film was Trudell
(director: Heather Rae).
The 25th Amiens International Film Festival, held November
10 - 20, 2005, in Amiens, France, presented a retrospective of
film and video of Brazilians "on the margins," presenting
an homage to Brazil's Video Nas Aldeias (Video in the Villages),
screening thirteen films made during VNA's history, including
first indigenous works made in Brazil and discussions with several
indigenous filmmakers from the project, and a section on Indians
in the history of Brazilian cinema.
Plastic Warriors, a work about American Indian stereotypes
directed by Amy Tall Chief (Osage), was awarded Best Documentary
Short in the Arlene's Grocery Film Festival, an extensive
event produced by one of New York's best Lower East Side music
Director, actress and community activist Joanelle Romero
was given Arpa's Armin T. Wegner Award for her film American
Holocaust: When It's All Over I'll Still Be Indian by the
2005 Arpa International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The
festival, October 3 - 7, is organized by the Arpa Foundation for
Film, Music and Art, which is dedicated to the work of "filmmakers
who explore the issues of Diaspora, exile and multi-culturalism."
The 14th Aspen Shortsfest, held April 6 - 10, 2005 in
Aspen, Colorado, included 66 short films and videos from 25 countries
and awarded cash prizes to winners. An Ellen Certificate for Excellence
and Originality was awarded Taika
Waititi's Tama Tu. Winner of a Special Jury Recognition
was Sterlin Harjo's Goodnight
Each year the Augsburg College Native American Film Series in Minneapolis presents four kinds of film events: "Documentaries at Augsburg" focusing on current and historical issues in Indian country, "New Voices in Native Media" honoring youth and new filmmakers, "Native American Voices" presenting the current winners from the Fargo Film Festival, and special events with regional tribal communities. All events are free and open to the public.
In the 2006-7 season the documentaries screened were:
In April "New Voices" presented short works by directors
Mike Medicine Horse, Tory Mendoza, Amy Tallchief, Missy Whiteman,
and youth media groups New Voices and TVbyGirls; selections from
this programming traveled during the summer to tribal communities.
In May selections from "Native American Voices" in the
7th Fargo Film Festival were screened. Special events included
an "Indigenous Environmental Film Series" in November
2006, "Indigenous Films and Media from South America,"
with indigenous filmmakers Caimi Waiásse and David H. Palmer,
in May and the Summer 2007 tribal touring program of works from
The Available Light Film Festival, presented in Whitehorse
by the Yukon Film Society (YFS) on March 15 - 18, 2007, featured
of Knud Rasmussen (directors: Zacharias
Kunuk and Norman Cohn). In
summer 2007 YFS also presented "Picturing the Yukon: Yukon
Films on Tour" in Dawson City and Whitehorse, with event
screenings in Atlin, Haines Junction and Keno City. Works with
indigenous themes included Land Unlocked (director: Sameer
Singh), The Gravel Magnet (director: Barb Bardie), My
Indian Bum (director: Kerry Barber), and Aydaygooay
(director: Mary Code)
The Available Light Film Festival, presented in Whitehorse
by the Yukon Film Society, February 28 - March 5, 2006, featured
an Artist's Talk with Dennis Allen (Inuvialuit) and screened two
Native documentaries, My Father, My Teacher (director:
Dennis Allen) and Trudell
(director: Heather Rae).
The 57th Berlin Film Festival, February 8 - 18, 2007,
included two films with indigenous directors. Tuli (director:
Aureaeus Solito) dramatically
explores experiences of coming of age in a remote tribal village
in the Philippines was in the Forum section. Eagle vs. Shark
(director: Taika Waititi),
a romantic comedy from New Zealand, was in the Generation section.
Manoomin, The Sacred Food (director: Jack Pettibone Riccobono),
a film on wild rice shot at White Earth Reservation, was included
in the thematic program Eat, Drink, See Movies: Celebrating Culinary
Cinema. In the Generation section Hawaikii
(director: Mike Jonathan)
tells the story of a young Maori girl and her father. For more
information go to www.berlinale.de/en/.
ni Maximo Oliveros/The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (director:
Auraeus Solito) won three awards
at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. It won
the 20th Anniversary Teddy Award for Best Feature Film, and two
awards in the Kinderfest Grand Prize competition: the International
Jury Grand Prize and the Kinder (Children's) Jury Second Prize.
The film is the story of a gay 12-year-old in Manila, The Philippines,
where Solito, a member of the Palawan indigenous people, lives.
The 55th Berlin International Film Festival, held in Berlin,
Germany on February 10 - 20, 2005, announces the winners of its
Panorama section, naming two indigenous works for the top prizes.
The prize for Best Short Film was awarded to Green
Bush, directed by Warwick
Thornton (Aboriginal Australian) and a Special Jury Prize
was awarded to Tama Tu, directed by Taika
Waititi (Maori). The Panorama section is dedicated primarily
to art house films, and films directed by their writers. All films
presented are either world premieres or European premieres outside
the country of origin. Panorama not only presents feature films,
it is considered by the Festival as one of its most significant
venues for short films.
The 54th Berlin International Film Festival,
held in Berlin, Germany on February 5 - 15, 2004, announces that
Maori director Taika Waititi is the winner of the Panorama Short
Film Award for Two Cars, One Night. "Panorama"
is a section of the festival dedicated primarily to art house
films and films directed by their writers. All films are presented
as world premieres or European premieres, outside the countries
of origin. Panorama not only shows features and documentaries,
it is considered by the festival as one of its most significant
venues for short films.
On November 27, 2004, the Canadian Aboriginal
Festival and Powwow in Toronto screened three feature films,
followed by "A Conversation with Chris Eyre" moderated
by Andre Morrisseau. Director Chris
Eyre and actor Adam Beach
presented the screenings of Smoke
Signals and A
Thief of Time and Randy
Redroad's The Doe Boy.
Yellow Fella, directed by Ivan
Sen, was an Official Selection at the 2005 Cannes Film
Festival, May 11 - 22, 2005, in France. The 25-minute documentary
is the first indigenous Australian documentary to be selected
for Cannes, and was screened in "Un Certain Regard,"
a section of the festival dedicated to innovative films with personal
vision. The film travels on a 6000 km journey across northern
Australia with Tom E. Lewis, who in 1978 played the lead role
in Fred Schepisi's Australian feature, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.
Changing Hands: Art without Reservation 2
The 22nd Chicago Latino Film Festival, held in Chicago
on April 21 - May 3, 2006, was presented by the International
Latino Cultural Center of Chicago in cooperation with Columbia
College Chicago. Native-directed work included Mirando Hacia
Dentro: La Militarizacíon de Guerrero (director: Carlos
Efrain Perez Rojas) and Sipakapa
No Se Vende (director: Álvaro
Revenga). Other productions on indigenous themes were Muxes:
auténticas, intrépidas buscadoras de peligro
(director: Alejandra Islas); Oaxacan Hoops (director: Yolanda
Cruz); and Tu Sangre (director: Julián Larrea
The Festival Petrobras de Cinema Brasileiro de New York, now
called CineFest Petrobras Brasil, was presented in New
York August 6 - 12, and included Maksuara: Twilight of the
Gods (diretor: Neville D'Almeida) an experimental documentary
focused on the noted Brazilian indigenous leader Maksuara.
Cinema Chile, presented in New York, November 9 - 15,
2007, included Üxuf Xipay/El Despojo/The Plunder (director:
Dauno Tõtoro), a documentary examining the resistance of
the Mapuches to exploitation of their lands in the south of Chile
by powerful ranchers and corporations.
CineVegas, June 10 - 18, 2005 selected Blackhorse
Lowe's 5th World
and Sterlin Harjo's Goodnight
Irene. The festival features independent films, documentaries,
and short films from first-time filmmakers to the masters of the
Cowichan International Aboriginal
Festival of Film & Art
The Cowichan Aboriginal Film Festival was held April 26-28,
2007 in Duncan, British Columbia. The festival opened with a Coast
Salish Gala Reception, with performances by Butch Dick & the
Unity Drummers, Ray Peter & the Tzinqua Dancers, the Little
Raven Dancers, the Black Owl Singers, and MGirls Unplugged.
Nathaniel Arcand and Dakota House gave two joint workshops, one
on working in film and television, the other on acting and improvisation.
23 workshops were given on all aspects of working in the film
industry. Twelve short films were screened from Brazil, Canada,
and the United States. Participants included Janet Rogers, director
of A Rightful Place and Dorothy Christian, director of
A Spiritual Land Claim. Other films screened included Conversion,
directed by Nanobah Becker;
Wabak, directed by Kevin Papatie and Gilles Penosway; and
Xina Bena/A New Era, directed by Zezinho Yube. For more
information, please go to aff.cowichan.net.
The Cowichan International Film Festival was held March 23 - 25, 2006 in Duncan, British Columbia. The festival opened with a reception and Coast Salish art exhibition, with performances by Ray Peter & the Tzinquaw Dancers and the Unity Drummers & Singers. Simon James (Kwakwaka'wakw) gave a workshop on legends and culture as a source for narrative films. Adult workshops were also given on acting, sound, and traditional arts. Youth workshops were given on acting, production, and costume design. Youths presented short works in a competitive screening. Other films screened included:
The twenty-first annual DC International Film Festival
in Washington took place April 19-29, 2007. 70 feature-length
films and 6 short films were screened. The following films by
indigenous directors or with indigenous content were screened:
Eagle vs. Shark, directed by Taika
Number Two, directed by Toa
Fraser; Samoan Wedding, directed by Chris Graham; and
Ten Canoes, directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr.
In 2007 the Argentinian human rights film festival DerHumAlc was held May 9 - 16 in Buenos Aires and May 29 - 30 in Santiago del Estero. Among this year's award-winning films was Meu Primero Contacto/My First Contact (directors: Mari Correa and Kumare Txicao) which received Special Mention in the Feature Film category.
Other films included with indigenous stories were Yaipota
Ñande Igüi/Queremos nuestra tierra (director:
Lorena Riposati), concerned with the struggle of a Guarani community
in Argentina against the occupation of their lands by a multinational
corporation, and En la senda de la escuela (director: Lucas
Mouzas) about the development of a school in a Chatin village
in the state of Oaxaca. Other works screened included Mal de
Ojo TV, grassroots news documentaries of the 2006 strike in
Oaxaca and recent resistance to the state's government. Other
works on indigenous themes were Akulliku (directors: G.
Garcia and S. Sandúa) and La zafra (director: Blanca
E. Alvarez Pulido). For more information go to www.derhumalc.org.ar/
The 7th DerHumALC Festival Internacional de Cine y Video de
Derechos Humanos/International Human Rights Film Festival was
held August 10 - 17, 2005, in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
The festival, a partner with Amnesty International Film Festival,
is concerned with films of human rights issues globally, this
year featuring 102 films and videos. Three films about indigenous
human rights were screened. Rio Arriba (director: Ulises
de la Orgen) was concerned with the historical exploitatiojn of
Aymara communities in northeastern Argentina. Mensaheras de
las Luz, Parteras del Amazonas (director: Evaldo Mocarzel)
focused on indigenous midwifery in the Brazilian Amazon. In The
Real Thing (director Jim Sanders) the focus was on the impact
of U.S. foreign policy on Native farmers in Bolivia. DerHumALC
has joined with a number of other festivals to form the Human
Rights Film Network to further the activities of individual human
rights festivals and to build a stronger support system.
The Indigenous Arts Service Organization (IASO) in partnership
with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations launched Echoes of Ancient
Art: Inaugural Arts Festival in British Columbia to bring
together traditional indigenous artists and mentors in a regional
event with a focus on youth and community participation. The festival
took place July 13 - 16, 2005 in Tofino, July 27 - 30 in Prince
George, and August 10 - 13, in Kelowna, British Columbia. The
four areas programmed included performing arts (mentor artist/composer
Sandy Scofield) and visual arts (mentor carver Mark Mickey). The
filmmaking/media arts mentor Richard Story is a writer, producer,
director, and educator of Cast Salish and Native Hawaiian descent,
and is based in Toronto. He has served as artistic director of
ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival and a 2003 participant
in the National Screen Institute's Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative
in 2004. The literary arts mentor Jordan Wheeler (Gordons First
Nation) is of Cree, Ojibwe, Assiniboine and European descent.
He has written fiction, poetry and drama, and for the past 15
years has been writing and story editing for dramatic television.
IASO president is filmmaker and cultural activist Barbara Cranmer.
The organization was founded in 1995 by a group of senior Aboriginal
artists who recognized that First Nations' arts were underrepresented
within the art and cultural worlds of British Columbia, initially
starting a program within the British Columbia Festival of the
Arts, Canada's largest Western multi-arts festival, and continues
now with its own festival series.
The Fargo Film Festival, held in Fargo, North Dakota, March 7 - 10, 2007, screened 63 films. Winners of the Native American Voices awards were:
Other fiction and documentary films with Native directors included:
Other works with Native themes were Buffy Saint-Marie: A Multimedia
Life (director: Joan Prowse), Manoomin: The Sacred Food
(director: Jack Riccobono), Silent
Thunder (director: Angelique
Midthunder) and Teachings
of the Tree People (director: Katie
The Fargo Film Festival, March 2 - 5, 2005, screened four
films in its "Native American Voices" section, including
Reuben Steindorf's Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers and
Missy Whiteman's Taking November and Walking in Shadows.
American Nizhoni (director: John Goheen) was selected for
the Native American Voices Award.
First Nations\First Features: A Showcase of World Indigenous
Film and Media was presented May 12 - 23, 2005 by the National
Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Modern Art, and New
York University. The festival began with a symposium at NMAI,
"Cultural Creativity and Cultural Rights: On and Off Screen".
More than 20 groundbreaking feature-length films, short fictions,
documentary and experimental works by an international group of
outstanding Native directors were screened.
The First Vision Filmmakers Forum was held on April 27,
2007 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. The forum was organized by Charmaine Jackson-John (Navajo)
of the New Mexico Film Office. The panel Stories from the
Reel World: A Conversation with Industry Professionals,
featured George Burdeau (Blackfeet), Chris
Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Gary
Farmer (Cayuga), Vangie Griego, Barbara Martinez-Jitner, Laura
Milliken (Ojibwe) and Frank Zuniga. The panel Getting
Your Work Seen: Media Networking featured representatives
from National Geographics All Roads Film Project, Latino
Public Broadcasting, ImagineNative Film & Media Arts Festival,
VTape, and Native American Public Telecommunications. Other panels
featured local film industry representatives such as New Mexico
Screen Actors Guild Branch President Tom Schuch and New
Mexico Film Office director Lisa Strout. The day ended with short
film screenings, including
Conversion, Moccasin Flats, and Raven Tales,
and a networking reception with a musical performance by Los Jaraneros
del Valle Norte.
The Flatwater Native Film Festival, held August 6 - 18,
2005, was presented by VisionMaker Video and the Mary Riepma Ross
Media Arts Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Among the outstanding
documentaries and short films were Indian Country Diaries:
A Seat at the Drum, The Great
American Footrace (directors: Dan
Bigbee and Lily Shangreaux),
Trudell (director: Heather
Rae), Indians for Indians (director: Ava Hamilton),
Homeland: Four Portraits of
Indian Action (director: Roberta
Grossman), Race is the Place (directors: Rick Tejada-Flores
and Ray Telles), Reality Show (director: Lurline
Wailani McGregor) and A
Thousand Roads (director: Chris
Eyre. Producer: NMAI). The festival, co-sponsored by Native
Voice and the Lincoln Journal Star, also presented screenings
at the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) meetings,
held in Lincoln on August 11 - 14.
Forumdoc.bh.2007, the 11th Festival do Filme Documentario e Etnografico Forum de Antropologia, Cinema e Video, was held November 23 - December 5, 2007, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The festival screens approximately 24 films in national and international competition and showcases several curated series and retrospectives. Included in this year's program were two films with indigenous content Pirinop, My First Contact directors: Maria Correa and Karané Txicão) and Djuungguwan/Speaking to the Future (director: Trevor Graham). Forumdoc.bh.2006 included a retrospective of the ethnographic filmmaker Timothy Asch, including his extensive project filming among the Yanomami of Venezuela in the 1970s.
For more information go to www.filmesdequintal.com.br/2007.
The film festival forumdoc.bh.2004, held December 14 -
23, 2004, in Brazil in the city of Belo Horizonte, featured both
international and national documentaries. This year's events included
a focus on works by indigenous directors working with Video nas
Aldeias/Video in the Villages, screening about 20 productions.
Other festival programs included independent productions on Brazilian
indigenous life. Program introductions and a roundtable discussion,"From
Video IN the Villages to Video FROM the Villages," featured
Yuwipo Txicão, Isaac
Pinhanta, Valdete Pinhanta, Tania Stolze of the National Ethnological
Museum in Rio de Janeiro, and Vincent Carelli and Mari Corrêa,
coordinators of Video nas Aldeias.
The inaugural Gallup Inter-Cultural Film Festival was held in Gallup, New Mexico, September 28 - 30, 2005. Award winning films were:
The Governor's Cup Film Festival has been launched in
2004 in New Mexico as a statewide competition that spotlights
talented filmmakers from around the state. The project is sponsored
by HDNM Entertainment, LLC, a company committed to the New Mexico
film industry and emerging digital technologies. From among 150
entries, fifteen finalists were selected for the festival. The
Governor's Cup-Second Place was won by Raven Tales, an
animation by Chris Kientz and Simon James.
The 13th Hamptons International Film Festival, held in
Southampton, New York, October 19 - 23, 2005, presented two films
with indigenous subject matter, Roberta
Grossman's Homeland: Four
Portraits of Native Action and The Djarn Djarns,
a short fiction for young people set in Aboriginal Australia.
The 2005 HatcHFest, held October 4 - 9 in Bozeman, Montana,
inaugurated a Native American Showcase this year, featuring Edge
of America (director: Chris
Eyre). Eyre was selected to receive the festival's first Native
Spirit Award. Hatch is an organization dedicated to mentoring
new talent in the arts. The panel discussions, concerned with
both the art and business of filmmaking, included one session
with directors and actors in the Showcase. Among the participating
Native performers was actor/musician Michael Spears and Va:rik,
a dance company from Phoenix that performed a commissioned piece
showcasing the designs of Cochiti Pueblo potter/designer Virgil
Ortiz. Closing night featured a performance by First Nations blues
guitarist George Leach.
The 27th Luis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival,
held October 18 - 28, 2007, in Honolulu, featured nearly 200 films.
The Pacific Panorama Award was presented by Pacific Islanders
in Communication to Lahaine: Waves of Change (director:
Eddie Kumae), concerned with the story of the west Maui town once
a center of the sugar industry, and filmed over 8 years as the
industry closed down there. Indigenous works made up "Pacific
Islander Shorts:" Uso/Brother and Rites
of Courage, both directed by Miki Magasiva,
Hawaikii (director: Mike
Jonathan), Taua/War Party and The Speaker,
both directed by Tearapa Katti, Tavake (director:
Paul Stoll) and, from Papua New Guinea, Hands Up! Your Betel
Nut or Your Life. A special initiative of the festival
screens programs on five Hawaiian islands, and "Pacific Islander
Shorts" were selected for screenings on Kaua'i and Moloka'i.
The jury for the Shorts Competition included Janu Cassidy, co-founder
of the Hawai'i Cultural Foundation and Pacifika: New York Hawaiian
The 25th Louis Vuitton Hawai'i International Film Festival
held October 20 - 30, 2005, in Honolulu and on other islands,
screened more than 200 films, documentaries, shorts and animations,
representing over 40 countries. The "Hawaii Panorama"
featured more than 25 works, including many with Native Hawaiian
themes. The two films selected as "Best of Hawaii Panorama"
were Keepers of the Flame (director: Eddie Kamae), a chronicle
of three women who helped shape the Hawaiian renaissance, which
won the festival's Hawaiian Airlines Audience Choice Award for
Documentary. Wahine O Ke Kai (director: Vince Keala Lucero)
focused on the story of Donna Kahi Kahakui who canoed nearly 200
miles alone to emphasize Hawaiians' responsibility to protect
the ocean. The director received the Academy of Motion Pictures
Arts and Sciences Hawaii Film & Videomaker Award-Honorable
Events: March 11 - 20, 2005
In March 2005 the Institute's 5th encuentro, on "Performing
Heritage: Contemporary Indigenous and Community-Based Practices,"
will be held in Brazil. Approximately 300 participants will present
work and participate together in themed work groups on such topics
as cultural agency, indigenous identities and communication, and
grassroots use of new media technologies. Entries are being solicited
for performance arts, installations, visual arts, video and professional
papers to be presented as part of the events. Applications are
available at http://hemi.nyu.edu/eng/seminar/brazil2005/application_form.html
Herland Film and Video Festival took place May 3-10, 2007, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The program More than Four Directions Works by Aboriginal Women took place on May 6. The following films by Aboriginal women were screened at the festival:
For more information, go to www.herlandfestival.com.
The 2005 Herland Feminist Film and Video Festival, held
in Calgary, Alberta, on May 1 - 13, featured an Aboriginal program,
"More than Four Directions." Works screened were InterTribal
Time (director: Jude Norris), Lessons in Conquest (director:
Ariel Lightningchild), The Hill (director: Dana Claxton),
Love and Numbers (director: Thirza Cuthand), This Bleeding
Place (director: Susan Cormier), Prayer for a Good Day
(director: Zoe Leigh Hopkins), and Storing (director: Darlene
Hoop of Life American Indian Film, Television
and New Media Festival
The 12th Toronto Hot Docs, held April 22 - May 1, 2005 in Toronto, presented 100 documentaries, many national and world premieres, from 23 countries to local audiences and more than 1500 international industry delegates. Special honors were given to filmmaker Errol Morris. The festival is one of the world's "A-List documentary festivals," according to International Documentary magazine.
Titles on indigenous issues included:
The Devil's Miner, about a 14-year-old Indian boy who
works in the notorious silver mine at Cerro Rico in Bolivia, was
awarded the FIPRESCI prize for Best First Documentary.
2007 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival took
place March 21 - 30 in London and June 14 - 28 in New York. Three
films with indigenous themes were included: Cocalero
(director: Alejandro Landes)
about the election campaign of Evo Morales for the Bolivian presidency;
Everything's Cool (directors: Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand)
about global warming with scenes in Inupiat communities in Alaska;
and El Violin (director: Francisco Vargas), a fiction about
the impact of a military campaign in rural Guerrero, Mexico, starring
musician Don Angel Tavira.
The 2006 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
presented screenings in New York's Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln
Center, June 8 - June 22. Apaga y Vamanos/Switch Off, directed
by Manel Mayol, presented the conflicts between the hydroelectric
company Endesa and Mapuche communities, which have been forced
to relocate from Chile's Ralco Valley, after the damming of the
9th Annual Independent Film Festival Boston
The 2007 Maui Film Festival took place June 13-17, in
Kahului, Hawaii. Films by indigenous directors from the
Pacific or with indigenous content included Eagle vs. Shark,
directed by Taika Waititi;
Na Kamalei: The Men of
Hula, directed by Lisette
Flanary; and Hawaiian Waterfall Prayer, directed by
John Zak. For more information, please go to www.mauifilmfestival.com.
In Hawai'i the Maui Film Festival, held June 16 - 19 ,
2005, in Wailea, Maui, featured films by Native directors: Vilsoni
Hereniko's The Land
Has Eyes, Heather Rae's
Trudell and Edgy Lee's
The Hawaiians: Reflecting Spirit, and works with indigenous
themes, including Wayne Middleton's Kamakakehua: The Precious
Gift, and Trevor Graham's Hula Girls.
The Melbourne International Film Festival took place July
25-August 12, 2007, in Melbourne, Australia. This festival screened
works from 50 countries. Films by and/or about indigenous people
were screened from Australia, Bolivia, Canada, and New Zealand.
16 shorts with indigenous content were screened, including Crocodile
Dreaming, directed by Darlene Johnson; The Fighting Cholitas,
directed by Mariam Jobrani; Moon Man, directed by Luke
Jurevicious and Toby Quarmby; Nanna, directed by Warwick
Thornton, and Run, directed by Mark Albiston. Features
included Eagle vs. Shark, directed by Taika
Journals of Knud Rasmussen, directed by Zacharias
Kunuk and Norman Cohn; September,
directed by Peter Carstairs; and The Waimate Conspiracy,
directed by Stefen Lewis. Eagle vs. Shark was voted one
of the Top 10 Drama Features in the festivals audience poll.
For more information, please go to www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au.
The 54th Melbourne Film Festival selected Tama
Tu (director: Taika Waititi)
to screen on opening night on July 20, 2005, along with the premiere
of Rowan Woods Little Fish. This marks a return to the
Melbourne festival for director Waititi, whose short Two
Cars, One NIght screened on opening night in 2004.
The 15th Message to Man International Documentary, Short and
Animated Film Festival was held June 15 - 22, 2005 in St.
Petersburg, Russia. The program includes an International Competition
and International Debut Competition, and more than 1,000 films
were received from over 57 countries. The Golden Centaur Grand
Prix and US$4,000 for the best festival film was awarded to Fata
Morgana, directed by Anastasia
Lapsui (Nenets) and Markku
Lehmuskallio/Finland. The film has also recently won the Interreligious
Jury Prize at Visions du Reel in Nyon, Switzerland. The film documents
the life and world view of the Chukchi, the indigenous people
of Chukotka, the far northeast corner of Siberia, who are both
coastal hunters of sea mammals and interior reindeer breeders
In April 2005 the 7th annual Method Fest Independent Film
Festival in Los Angeles screened Blackhorse
Lowe's 5th World.
The festival, named for the "Stanislavski Method" which
stresses performances based in natural language and gestures,
focuses on "breakout acting performances of emerging stars
and established actors in story-driven independent films."
The Mill Valley Film Festival was held October 4 - 14,
2007, in Mill Valley, California. One of the features screened
was Native produced, directed and acted, Four
Sheets to the Wind (director: Sterlin
Harjo). Two other films with indigenous themes and participants
were Kiviuq (director: John
Houston), and Luna: Spirit of the Whale (director:
The Mill Valley Film Festival, presented by the California
Film Institute, October 6 - 16, 2005, has selected Trudell,
directed by Heather Rae (Cherokee).
Other works with indigenous themes include Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native Action, a profile of artist James
Luna in Race Is the Place, The Devil's Miner,
and Tropic of Cancer.
The Audience Favorites-Short Documentary selected at the
Moondance International Film Festival, held May 12 - 15,
2005, in Boulder, Colorado, was Steve Bilich's Native New Yorkers**.
The festival program included feature and short films, with workshops
focusing on screen and theatrical writing, music, and issues for
women directors. A special Columbine Award is given by the festival
to a filmmaker whose works depict alternatives to violence as
a means to deal with conflict.
One Night the Moon,
directed by Rachel Perkins, won the 2002 Moondance International
Film Festival best feature film award.
The 2007 Mount Shasta International Film Festival, held
October 12 - 14 in Mount Shasta, California, included two films
with indigenous themes: Nā
Kamalei: The Men of Hula (director: Lisette
Flanary), a documentary about master Robert Cazimero's hula
school for men and Ten Canoes (directors: Rold de Heer
and Peter Djigirr), a feature from Australia with an all-Aboriginal
cast that honors traditional Aboriginal story structure.
The 2006 Mount Shasta International Film Festival took
place October 12 - 14, in Mount Shasta, California. Documentary
screenings included Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native Action, directed by Roberta
The Mount Shasta International Film Festival, held October
7 - 9, 2005, in Mount Shasta and Weed, California, screened about
25 features and award-winning documentaries, including Return
of Navajo Boy (director: Jeff
The Native American Film Festival was presented November
4 - 6, 2006 at the in Columbia, South Carolina. Screenings took
place Nickelodeon Theatre of the Columbia Film Society and the
Columbia Museum of Art. The festival opened with two shorts from
the youth media organization Native Lens, Searching and
Rez Life, followed
by Ben Gluck's Brother Bear 2. Several local filmmakers
participated in the festival, including Sufi Giza, director of
Toledo District: Eco Park, Alicia Woods, director of American
Red & Black of Afro-Native Identity, and Will Goins, producer
of Mending the Circle. Director Charles Thomas presented
Morning Song Way. Other screenings included Bayou Landfall:
the Houma vs. the Hurricanes, directed by Leslye Abbey; Black
Indians: An American Story, directed by Chip Richie; The
New Pequot, directed by Kenneth Simon; Teachings
of the Tree People, directed by Katie
Jennings; and Trespassing,
directed by Carlos DeMenezes. Music videos showcased the songs
of Hovia Edwards, Gilles Sioui, Red Hawk, and XIT.
The Native American Film Series of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, January - July, 2005, presents monthly screenings and a summer exhibit of art and video works by Jonathan Thunder and Missy Whiteman. The films are screened with discussions.
For more information go to www.augsburg.edu/home/ais/filmseries.
On January 13 - 14, 2006, the 2nd annual Native Film Festival
was held at the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) in
Anchorage, Alaska. The festival opened with a performance by the
ANHC Dance Group, and films were accompanied by discussions led
by filmmakers or community members. Speakers included Wampanoag
tribal council member Tobias Vanderhoop, for the screening of
Black Indians: An American Story (director: Chip Richie)
and Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, introducing his films Kinna Nigaqtuqtuaq/The
Snaring Madman and Natchiliag'niaqtuguk Aapagalu/Seal Hunting
with Dad;. Also speaking were Joy
Harjo, co-screenwriter of A
Thousand Roads (director: Chris
Eyre), Laurence Goldin, director of This Land Is Ours,
Gilbert Salas, cinematographer of Trudell
(director: Heather Rae), and Brian
Wescott, co-producer of Christmas
in the Clouds (director: Kate
Native Films at The New School
The Native Spirit Festival was held June 4-9, 2007, in
London, England. The festival showed 37 films about indigenous
issues in the Americas, including A
Thousand Roads, directed by Chris
Eyre for National Museum of the American Indian. The films
represented the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United
States, and Venezuela. Directors in attendance included Phillip
Cox and Valeria Mapelman, directors of We Are the Indians;
Manuel Mayol, director of Switch Off; Silvia Moreira, director
of The Colombian Indigenous Educative Thought Layout; and
Antonio Rosa, director of Not A Game.
Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival 2011
New York Festivals provides international award competitions
in film and video, television, radio, interactive media, and advertising.
In 2005 A Seat at the Table (director: Gary Rhine) was
recognized as a Film and Video Competition Finalist. This
film has screened at the Amnesty International Film Festivals
in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, Artivist Film Festival, Palm
Springs Native American Film Festival, Native Voice Film Festival,
and American Indian Film Festival, and at the Parliament of the
World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain.
In November 2004 the award for Best Social Documentary
was given to Circle of Justice, directed by Brian
J. Francis (Mikmaq), by the New York International Independent
Film and Video Festival. In April 2004 the festival screened
Roderick Pocowachit's feature film Dancing on the Moon.
Presenting six festivals each year in New York, Los Angeles, Miami,
and Las Vegas, the organization bills itself as the largest indie
film festival in the world.
Festival, directed by Marion Cheeks, has been selected
for the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
in New York City, September 18 - 27, 2002. The documentary focuses
on the impact of participation in theater on youth in Innu, Inuit
and Settler communities in Labrador.
NextFest: Digital Motion Picture Festival was held October 14 - 18, 2004 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, featuring screenings and workshops on digital technology with professionals from cinema and television. The 2004 winners included:
Filmmaker Carol Geddes was on the "Directors Panel"
and was also a panelist discussing "Making Multi-Platform
Work." NextFest is hosted by the Saskatchewan Motion Picture
Twenty-four films were presented at the North American First
Nations Film Festival, held November 18 - 28, 2004, in Stuttgart,
Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. The festival features the "best
of" works screened over the past eight years at the American
Indian Film Festival (AIFF) in San Francisco. Organized in cooperation
with AIFF and the Canadian Embassy in Germany, it has received
support from UNESCO, the Linden Museum and James-Byrnes Institute
in Stuttgart, and the North American Native Museum and the Filmpodium
in Zurich. Participants included Michael Smith (Lakota), president
of the American Indian Film Institute (AIFI); actress Alex
Rice (Mohawk); singer Tamara Podemski (Salteaux), and filmmakers
Dan Golding (Quechan) and James Kinistino (Salteaux). Jennifer
Podemski (Saulteaux) led a workshop for teachers, "Native
Americans and First Natons: Cultural Integration of a Minority"
in Stuttgart. The festival was coordinated by Gunter Lange, an
associate with AIFF.
The 2007 North American Native Film Festival: Indianer, Inuit
took place March 21-25, 2007, in Stuttgart, Germany. The festival
included a retrospective of 11 works featuring Canadian actress
Tantoo Cardinal. Older selections
in the retrospective included Black Robe, directed by Bruce
Beresford, and Where the Rivers Flow North, directed by
John Craven. New films with performances by Cardinal included
Indian Summer - The Oka Crisis, directed by Gil
Cardinal, and Unnatural & Accidental, directed
by Carl Bessai. 26 other films screened in the festival, including
the short music video La
Cumbia del Mole, directed by Lila
Downs and Johnny Moreno;
the feature Expiration Date, directed by Rick Stevenson;
and the documentary Trespassing,
directed by Carlos DeMenezes.
Festival participants gave several presentations at the Linden
Museum, including a hoop dance performance by Steve LaRance and
Nakotah LaRance. Joy Harjo gave
a musical performance at the citys German-American Center.
The National Screen Institute-Canada has announced that the NSI Film Exchange, its film festival in Winnipeg, is retiring after a successful 9-year run and will not be produced in 2008. The popular SnowScreen evening that traditionally opened the festival-where animated shorts are projected for the general public on an outdoor movie screen made of snow-will continue as a hallmark Winnipeg event, accompanied by an industry reception one of several such receptions being organized regionally by NSI. In 2008 NSI will expand its production and training programs with two new Web-based initiatives.
One of NSI's highly successful programs has been the First
Stories initiative, led by Lisa Meeches, for emerging First
Nations directors to develop 5-minute documentaries. At NSI Film
Exchange, March 1 - 3, 2006, works from First Stories-Manitoba
Ross (director: Ervin
Nde'ing (I Keep Them in My Heart) (director Shannon
Indian Name (director: Darryl
Nepinak), and Apples
and Indians (director: Lorne
Olsen). On February 28 - March 3, 2007, works from First Stories-Saskatchewan
premiered: Power Center of a Horse (director Cory
Generoux), Lifegivers: Honouring our Elders and Children
(director: Janine Windolph), O Mother Where Art Thou?
(director: Paul John Swiderski) and ata-wîhcasin
(It's Getting Easier) (director Teresa Desnomi). For more
information go to www.nsi-canada.ca.
The 7th annual NSI FilmExchange Canadian Film Festival,
produced by the National Screen Institute, was held March 2- 5,
2005 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Opening Night featured SnowScreen,
with approximately 800 people seeing the latest National Film
Board animated shorts and two world premiere NSI ZeD Drama Prize
films projected on a screen carved from snow. This year's festival
hosted delegates from Australia and New Zealand part of the NSI
Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative (ACTI), a program with
the goal of creating film and television co-productions between
First Nations, Maori, and indigenous Australian producers. Outdoor
clothing was provided by Roots Canada to help the delegates prepare
for the chilly temperatures outside. ACTI participant, actor and
producer Cliff Curtis (Maori), star of the international hits
Whale Rider and Once
Were Warriors, served as the festival's keynote speaker.
Photophobia 7 Contemporary Format Film and Video Screening
The 3rd Premios del Publico/People's Awards International
Short Film Festival, held in June 2005 in Quito, Ecuador,
screened 51 short films from ten countries in Europe, Asia and
the Americas. The festival is a project of Quito-based Octaedro
Foundation. The Best Documentary Award was given to Carnaval
Intercultural Kuski Raymi 2005 by Ecuadorian filmmaker Franklin
The Provincetown Film Festival, held June 13 - 17, 2007,
in the seaside town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, screened approximately
50 short and feature films. These included two Native directed
features, Miss Navajo
(director: Billy Luther) and
to the Wind (director: Sterlin
Harjo). A short film, Sovereign Nation/Sovereign Neighbor
(director: Kendall Moore), about the Narragansett tribe of Rhode
Island, was also screened. For more information go to http://ptownfilmfest.bside.com.
Rencontres Cinematographique de Digne-les-Bains
Reel to Real International Film Festival for Youth
In Vancouver, British Columbia, the Reel 2 Real International
Film Festival for Youth took place February 23 - March 2,
2007. Short works by Native directors included Kaka'Win
(director Leah Nelson), Raven Tales: Bald Eagle (directors
Chris Kientz and Caleb Hystad),
and Wapos Bay: Journey Through Fear (director: Melanie
Jackson). A feature with Native themes shows was Luna:
The Way Home (director: Don McBrearty)
Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth was
held March 1 - 10, 2005 in Vancouver. A team of media professionals
and youth selected 35 films from more than 100 submissions. Among
the awards, the National Film Board of Canada prize for Best
Animation was won by Raven
Tales (directors: Chris
Kientz and Simon James).
On March 2, First Nations Day, First Nations films for students
with accompanying media studies workshops included Raven Tales
and Two Winters: Tales
From Above the Earth (director: Carol
Geddes). Other works screened were Inuuvunga, I am Inuk,
I am Alive (producer: Pierre Lapointe) and Team Spirit:
The Jordin and Terence Tootoo Story (producer: Ken Malenstyn).
Weird Sex and Snowshoes, a fresh and funny documentary
about Canadian cinema, had clips and interviews with celebrated
Canadian directors including Zacharias
At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Homeland:
Four Portraits of Native American Action (director: Roberta
Grossman) won both the Award for Documentary Film and
the Audience Award for Documentary Film. Produced by Katahdin
Productions, the feature-length film presents cases of environmental
destruction on Native lands through the eyes of Native activists
Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe), Evon Peter (Gwich'in), Gail Small (Northern
Cheyenne), Mitchell and Rita Capitan (Navajo), and Barry Dana
The 4th annual Silverdocs: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary
Festival was held June 14 - 19, 2005, at the AFI Silver Theatre
and Cultural Center in Silver Springs, Maryland. One Native American
work was screened, Trudell
(director: Heather Rae), about
activist and spoken word artist John
Trudell. Of additional interest was Being Caribou,
a documentary of a 5-month 1000-mile journey following the Porcupine
Caribou herd's migration to their calving grounds in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
The 5th Sin Fronteras Film Festival was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 20, 21, and 28, 2007. The festival screens works about Latin American and indigenous peoples. The 2007 festival was coordinated by Yvette Morales, of the University of New Mexico's Student Organization for Latin American Studies. Screenings were held at Out Ch'Yonda, a studio space in the Barelas neighborhood south of Downtown, and the Lobo Theater near the university.
Works by indigenous directors included:
Other works with indigenous themes included Buffy Saint
Marie (director: Joan Prowse), Class Clown
(director: Roseanne Archibald), Hombres
y Mujeres Ikoots (director: Guillermo
Vuh (director: Ana
María Pavez), and Hapunda
(director: Dominique Jonard).
Stories-n-Motion Film Festival was held March 9 - 11,
2006 at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.
Wes Studi (Cherokee) and Gary
Farmer (Cayuga) led workshops on their work. Productions screened
included: In Whose Honor? American Indian Mascots in Sports
(director: Jay Rosenstein), One Dead Indian (director:
Tim Southam) and Trudell
(director: Heather Rae).
The inaugural Stories-n-Motion Film Festival,
organized March 31 - April 2, 2005, at Haskell Indian Nations
University, in Lawrence, Kansas, screened 22 films. Highlights
of the event were three feature films, introduced by their directors:
Black Cloud (director:
Rick Schroder), American
Indian Graffiti (directors: Tvli Jacob and Steve Judd), and
Dancing on the Moon (director: Rod Pocowatchit).
The inaugural Sweet Grass Cinema Native Film Festival,
held September 14 - 16, 2005, at Northern Michigan University
in Marquette, screened feature films including Edge
of America, Black
Cloud, American Indian Graffiti, A
Thousand Roads, and The
Doe Boy. Among the documentaries and fiction shorts programmed
were Goodnight, Irene
(director: Sterlin Harjo), and
Tattoo on My Heart (directors: Charles Abourezk and Brett
Lawlor). The events included dialogues between the filmmakers,
panel discussions, and workshops on Native cinema. Brent Michael
Davids, a noted Mohegan composer, discussed the musical score
of Last of the Mohicans (director: Michael Mann) and offered
an alternative score.
The 2nd SWIFT/Southwest Indian Film Theater festival,
programmed by Tazbah McCullah, was held August 12 - 14, 2005 at
the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The feature film Don't
Call Me Tonto (director: Annie
Frazier Henry) and several short works were screened in cooperation
with the 2005 Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe. Directors participating
were Shonie De La Rosa, introducing several of his productions,
and Nanobah Becker, director
of Flat. Other short works
included Yada Yada
(director: Bennie Klain) and
Plastic Warriors (director: Amy Tall Chief).
The Sydney Film Festival, held in Sydney, Australia in
June 2005, has recognized the short film Green
Bush (director: Warwick
Thornton). The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films that
it received were the Best Film over 15 Minutes, and the coveted
Rouben Mamoulian Award which is selected from the 17 festival
short film finalists by a panel of the festival's guests.
On September 22, 2007, the Tamejavi Cultural Festival: Hands that Forge History, held in Fresno, California, focuses on the traditions, struggles, and contributions of the California Central Valley's immigrants and Native peoples. Films screened were Hmong, Latino. Mexican and Native American, including the feature El Violín (director: Francisco Vargas Quevedo), the story of an old musician from an impoverished community in Guerrero faced with the encroachment of the Mexican military, and Native American and indigenous short films from Mexico and the United States followed by a Q&A with Cedar Sherbert (Kumeyaay) whose short film Gesture Down (I Don't Sing) was part of the program.
For more information go to www.tamejavi.org
and click on "Film Series" at the bottom of the screen.
The 4th annual Tribeca Film Festival, held April 19 - May 1, 2005, featured Trudell (director: Heather Rae), screened in association with NMAI's At the Movies cinema series in New York, with the director, producer, members of the crew, and activist and poet John Trudell present to talk about the work with audiences. Goodnight Irene (director: Sterlin Harjo) was screened in the "Scenic Overlook" program.
Tribeca All Access Connects, a directors/producers and
scriptwriters workshop held during the festival, invited several
Native American filmmakers to participate, Randy
Redroad, Yvonne Russo, and
Billy Luther. The workshop includes half-hour sessions arranged
with some of the more than 100 film professionals participating.
John Trudell served as a juror in the TAA Creative Promise Awards
The 11th Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival (VIFVF) was held March 4 - 13, 2005, in Victoria, British Columbia. Short works screened included:
Raven Tales was selected for VIFVF's Jumpcuts: A Festival
for Young Filmmakers presented in Victoria on July 23 - 24,
The VisionMaker Film Festival, formerly the Flatwater
Film Festival, was held November 16 - 29, 2007 in Lincoln, Nebraska,
co-sponsored by Native American Public Telecommunications and
the Ross Media Arts Center, in collaboration with Lincoln's Indian
Center, the University of Nebraska, and other venues. The program
featured 12 feature films and 11 short works. Participating filmmakers
included Chris Eyre, Sterlin
Harjo, Bennie Klain, and
J. Carlos Peinado who screened
their recent works. The program was curated by Chris Eyre, Bird
Runningwater, Danny Ladely, and NAPT's Shirley Sneve and Penny
Costello. For more information go to www.nativetelecom.org/festival/
The Winnipeg International Film Festival, June 1 - 9,
2007, featured three films with indigenous subjects. Expiration
Date (director: Rick Stevenson) is a romantic comedy about
Charlie Silvercloud III, as he faces a predicted tragedy on his
25th birthday, the story told by Ned Romero, as an elderly Indian
on the reservation, to a teen trying to leave, played by Nakotah
Larrance. The documentary Dream Makers (director: Susan
Cardinal) addresses the reality of "being Indian" in
the make-believe world of film and TV. Somba Ke: The Money
Place (director: David Henningson) is about the mining of
uranium in northern Canada and its impact on the Sahtu Dene community.
The Women of Color Film and Video Festival, organized
by the Women of Color Research Cluster at the University of California
at Santa Cruz, was held April 23 - 26, 2005. This year's event
was entitled "Disrupting Borders: Seeing Silences and Imagining
Trans-Formations." Among the Native American works screened
were Plastic Warriors (director: Amy Tall Chief) on current
American Indian stereotypes, The Border Crossed (director:
Rachael J. Nez) on the impact on the Tohono O'odham of the Mexican/US
border patrol, and Century of Genocide in the Americas: The
Residential School Experience (director: Rosemary Gibbons).
In its 10th year, the 2005 Women of Color Film Festival,
organized by the Women of Color Film Project at the University
of California at Berkeley, was screened at the Pacific Film Archives
in Berkeley, March 2 - 6, and at the San Francisco Cinematheque
on March 13. Works selected included Prayer for a Good Day
(director: Zoe Leigh Hopkins).
On November 14 - 16, 2002 the Ullusintem Yi Skwansixtixtet/Gathering
Our Images opened with the screening of Sherman Alexie's The
Business of Fancy Dancing. The event provided a 3-day
series of professional development workshops for emerging media
artists from the province, was organized by the ULLUS Collective
of independent media artists and IASO/Indigenous Arts Service
Organization and held in Penticton, British Columbia at the En'owkin
Centre. Tina House (Metis) conducted an all-day workshop for youth
in theater and video production. Industry panels included "Cultural
Diversity and Inclusion within the 500 Channel Universe."
Rocks with Wings,
directed by Rick Derby, received the HBO Documentary Feature prize
at the 2002 UrbanWorld Film Festival in New York and the
Rigoberta Menchu Tum 2nd Prize for Community Media at Montreal's
First Peoples' Festival. The film follows the story of the championship
Navajo women's basketball team. It has been featured at numerous
festivals including Naal Kid, Native
Cinema Showcase and Taos Talking Pictures.
Zion Independent Film Festival (name changed to Red
Rock Film Festival of Zion Canyon in 2007), held November
10 - 13, at Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, included four
Native American films in its "Cinema Kokopelli" section.
Spirit Riders (director: James Kleinert) won Best Documentary
Feature. Other Native films screened were 5th
World (director: Larry Blackhorse
Lowe), Healing Our Spirits (directors: Lexie Tom and
Michael Shephard) and Afkeme 1345 (director: Shonie De
In the New York Theaters
** indicates that a short description of the film can be found in the PDFs of titles screened at the 1995, 1997 and 2000 Native American Film and Video Festivals. To open the PDF sorted by title, enter here.
Image credit: Carlos Efraín Pérez being interviewed by Marcelino Pinto, 2000 Native American Film and Video Festival - Photograph by Amalia Cordova, NMAI
copyright 2004, Smithsonian Institution