Sky Hopinka's 'maɬni — towards the ocean, towards' headlines 3rd Annual Lumbee Film Festival Online

(Image: Samantha Borges, Unsplash)

Press Pool

Festival scheduled July 1 through July 5

News Release

Cucalorus Film Foundation; Lumbee Film Festival

Seventeen films directed by indigenous filmmakers have been chosen for the , taking place online from July 1-5. The festival is organized through a partnership between the Lumbee Tribe and the Cucalorus Film Foundation with the goal of showcasing films made by American Indians while raising awareness about the legacy of indigenous artists, especially those working in the Southeastern United States and creating a platform for emerging Native artists.

Sky Hopinka's 'maɬni - towards the ocean, towards' takes home this year's Grand Prize for Best Feature and will screen on the closing night of the festival - July 5 at 6 p.m. EDT. This mesmerizing feature weaves together the stories of Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier as they contemplate the afterlife, rebirth and the places in-between. Spoken mostly in chinuk wawa, their stories are departures from the Chinookan origin of death myth, with its distant beginning and circular shape. An intense attention to detail punctuates Hopinka's masterful and poetic journey, one that captures the timeless beauty of our natural world.

"It is beautiful to see ourselves in resistance to the attempts to make us invisible. The festival helps make us visible to ourselves and to others through the arts. It is important for us to have our own representation and tell our own stories," said Festival Director Kim Pevia.

Festival schedule:

Wednesday, July 1 @ 8 p.m. / Shorts Block: YOUTH MAKING THEIR WAY

"Keep My Memory" by Alexis Raeana Jones & Matthew Ruprich (Lumbee)

Native and American by Brit & Taylor Hensel (Cherokee)

Hard Learning by Daniel Fortin (mikmaq)

Little Chief by Erica Tremblay (Seneca-Cayuga)

Puktew Muin (Fire Bear) by Daniel Fortin (mikmaq)

Thursday, July 2 @ 8 p.m. / Shorts Block: STORIES WE TELL

Totems by Justin Deegan (Arikara, Sioux, Oglala, Hunkpapa)

The House Tour by Evan Ramseur (Lumbee)

You Love Who You Love by Ryan Craig (Yakama) & Javier Morin, Jr

Jhana by Evan Ramseur (Lumbee)

Portrait Of An Artist by Evan Ramseur (Lumbee)

Caenis or Caeneus? By Keith Carter (Coharie)

Friday, July 3 @ 8 p.m. / Shorts Block: THE PAST ENSURES OUR FUTURE

Now Is the Time by Christopher Auchter (Haida)

Zibi Yajdan / The River Tells It by Brit & Taylor Hensel (Cherokee)

Weaving our paths by Cledson Kanunxi & Jackson Xinunxi e Marta Tipuici (Manoki)

SKY AELANS (Sky Islands)* by Edward Manuga, Georgianna Lepping, Jeremy Gwao, Regina Lepping, Zahiyd Namo, Junior Patrick Makau, Manner Levo, Neil Nuia, Daniel Kakadi (Solomon Islanders)

Saturday, July 4 @ 8 p.m.

Another Scar of Genocide: Diabetes in Indian Country by Justin Deegan (Arikara, Sioux, Oglala, Hunkpapa)

Sunday, July 5 @ 6 p.m. / Closing NIght Film

maɬni  towards the ocean, towards the shore by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)

To read more about the films and to register for the online festival, head to

The Lumbee Film Festival is a partnership between the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Cucalorus Film Foundation, ARRAY, SouthArts, and the North Carolina Arts Council.

About Cucalorus:

Cucalorus is a community building organization that connects visionary leaders in film, performance and technology. We support the creation of new work and the development of new ideas through festivals, residencies, funding and education. The 26th annual Cucalorus Festival takes place November 11-15, 2020 in historic downtown Wilmington, NC. Cucalorus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that relies on funds from individuals, businesses, and grants to fund its annual celebration. For more information on Cucalorus visit

Cucalorus Film Foundation - logo
(Image: Cucalorus Film Foundation)