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Native Cinema Showcase at the Santa Fe Indian Market: 'My Louisiana Love,' 'Run to the East,' 'Mesnak'

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The Native Cinema Showcase runs from August 13-19 in Santa Fe, NM, concurrent with the flurry of arts activity known as Santa Fe Indian Market week, which culminates in the massive Santa Fe Indian Market on August 18 and 19.

The Showcase features some of today's best and most interesting Native filmmaking; auteurs include the young and the old, and productions range from just a few minutes to feature-length works.

You may not be able to attend the screenings in Santa Fe, but here at we're bringing you some flavor of what you might see; the Native Cinema Showcase in miniature. Each day, we're showing trailers from the films on offer and, in some cases, the complete clips.

Below are today's offerings, with some information provided by the Native Cinema Showcase. Pop some popcorn, turn off all cell phones, sit back and enjoy!

Sunday, August 19

My Louisiana Love (US, 2012, 64 min.)


Director: Sharon Linezo Hong. Producers/Writers: Sharon Linezo Hong and Monique Verdin (Houma)

Monique Verdin returns to southeast Louisiana to reunite with her family and quickly realizes that the Houma people's traditional way of life—fishing, trapping and hunting in these fragile wetlands--is being threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil leak are just the latest rounds in this century-old cycle that is forcing Monique's clan to adapt in new ways. Monique must overcome the loss of her house, her father and her partner—and redefine the meaning of home.

Sharon Linezo Hong has completed several short personal and industrial films. Her passion for films grew in part from her experience working as a cooperative member of San Francisco's Red Vic Movie House. Hong was raised in a small town along Florida's Gulf Coast and studied film at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. My Louisiana Love is her first full-length documentary.

Monique Verdin (Houma) is a native of southeast Louisiana. Her photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is included in The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous (Yale University Press, 2008) and Nonesuch Records' Habitat for Humanity benefit album, Our New Orleans (2005). My Louisiana Love is her first documentary video project.

Preceded by: "Handmade Portraits: The Bone Carver" and "Handmade Portraits: Mabel Pike" (US, 2012, 4 min. each)


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Director: Tara Young

In short films made for the online craft market Etsy, the filmmaker profiles the Iñupiat carver Sylvester Ayek and the Tlingit beadworker Mabel Pike.

Run to the East (US, 2011, 87 min.)


Director: Henry Lu

Run to the East follows three Native American highschoolers through their senior year. Chantel "Tails" Hunt (Navajo), Thomas Martinez (Navajo) and Dillon Shije (Zia Pueblo) have overcome every obstacle in their personal lives and in their communities to become elite cross country runners, and all three are determined to succeed. Through the year's track meets they compete against runners from more privileged schools as they vie for college scholarships and a chance to explore opportunities off the rez.

Henry Lu is a filmmaker with Moxie Pictures in New York. He has directed short films set in Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tokyo that have played at film festivals including Sundance, Mill Valley, Sydney, and the Worldwide Short film festival in Toronto. Run to the East is Lu's first feature-length film.

Mesnak (Canada, 2011, 96 min.)

Director: Yves Sioui Durand (Huron-Wendot). Producer: Ian Boyd
When he unexpectedly receives a photo of his birth mother, young actor Dave Brodeur (Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles) leaves Montreal and his repertory work on Shakespeare's Hamlet for the desolate reserve community of Kinogamish, in search of his Native history and culture. He finds his mother is on the verge of marrying the town's chief (and fellow recovering alcoholic), who is basking in the proceeds from a logging deal. With the help of a local sage and friend of Dave's long-dead father, Dave uncovers secrets that destabilize the town's balance of power and explain his own past. World premiere at 2011 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. For mature audiences.

Yves Sioui Durand (Huron-Wendot) is a writer, actor and theater director who hasdeveloped a unique body of indigenous work. In 1985 he co-founded Odinnok, the first Aboriginal French-language theater in Quebec. He has also produced twelve teleplays for Radio-Canada. Mesnak, his first feature film, is based on his 2004 theatrical play, Hamlet, Le Malécite.

Preceded by: "Reviens Moi" (US, 2012, 11 min.)

Director: Tracy Rector (Seminole)

Memories from the past ignite a young man's yearning for his childhood sweetheart.

Tracy Rector(Seminole) is the executive director and co-founder of Longhouse Media and its youth media project, Native Lens. She also runs Longhouse's annual youth filmmaking workshop, SuperFly. She is a Native education specialist and in 2008, received Antioch University's Horace Mann Award for her work in empowering Native youth.