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September 5

The day was selected in honor of the Aymara warrior Bartolina Isa who in 1780, along with her husband Tupac Katari, led an important part of the Aymara-Quechua rebellion against the exploitation and abuse of Spanish colonizers in Peru. See this from Cultural Survival.


3rd Sarasota Native American Film Festival

September 9 - 15. Free. Hybrid. September 9 -10: In-person at the New College of Florida in Sarasota. September 9 - 15: Online

Showcasing a diverse program, presented both in-person and online, this year’s SNAFF features more than 25 films and experiences focused on Native American art and music, the history and culture of the Seminole Tribe in Florida, as well as the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The live program has been announced with additional information about the virtual festival still to come. The festival is produced by the Sarasota Film Festival and the Boxser Diversity Initiative, in collaboration with the Native Reel Cinema Festival.

Among the films are Rez Metal, the story of a Navajo heavy metal band, as well as Seven Ridges, the first feature drama ever to be produced in the Seri language, and Changer: A Hand Telling – an innovative film with deaf Native storytellers performing the Salish origin stories. Other programming highlights are feature documentaries Bring Her Home and Somebody’s Daughter about the plight of missing and murdered indigenous women, and Modoc Nation: An Untold Story of Survival – the tragic and inspiring story of the Modoc people. Rounding out the program are outstanding short films from the 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour.

The festival’s live events spotlight a performance by Seminole musician Doc Native, an MTV VMA Award winner, writer, producer and rapper, as well as live painting by Seminole artist Wilson Bowers.

Conversations include a talk with Shaandiin Tome, an award-winning Diné filmmaker whose films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. She’s one of Marie Claire’s Top 21 Creators to Watch in 2022. Also notable is the panel on the history of the Seminole Tribe with Everett Osceola, filmmaker and founder of the Native Reel Cinema Festival, and Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology at New College.

In US theaters
El Gran Movimiento

September 11 - 21. Tickets. In-person in Nashville, Boulder, Oklahoma City and Portland, Maine

El Gran Movimiento Narrative feature. Bolivia/France/Qatar/Switzerland. Kiro Russo. In Spanish with English subtitles. Set in the alternately harsh and beautiful terrain of La Paz, Bolivia and its surrounding rural areas, the filmfollows a young miner as he looks for work alongside his friends, even as he begins to descend into a mysterious sickness. An elderly woman known as Mama Pancha sends him to Max, a mysterious man who resides in the rainforest and occasionally heads to La Paz for work as a street performer. To save Elder, Max performs a series of shamanic rituals that slowly brings the young man back to life.

El Gran Movimiento Is a Masterful Portrait of Capitalism at Work,” by Eli Rudovsky in The Nation, August 25, 2022. 

El Gran Movimiento: Subsistence and the City” by Ben Kenigsberg in the New York Times, August 11, 2022 

Brooklyn Academy of Music/Rolex Arts Weekend
Lakota + Spirits

Saturday, September 10, 5 pm. Tickets. In-person at BAM in Brooklyn, NY

In a special screening Kyle Bell presents two short films and works in development reflecting upon experiences in the Native community, followed by a conversation between Bell and Spike Lee, moderated by Bird Runningwater. Ticket sales support BAM’s Brooklyn Interns for Arts and Culture Program.

Lakota, profiles a young woman grappling with mental health issues within her family
Spirits, a story of a Mvskoke Creek youth troubled by what he must leave behind to pursue his dream of playing college basketball. Supported by Sundance Institute Indignous Program.

47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

September 8 – September 18. Tickets. Hybrid. September 8 - 11: In-person in Toronto. Starting September 13: Selections online across Canada

The Toronto International Film Festival returns for 11 days of international and Canadian cinema, special events featuring some of the biggest names in film, and TIFF’s Industry Conference, offering diverse and innovative perspectives on the art and business of film. Digital screenings are available across Canada from digital TIFF Bell Lightbox and begin on September 13 with six new films available to watch each day starting at 10 am EDT. These include two Indigenous titles, joining another title already available through Bell Lightbox. The panel on Narrative Sovereignty in the Industry Conference has made some spaces available for the general public.

In-person and online in Canada

September 13. Ever Deadly Documentary feature. Canada. Tanya Tagaq (Inuit), Chelsea McMullan. In English and Inuktitut. Ever Deadly is a thrilling glimpse into the life and sounds of Polaris Music Prize– and Juno Award–winning artist (and co-director of this film) Tanya Tagaq. The feature documentary, a collaboration between Tagaq and award-winning director Chelsea McMullan, offers a slice of life and performance from the experimental Inuk throat singer. From the first extended shot, a close-up of throat singing Tagaq and performance artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory on location in Nunavut, Ever Deadly focuses on what is important to Tagaq: nuna (land) and music.

September 15. We Are Still Here Australia, New Zealand. Beck Cole (Warumungu, Luritja), Dena Curtis (Warumungu, Warlpiri, Arrernte), Tracey Rigney (Wotjobaluk, Ngarrindjeri), Danielle MacLean (Warumungu, Luritja), Tim Worrall (Ngāi Tūhoe), Renae Maihi (Māori), Miki Magasiva (Samoan), Mario Gaoa (Samoan), Richard Curtis (Ngāti Rongomai, Ngāti Pikiao), Chantelle Burgoyne (Samoan descent). In Māori, Arrernte, Samoan, Turkish, English. We Are Still Here is the collective work of 10 Indigenous filmmakers from Australia, Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Pasifika (the Pacific Islander nations of Sāmoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Tuvalu, and some smaller domains) who share an octet of stories resonating with the rich, complex histories and present realities of their region. Created as a cinematic response to the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s uninvited arrival in the South Pacific, the film is both a stirring response to a colonial icon’s harmful legacy and a strong statement of Indigenous resilience and vitality in the face of persistent oppression.

Also online in Canada - from TIFF Next Wave Film Festival (April 2022)

Slash/Back Narrative feature. Canada. Nyla Innuksuk (Inuit). In English

The debut feature from Iqaluit-raised director Nyla Innuksuk, Slash/Back packs a vivid and thrilling punch, as a girl gang in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, is left to fight off a supernatural apocalypse. Employing strategies from their favorite horror movies, weapons from their kitchens, and power from their friends, the girls must battle a mysterious alien force to save their home.

In-person only

Rosie Narrative feature. Canada. Gail Maurice (Métis) Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is a visibly Indigenous, English-speaking, sweet, and headstrong little girl and her mother has just died. A children’s services agent brings her to Montreal to her only living relative, her aunt Frédèrique (Mélanie Bray). “Fred” is at first unwilling to take on caring for her adopted sister’s young daughter. The film, set in the 1980s, focuses on characters living on the fringes of society, including a homeless Cree man (Brandon Oakes), and how united and transformed they become through the child. Touching on the Sixties Scoop and disconnection from Indigenous identity, Rosie is an ode to finding your chosen family when your blood relations have been removed from the picture.

Sweet As Narrative feature. Australia. Jub Clerc (Nyul Nyul/Yawuru). A refreshing and uplifting twist on the coming-of-age story with her debut feature, which centers on a 15-year-old Indigenous girl who finds escape and inspiration through photography during a youth-therapy trip in the stunning countryside of Western Australia. Partially inspired by her own childhood, Clerc’s film is a tender, assured story of an Indigenous girl’s coming of age and a much-needed fresh take on this enduring genre, enhanced by Shantae Barnes-Cowan’s layered and captivating performance as Murra.

This Place Narrative feature. Canada. V.T. Nayani. In English, French, Mohawk, Persian, Tamil. This Place is a queer love story at the center of rich interplay and understanding of the Iranian, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk), and Tamil communities, and the feature film debut of the director. Kawenniióhstha (Devery Jacobs) has left her community of Kahnawà:ke near Montreal, to attend university in Toronto and to seek out her estranged father, who is Iranian. Malai (Priya Guns) is contemplating her post-university choices while living in a downtown apartment with her older brother. Kawenniióhstha and Malai, both daughters of refugees, find one another in a Toronto laundromat. With a spark and a missing notebook, their love story begins. However, big life events involving their respective fathers threaten to keep them apart.

Bones of Crows Narrative feature. Canada. Marie Clements (Métis). Born in the 1920s into a happy, large Cree family, Aline Spears (played at different ages by Summer Testawich, Grace Dove, and Carla Rae) and her siblings are forcibly removed from their home and sent to residential schools. There, they are victims of the cruelty of the priests and nuns who run the school. During World War II, Aline enlists in the military, where, in a great historical irony, her contribution is highly valued precisely because she is still fluent in Cree. After the war, still haunted by the crimes committed against her, she endures years of anguish before she finally has the chance to confront her abusers. The cast boasts talented newcomers and an all-star collection of established Indigenous actors, among them Graham Greene, Brandon Oakes, Glen Gould, Michelle Thrush, Lorne Cardinal, Gail Maurice and legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On Documentary feature. Canada. Madison Thomas. The life, music, and activism of legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are explored in this documentary that is as captivating as its subject, who smashed through barriers to become an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike. Sainte-Marie is more than just a singer. Her integrity and insistence on addressing subjects others shied away from gained her great respect. She is still the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar (in 1983 for Best Original Song “Up Where We Belong”) She was also the first recurring Indigenous guest star on Sesame Street.

LIDO TV Variety show - three episodes. Canada. Created and hosted by music superstar Lido Pimienta, this is a funny and insightful show that dexterously explores themes of colonialism, beauty, and feminism. An expert at blending genres and influences — including from her Colombian, Afro and Indigenous communities — Lido offers an eclectic combination of animated spots, documentary segments, and comedy sketches and welcomes a roster of her talented friends, including the media artist Bear Witness (Cayuga). Amid the pointed social commentary and the cutting-edge humor (including one skit pitting white Canadians against each other to give the best land acknowledgement), Lido’s inspirational generosity of spirit and profound kindness shine the brightest.

Muru Narrative feature. Aotearoa (New Zealand). Tearepa Kahi. In Te Reo Maori and English. Inspired by actual events, Muru dives headlong into the fraught dynamics between Indigenous communities and colonial police forces. After recently returning to his community in the remote Ruatoki Valley, police sergeant “Taffy” Tāwharau (Cliff Curtis) spends his days in relative quiet. But New Zealand police raid, to arrest as a terrorist Tame Iti(playing himself in the film), a well-known Māori rights activist who runs a culturally driven survival-skills camp focused on keeping the identity of the Tūhoe people alive. And Taffy is forced to choose between standing with his people or honoring his duty to the police force. Named after a Māori process of redressing transgressions, Muru ultimately explores profound notions of justice, understanding, and the weight of consequence.

Mystery Road: Origin Narrative feature. Australia. Dylan River. In this prequel to the successful Mystery Road films and series, young detective Jay Swan (Mark Coles Smith) investigates a series of robberies that uncover dark secrets in a small outback mining town. He has just returned to the hometown — and people — he left behind. A tragic death marks a turning point in the case and changes Jay’s life forever. Mystery Road: Origin is the third season of the Mystery Road series and serves as a prequel (and an excellent introduction) to the outback detective’s story that began with the Mystery Road feature film, directed by Ivan Sen, which premiered to great acclaim at TIFF ’13. For director Dylan River the series is a family affair: he is the son of award-winning director Warwick Thornton, who co-directed the second season of Mystery Road.

Pacifiction Narrative feature. France, Spain, Germany, Portugal. Albert Serra. In French.  A grand epic, Pacifiction is an elliptical political and colonial thriller shot in French Polynesia. De Roller (Benoît Magimel), a shifty, white-suited French High Commissioner for Tahiti mingles with the Tahitians whilst navigating a balancing act of political machinations. The cast is rounded out by some excellent locals, including Matahi Pambrun as an Indigenous leader, and charismatic RaeRae/Mahu (third-genders) actor Pahoa Mahagafanau as Shannah, who — not unlike De Roller — has an uncanny ability to slip into uncertain situations with disarming poise.

Stellar / Ananghoonska Experimental feature. Canada. Darlene Naponse (Anishnaabe). A dreamy love story between She (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) and He (Braeden Clarke), takes place in the unexpected haven of a Northern Ontario dive bar while natural disasters unfold. Naponse intersperses the flirtation between them with a meteorite dropping down outside the bar, creating multiple extreme environmental crises seen only through the giant front window, and also images of beautiful lands. Eclectic visitors pop into the bar. Some of them are treated as interlopers giving unwanted advice and help. Others, like Cree actors Tina Keeper and Billy Merasty, are welcomed as family.

TIFF Perspectives - Narrative Sovereignty. In-person and online. 
Narrative Sovereignty: From Slashers to Sci-Fi: Exploring The Significance of Indigenous Genre Films

Monday, September 12, 2022, 2:00 pm EDT. Tickets. In-person at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. For Press and Industry Conference participants. Limited tickets are available to the public.

In recent years, Indigenous-made genre films have captivated audiences worldwide while also becoming an ever increasing component of global Indigenous Cinema. From stories based on Indigenous cultural beings to alien invasion, these films are transforming the scope of the Indigenous film sector while also embodying and reflecting Indigenous cultures and communities. This year’s Narrative Sovereignty panel explores how Indigenous-made genre films are contributing to the diversification of the sector, while also finding new global audiences for Indigenous stories. Panellists include Nyla Innuksuk (director of Slash/Back), Darlene Naponse (director:. Stellar, Falls Around Her), Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers(director and actor; Stellar, Night Raiders, Blood Quantum), and Sonya Ballantyne (filmmaker and genre enthusiast), along with moderator Bird Runningwater (producer).

2021 - Recorded and free online worldwide

Narrative Sovereignty: Pathways to Partnership and Collaboration for Indigenous Productions
Building on the Narrative Sovereignty session from 2020, this panel explores how institutions are supporting Indigenous films through partnerships and cross-organizational collaboration. This conversation features Angela Bates (Screen Australia), Anne Lajla Utsi (International Sámi Film Institute), Jesse Wente (Indigenous Screen Office), and Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka (New Zealand Film Commission) and is moderated by Bird Runningwater (director of the Indigenous Program at the Sundance Institute). Recorded live on September 9, 2021.

2020 – Recorded and free online worldwide

Narrative Sovereignty: Perspectives 
In this panel discussion co-presented by the 2020 TIFF with imagineNATIVE, Tracey Deer (creator of Mohawk Girls and director of Beans, a TIFF 2020 selection), Chelsea Winstanley (co-director of Waru and producer of Jojo Rabbit, which both played the Festival), Bird Runningwater (director of the Indigenous Program at the Sundance Institute), and Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (director of the Festival selections Shinaab and Shinaab, Part II) discuss the growing calls and crucial need for narrative sovereignty in film. In the long-standing context of cultural theft under colonialism, what does it look like in practice to tell Indigenous stories with an authentic lens? How can we challenge non-Indigenous industry norms around issues like creative license, working roles, and relationship management? Recorded live on September 15, 2020.


Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
American Ginseng: Local Knowledge, Global Roots

In many states across the Appalachian region, September 1 marks the first day of American ginseng season, when the valuable medicinal plant may be legally harvested and sold. In Asia, the plant’s roots are prized as a natural cure-all; in the United States, the generational knowledge and regional folklore around it strengthen a community of dedicated practitioners. The public is invited to share their own stories about American ginseng on the website. Included are forty-five experts--growers, dealers, researchers, stewards, herbalists, and chefs--who are committed to sustaining this endangered forest botanical, known to be originally throughout the Eastern Woodlands. Cultural activist Victoria Persinger Ferguson, an enrolled member of the Monacan Indian Nation, serves on the Monacan Historic Resource Committee. She has spent nearly three decades researching and developing cultural programs around central Virginia, and her knowledge of and relationship to ginseng derives from the Monacan ethos she learned from her father. For more go to the website.


Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab
WORLDING Initiative

The Co-Creation Studio researches and incubates collective creation as alternatives to singular authorship. For the studio, “co-creation can happen within communities, across disciplines and with non-human systems such as Artificial Intelligence….The studio is part of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, which brings storytellers, technologists, and scholars together to explore new documentary forms with a particular focus on collaborative and immersive .”

The Studio has organized its WORLDING Initiative in partnership with Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, to explore climate futures at the intersection of documentary, land-use planning, speculative modelling and game-engine technologies. In 2022 its inaugural two-week intensive workshop focuses on a cohort of five selected projects. The teams will have a unique opportunity to develop their projects with researchers and makers from MIT, Unity team members, along with special guests from the field, to explore how they use (or could use) realtime 3D technology to imagine, plan and co-create future worlds within real-life communities. The workshop will include a custom-curated program specifically developed for the teams.

Two of the five projects have Indigenous creators and themes.

Waves of Buffalo (Canada)

"Waves of Buffalo" is an Indigenous-led, land-based, site-specific installation that seeks to envision a future where, once again, the Great Herds of Buffalo walk freely. Following Indigenous story knowledge, the buffalo’s impact reaches the above ground, on the ground, and below the ground. Team members: Tasha Hubbard, Jason Ryle, Marie-Eve Marchand.

Year 2180 (USA, Brazil)

"Year 2180" aims to harness the power of VR to experience a rewilded and re-indigenized future. This iteration of the project explores a transformative São Paulo through experiencing the Yawanawà Shukuvena Village in the rainforests of Brazil. Team members: Vanessa Keith, Roberto Múkaro Borrero, Sachem Hawk Storm.

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“The Indian Child Welfare Act and Brackeen v. Haaland

Tuesday, September 6, 7 pm - 8 pm EDT. Free with online registration. Live online.

In collaboration with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the PPGNY Action Fund is hosting a virtual teach-in on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the upcoming Supreme Court case Brackeen v. Haaland. Featuring Mary Kathryn Nagle from NIWRC. This decision has the power to broadly affect Native American sovereignty, as well as curtail the gains made in Native child welfare by ICWA.

Mary Kathryn Nagle is an award-winning playwright and a partner at Pipestem Law, a firm specializing in tribal sovereignty of Native nations and peoples. She was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

“Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: Our Collective Eco-Future”

Saturday, September 10, 7:30 - 9:30 PDT. Free with online registration. In-person at REDCAT Lounge in Los Angeles and being recorded for online viewing later

An intimate discussion of music, indigeneity, land and sacred spaces

  • Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy, Union Theological Seminary, New York
  • Dr. Chad Hamill/čnaq'y, CalArts Director of Indigenous Arts, Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs; author, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau
  • Moderated by Ravi Rajan, President, CalArts.

Hamill, a descendant of the Spokane Tribe and an ethnomusicologist, will tie Indigenous ecological wellsprings to the sacred geography of song. Rev. Jones, with Cherokee ancestry, is the first woman to head the iconic 176-year-old UTS and combines a deep commitment to social justice with radical expertise in transcultural spiritual practice.

This event is being hosted by Visions2030, a multiple-platform initiative dedicated to harnessing the imagination to create new paradigms and new models of society. It is a prequel to EcoConsciousness2023, planned for September 2023 in Los Angeles, a multi-node, fertile “exploratorium” of sensory environments and visionary arts projects intended to ignite the imagination and galvanize global change. The talk is being recorded and will be made available on

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
“The Continuance of Indigenous Lifeways and Bird Conservation”

Tuesday, September 13, 7:00 - 8:30 pm MDT. Tickets. In-person in Denver.

Aimee Roberson is a lifelong student of Earth’s wisdom, and currently serves as the Southwest Regional Director for American Bird Conservancy. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and of Chickasaw descent,. Sharing compelling stories from her life, career and culture, Roberson addresses environmental, climate and human rights crises through the continuance of Indigenous lifeways and bird conservation. Roberson provides leadership to conservation partnerships with emphasis in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico — co-creating a vision; integrating cultural values and ecological knowledge with science for meaningful decision making; and implementing shared strategies for stewarding wildlife, water, and ecosystems.

North American Food Systems Network
On Food Sovereignty and the Native Farm Bill Coalition

Wednesday, September 14, 1 pm - 2 pm EDT. Free with online registration. Online.

Join a Webinar on Indigenous food sovereignty presented by the North American Food Systems Network, second in a series entitled “On Level Ground: Progressive Models in Farmland Tenure and Working Waterways.” The speaker is Mary Belle Zook from the IFAI/Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas.

Zook is presenting IFAI’s work as the research and policy partner for the Native Farm Bill Coalition--Indian Country’s largest join agriculture and nutrition policy effort--as well as how Tribal land and farmland loss is impacting Indian Country’s overall health and wellness. She will discuss IFAI’s Model Tribal Food and Agriculture Code, which serves as a resource for Tribal governments. Some of the model codes include protections for traditional foods and seeds, water, food processing and more.


“Plaintiffs in Long Fight Over Endangered Salmon Hope a Resolution Is Near” by Mark Walker and Chris Cameron in the New York Times, August 15, 2022. An administration study on the feasibility of removing four dams from the lower Snake River found that sweeping changes are needed to restore the salmon fisheries. “Unless swift, leading actions are taken, a lot of these fish are doomed for extinction,” Samuel Penney, Nez Perce Tribal Chairman

“The Illegal Airstrips Bringing Toxic Mining to Brazil’s Indigenous Land” by Manuela Andreoni, Blacki Migliozzi, Pablo Robles and Denise Lu. Photographs by Victor Moriyama, in the New York Times, August 2, 2022. With an interactive map. The NYT identified hundreds of airstrips that bring criminal mining operations to the most remote corners of the Amazon.

“Mining Energy-Transition Metals: National Aims, Local Conflicts” by Samuel Block for MSCI’s Research Blog, June 3, 2021. Relevant to the impacts on Native lands of the process of transforming to battery-based green energy :“Key Mines are Located Near Native American Reservations - We analyzed 5,336 U.S. mining properties…and found the majority of U.S. reserves of cobalt, copper, lithium and nickel are located within 35 miles of Native American reservations.”


Montreal’s 32nd International First Peoples’ Festival Awards

With thanks to Muskrat Magazine

Teueikan Prize/Creation

Grand Prize to Alejandro Loayza Grisi for Utama. In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily routine for years. When an uncommonly long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virgin and Sisa face the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the passage of time. With the arrival of their grandson Clever, the three of them will face, each in their own way, the environment, the necessity for change, and the meaning of life itself.

Second prize: Kiro Russo for El Gran Movimiento. Based in the bustling and seemingly ancient city of La Paz, the film shows the magnitudes of the bustling, sprawling city and its arteries of streets embedded within ancient stone foundations, and the ominous mountain presence upon which the city is built. Russo and cinematographer Pablo Paniagua utilize powerful lenses that pull the viewer in a verité style where one first feels the massive and chaotic structure of the city perched upon a perceived unforgiving landscape, to the eventual deep, small, dark crevice where multiple human and spiritual dramas unfurl and bring light.

Best Cinematography: El Gran Movimiento

Rigoberta Menchú Prize/Community

Grand Prize to Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso for Powerlands. Tso, a young Navajo filmmaker, investigates displacement of Indigenous peoples and devastation of the environment caused by international corporations. She travels to La Guajira in rural Colombia, the Tampakan region of the Philippines, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico, and the protests at Standing Rock, USA. In each case, she meets Indigenous women leading the struggle against the same corporations that are causing displacement and environmental catastrophe in her hometown. Inspired by her journeys, Ivey Camille brings the lessons from these struggles home to Navajo Nation.

APTN Prize (to an Indigenous filmmaker who has distinguished herself/himself during the year) 

Bretten Hannam for Wildhood. A Two-Spirit, L'nu teenager runs away from his abusive father along with his younger half-brother. Along the way they meet a Two-Spirit powwow dancer who joins them on their quest. Together they travel the backroads in search of a new beginning. 

Main Film International Award for Indigenous Achievement

Siku Allooloo for Spirit Emulsion.  A woman's connection to her mother in the spirit world reactivates Taíno culture and presence, revealing a realm unseen.  Meanwhile, amidst a backdrop of flowers everywhere, an act of ancestral sovereignty extends into the future.  Filmed on Super8 and developed by hand with plant medicines and botanicals, Spirit Emulsion evokes a language for Taíno filmmaking in relationship to the earth and cosmos, breathing an ancestral connection to new form. 

Best Documentary  

Arami Ullon for Apenas el Sol (Nothing but the Sun). Facing the consequences of a violent uprooting, Mateo Sobode Chiqueno has been recording stories, songs, and testimonies of his Adore people since the sixties.  In an attempt to preserve fragments of a disappearing culture, Mateo walks across communities in the arid and desolate Paraguayan Chaco region, and registers on cassettes the experiences of other Ayoreo who, like him, were born in the vast forest free and nomadic, without any contact with white civilization until religious missionaries forced them to abandon their ancestral territory, their means of subsistence, their beliefs, and their home. 

Best Canadian Short Film/CBC Espaces autochtones Award (work by Aboriginal filmmakers located in Canada) 

Arctic Song/Chanson de l’Arctique by Germaine Arnattaujuq, Neil Christopher, Louise Flaherty. Artist, storyteller and co-director Germaine Arnattaujuq depicts Inuit creation stories in all their glory.

Best International Short Film

Flores de la llanura by Mariana X. Rivera. In Mexico in the Amuzgo town of Suljaa’, women are backstrap weavers and cotton sowers. Yecenia, a young weaver, is mourning her cousin Silvia who’s been a victim of femicide. She and other weaving women create a collective ritual to honor Silvia’s life and the textile legacy they’ve received from their female ancestors. As if it were a cotton thread, their commitment to dignity weaves them together and helps them keep on with their lives despite violence.

Lifetime Achievement Award to Vincent Carelli, founder of Video nas Aldeias/Video in the Villages and filmmaker, for his dedication to bringing the voices of Indigenous peoples of Brazil to the forefront

University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Distinguished Public Service Award

Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne, Mescalero Apache)--Master of Public Affairs '96; Producer & Filmmaker, CloudWoman Media--received the LBJ School’s most prestigious alumni honor, to an alumnus who best represents the values on which the LBJ School was founded: action-oriented leadership, dedication to public service and courage. Runningwater has made a transformational impact on amplifying the voices of Native and Indigenous artists through film and storytelling.

SFFILM Rainin Grant

SFFILM in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced the 18 narrative feature projects to receive SFFILM Rainin Grants. Awarded $25,000 for screenwriting is Morningstar Angeline, writer/director of Rowdy By Nature.- After a mother disappears without a trace, her troubled daughter spirals in her search, unaware a vampire will save them both.

Warner Bros. Discovery Access Programs

WBD Access X Canadian Writers Program  

Darcy Waite, founder of Turtle Mountain Media, is one of Canada’s fastest rising producers and content creators has received numerous awards recognizing his talent as a writer and director, including the 2021 NSI Series Incubator Program and imagineNATIVE Institute’s Screenwriting Feature Lab. His web series, DJ Burnt Bannock, is on APTN’s Lumi platform. Darcy is also the host of APTN’s first-ever gameshow, Bull’s Eye, and previously hosted two seasons of ATPN’s hit youth series That's AWSM.  

HBO Max Animated Shorts Program

Tank Standing Buffalo & Xstine Cook After the death of his soulmate, a young artist confronts his inner demons while apprenticing with Northwest coast totem carvers in Monstr.

Caeleigh Lightning & Keara Lightning The Act of Stealing from the Lightning sisters is a post-apocalyptic tale about a thief who accidentally lifts a possessed object, unleashing the demons of colonization..

Warner Bros. Access Early Career Bootcamp

  • Cheyenne Kippenberger (Seminole, Chilean)
  • Hillary Cagey (Lummi)
  • Loren Waters (Cherokee, Kiowa)
  • Naythen Lowe (Diné)
  • Sam Jaquez, Native writer and advocate
  • Sarah Liese (Navajo, Chippewa, Cree)
  • Steph Viera (Diné, Salvadorian)

Warner Bros. Discovery Access Talent Spotlight Program

Benjamin Wayne Sully (Rosebud Sioux) (My First Native American Boyfriend, Four Nights and a Fire). Best Actor Award, LA Skins Fest 

WBD Access x Canadian Academy Directors Program

Neegan Trudel (Wendat and Quebecker origin) Director, Vacarme. Specialist in special effects and 3D animation.

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