FILM: Films by and about Native women, and about the movement of Native peoples across the Americas are among those to screen at 2011 Native American Film + Video Festival

Posted on January 14th, 2011 by americanindiannews in Recent News

New York—The 2011 Native American Film + Video Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York will bring an indigenous hemisphere together from March 31-April 3, at a free festival that celebrates the diversity and expression of contemporary Native filmmaking.

Courtesy of Sande Zeig - “Apache 8: The Movie,” about an all-Native woman wildland fire-fighting crew, will premiere at the Film + Video Festival in New York at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. It was directed by Sande Zeig.

“The festival brings you Native storytelling at its best—wrenching at times, touching, risky, ironic, hilarious and experimental,” said Elizabeth Weatherford, director of the museum’s Film and Video Center, which puts on this biennial event.

The festival attracts filmmakers from Native communities across the Western Hemisphere, and offers them training workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. Weatherford is proud that many a professional connection has been made at this festival, generating new works.

“This festival will have the largest representation of Native women filmmakers, and many films of the last two years address the stories of Native peoples immigrating and immigration,” Weatherford said.

A movie that will make its premiere at the festival is “Apache 8” by Sande Zeig, about an all-woman Apache wildland fire-fighting crew that has worked together for 22 years. Zeig said that all the firefighters would attend the festival, which she said was the best venue for the movie’s world premiere.

“The Native American Film + Video Festival is the preeminent Native American film festival in the United States. I have been a supporter and fan since the early ‘80s,” Zeig said. “We are honored to have been chosen.”

Courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

The festival predates even the National Museum of the American Indian by 10 years, having started at its predecessor, the Museum of the American Indian in New York. When it started in 1979, only 10 percent of the films were by Native filmmakers, but 32 years later, 95 percent are Native-made. And the diversity among Native filmmakers is great.

Four groups of tribal youth filmmakers plan to attend the festival, including Camille Manybeads Tso, 15, a Navajo who wrote and directed a 20-minute short as a 13-year-old eighth-grader, “In the Footsteps of Yellow Woman,” which is all in her tribal language. The center became aware of Tso after she wrote a letter explaining the needs of her school near Flagstaff, Ariz.

One of the distinctions of the Film + Video Festival is that a four-person panel, drawn from the ranks of indigenous filmmakers, selects the films that will be screened from those submitted. As a result of this process, the films chosen represent a wide range of Native film making. And the festival isn’t driven by awards; and it doesn’t give any.

Instead, it is driven by what Weatherford calls the “creative energy” of indigenous directors, producers and creators. People involved in the films that will be screened come from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Suriname and the United States. Many of the films are short documentaries of the kind that often air on PBS, while the feature-length films that will travel a circuit of festivals and art-house theaters after their premiere.

Some of the celebrated films scheduled for this festival include, “La Pequeña Semilla en el Asfalto” (The Little Seed in the Asphalt) by director Pedro Daniel López, Tzotzil. It features four Native people from the Mexican state of Chiapas who have moved to the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas to attend school, and their reactions to the prejudice they face as indigenous youth.

Others include “Kissed by Lightening,” the debut film by Shelley Niro, who is Mohawk, and co-produced by Annie Frazier Henry, who is Blackfoot and Sioux. The 2009 film is inspired by an ancient Iroquois story about an artist who in grief immerses herself in her painting only to realize that she has to let go and move on. The film is set in the contemporary on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. “Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian” by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond documents the portrayal of North American Natives in a century of cinema. Another, the horror film, “File under Miscellaneous” by Jeff Barnaby, who is Mi’gMaq, is about a Mi’gMaq man who wants to be white. 

For more information about the 2011 Film + Video Festival visit, www.nativenetworks.si.edu/eng/blue/nafvf_11.html

—–

By Kara Briggs
American Indian News Service

Download this article as a Word document.

Comments are closed.

More News

Recipes

FOOD: Let’s eat: The executive chef of the Mitsitam Cafe whips up a cookbook

FOOD: Let’s eat: The executive chef of the Mitsitam Cafe whips up a cookbook

Washington, D.C.—Chocolate, chiles, tomatoes, blueberries and corn are just a ...

RECIPE: Mitsitam Cafe buffalo and duck burger

Buffalo and duck burger topped with roasted pepper, Dijonaise sauce ...

RECIPE: Mitsitam Cafe’s Mexican hot chocolate warms up cool summer nights

When the summer sun gives way to cool nights, chef ...

RECIPE: As cherries blossom, a taste of summer

Cherries pair with the earth and sea in this favorite ...

RECIPE: Chocolate’s indigenous history makes spicy tale

Washington—Chocolate is a flavor as old and varied as the ...

Readers' Favorites

CULTURE: Children step up as culture-bearers

CULTURE: Children step up as culture-bearers

Washington, D.C.—Kelly Church, a weaver of black ash baskets, is ...

EXHIBITION: Quileute separate fact from fiction for ‘Twilight’ fans

Seattle, Wash.—The Seattle Art Museum opened an exhibition of some ...

ART: One man’s interest helps save ancient art

Dennis White, 63, an Ojibwe mathematics scholar from the Lac ...

ARTS: Jungen’s farfetched animals stretch the imagination

Washington—Artist Brian Jungen’s oversized animals have invaded the Smithsonian’s National ...

Music

MUSIC: Nakai expands the language of Native American music

MUSIC: Nakai expands the language of Native American music

R. Carlos Nakai’s new album “Dancing into Silence,” (with William ...

MUSIC: Sky’s the limit for blues musician Derek Miller

Washington, D.C.—Derek Miller stepped onto an international stage in early ...

MUSIC: Jazz sax in a Native key

New York—Cherokee saxophone player and bandleader Sharel Cassity has a ...

MUSIC: Native American school band rocks the oldies – and the ancients

Ten years ago Kim Cournoyer answered an ad seeking a ...

MUSIC: Roots of the blues go deep into shared Native and African American history

Jimi Hendrix meteorically rose to rock-and-roll fame playing, smashing and ...

People

PEOPLE: Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010)

PEOPLE: Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010)

Washington, D.C.—Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, longtime champion of American Indian civil rights, ...

MOVIES: Big and blue, ‘Avatar’ with Wes Studi comes to DVD

Cherokee movie star Wes Studi is no stranger to standing ...

Movies: Native film star tells of his hero’s journey, on and offscreen

For Wes Studi, playing a character confronting colonial powers while ...

People: Unsung hero has a million books he’d like you to check out

Irving Nelson has had a desk in the director’s office ...

Museum: Seeds of understanding accompany interns into wider fields of work

Washington, D.C.— As the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American ...

Online Exhibitions

ARTS: Animal images tell visual story of boys in trouble

ARTS: Animal images tell visual story of boys in trouble

Rick Bartow’s sculpture “From the Mad River to the Little ...

Exhibition: “A Song for the Horse Nation” gallops into museum and onto the

The exhibition “A Song for the Horse Nation” recently made ...

Fritz Scholder continues to stir, stretch boundaries of Indian art

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian recently held ...

U.S. Postal Service delivers a tiny timeline of Native America

Washington—Stamps have carried art portraying Native Americans all over the ...