'Drunktown' and 'Rhymes' Rule American Indian Film Festival Awards

Two edgy films about Natives -- ones set in Gallup, NM, and another on a Canadian reserve -- won major awards at the American Indian Film Festival.
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Two highly acclaimed films by and about Natives split most of the major honors at the American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show, the finale of the 39th annual American Indian Film Festival, held on Sunday in San Francisco. Drunktown's Finest, directed by Sydney Freeland, won Best Film, with cast members Morningstar Angeline and Richard Ray Whitman picking up awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Jeff Barnaby was hailed as Best Director for Rhymes for Young Ghouls, and Glen Gould won Best Actor for his work on the film. Rounding out the dramatic feature awards was the Best Actress prize, which went to Cara Gee for her performance in Empire of Dirt.

American Indian Film Festival poster by Steven Paul Judd.

The awards show was hosted by Tonantzin Carmelo and Eddie Spears, and included performaces by Keith Secola, Jana Mashonee, Inez Jasper, and Doc and Spencer Battiest, among others. The poster, a tribute to Native women in film, including late actress Misty Upham, was created by Steven Paul Judd.

Here's the full list of winners:

BEST FILM:

Drunktown’s Finest
Sydney Freeland, Dir.

BEST DIRECTOR:

Jeff Barnaby
Rhymes for Young Ghouls

BEST ACTOR:

Glen Gould
Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Glen Gould of 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls.' Image source: facebook.com/pages/Glen-Gould

BEST ACTRESS:

Cara Gee
Empire of Dirt

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Richard Ray Whitman
Drunktown’s Finest

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Morningstar Angeline
Drunktown’s Finest

Morningstar Angeline of 'Drunktown's Finest' holds her Best Supporting Actress award and the movie's Best Film award. Image source: twitter.com/starshinegypsy

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

This May Be the Last Time
Sterlin Harjo, Dir.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

"Spirit in Glass"
Penny Phillips, Dir.

BEST LIVE SHORT:

"Istinma: To Rest"
Andres Torres-Vives, Dir.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO:

"We Shall Remain"
The Stylehorse Collective, Dir.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

"Frontera! Revolt and Rebellion on the Rio Grande"
John Jota Leanos, Dir.

BEST PUBLIC SERVICE:

"First Language: The Race to Save Cherokee"
Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan, Directors

EAGLE SPIRIT AWARD RECIPIENTS:

LaDonna Harris, Outstanding Service to American Indian communities

Hank Adams, Outstanding Contributions in Fishing Rights and Environmental Activism