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Vincent Schilling

Indian Country Today

The American Indian Film Festival kicked off its 46th year and annual showcasing of films in San Francisco and virtually Nov. 5.

The festival is the longest-running Native American film festival in the country and was started by Native actor Will Sampson, well-known for his role in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and his close friend Michael Smith in 1975.

The festival in San Francisco has screened well over 3,500 films since that time. In 2021, the festival hosted 126 films — 30 of them competing in six categories to include feature, documentary feature, documentary short, live short animated short, and music video. Past feature film winners include ‘Wind River” in 2017, “Barking Water” in 2009, and some of Indian Country’s favorites in “Smoke Signals” in 1998 and “Powwow Highway” in 1989.

The American Indian Film Institute’s Executive Director Mytia Zavala announced that 2021 would incorporate some on-site theatrical viewings, but COVID-19 remained a factor.

“While we miss the excitement of presenting our festival in the historic theaters of San Francisco, the fact of the matter is that we are still amid a pandemic. The virtual presentation of the 46th season of our festival is the responsible thing to do — for our elders and for our unvaccinated children,” said Zavala in their press announcement.

List of American Indian Film Festival 2021 film award nominees and winners

Nominees for Best Film

WINNER: Run Woman Run, Directed by Zoe Hopkins

Brother, I Cry, Directed by Jessie Anthony

Portraits from a Fire, Trevor Mack

Sooyii, Directed by Krisztian Kery

The Corruption of Divine Providence, Directed by Jeremy Torrie

Nominees for Best Director

WINNER: Trevor Mack, Portraits from a Fire

A.W. Hopkins, Indian Road Trip

Jessie Anthony, Brother, I Cry

Jeremy Torrie, The Corruption of Divine Providence

Krisztian Kery, Sooyii

Zoe Hopkins, Run Woman Run

Nominees for Best Actress

WINNER: Dakota Ray Hebert, Run Woman Run

Cheyenne Gordon, Sooyii

Nominees for Best Actor

WINNER: Stormee Kipp, Sooyii

Ajuawak Kapshesit, Indian Road Trip

Asivak Koostachin, Run Woman Run

Justin Rain, Brother, I Cry

William Lulua, Portraits from A Fire

Nominees for Best Supporting Actress

WINNER: Violet Cameron, Brother, I Cry

Jayli Wolf, Run Woman Run

Tantoo Cardinal, The Corruption of Divine Providence

Nominees for Best Supporting Actor

WINNER: Asivak Koostachin, Portraits From A Fire

Lorne Cardinal, Run Woman Run

Nathaniel Arcand, Portraits From A Fire

Paul C. Grenier, Indian Road Trip

Film descriptions and details for 2021 AIFF46 nominees

Full-Length Feature

“Brother, I Cry”

Directed by Jessie Anthony (Edge of the Knife)

'Brother I Cry' poster

Cast: Justin Rain (Fear the Walking Dead, Twilight), Violet Cameron (Batwoman, Arrow), ), Lauren Hill (He’ge’ah: Little Brother), Eric Schweig (Blackstone, The Missing Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (Altered Carbon, The Revenant), Lauren Anthony (Red Dead Redemption II, We’re the Millers), Jessie Anthony (Blackstone)

“Brother, I Cry” is a dramatic look into the life of Jon — a young First Nations man (Justin Rain) trapped in a world of addiction and cultural displacement. While living a high-risk lifestyle as a wanted car thief and drug addict, Jon finds himself in trouble with his “friend” Martin, a well-known drug dealer, after his sister Ava turns both Jon and Martin into the police.

Awards: Best Screenplay: Vancouver International Women in Film Festival 2021; Best Direction in a Motion Picture: Leo Awards BC 2021; Best Screenwriting in a Motion Picture: Leo Awards BC 2021; Best Actor (Justin Rain): Vancouver Film Critics 2021; Best Canadian Film: Toronto International Women's Film Festival Monthly 2021; Audience Choice Award: imagineNative 2020; Best BC Emerging Filmmaker Award, Vancouver International Film Festival 2020, to name a few. Nominations: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film: DCG; Best Program: Leo Awards; Best Cinematography: Leo Awards.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“The Corruption of Divine Providence”

Directed by Jeremy Torrie (Juliana & the Medicine Fish, Path of Souls)

'The Corruption of Divine Providence' poster

Cast: Tantoo Cardinal (Wind River, Dances with Wolves), Eugene Brave Rock (Wonder Woman, The Revenant), John B. Lowe (The Butterfly Effect), Paul Amos (Assassin’s Creed), Elyse Levesque (Ready or Not), Ali Skovbye (Breakthrough), David La Haye (Battle of the Brave, Timeline)

When a 16-year-old Stigmatic Metis girl is kidnapped from a small French Catholic town of different religious factions vie for control of her upon her eventual return. Set in the harvest months of the western Canadian prairies “The Corruption of Divine Providence” explores what happens when a messenger from God tests the character of humanity. A dual-language feature film.

Awards: Garden State Film Festival: Best International Narrative Feature, Nice International Best Edit for a Feature Film; Whistler Film Festival: Whistler Film Festival Stars to Watch presented by UBCP/ACTRA.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Portraits from a Fire”

Directed by Trevor Mack (Clouds of Autumn)

'Portraits from a Fire' poster

Cast: Nathanial Arcand (Cold Pursuit, Bull), Asivak Koostachin[1] (Montana Story, Red Snow), and introducing William Lulua

“Portraits from a Fire’ is a coming-of-age film following an eccentric misfit named Tyler (William Lulua) who spends his days recording and vlogging his community until he meets Aaron (Asivak Koostachin); an older, influential teenager who pushes him to show his latest work about his family to the community, leading to a reckoning between the past and the future, life and death, and father, mother, and son. Portraits from a Fire is about gaining the strength to face the fear of the unknown and weaving together the sacred bond of family in the face of Truth.

Awards: Edmonton International Film Festival: Jury Award for Best Canadian Feature (Dramatic) Edmonton Intl. Film Fest; Vancouver International Film Festival: Best Emerging BC Director, Trevor Mack;

Nominations: Best Supporting Actor, Nathaniel Arcand, Asivak Koostashin, Sammy Stump, Isaiah Fogarty; Best Leading Actor, William Lulu.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Run Woman Run”

Directed by Zoe Hopkins[2] (Kayak to Klemtu)

'Run Woman Run' poster

Cast: Dakota Ray Hebert (Inner City, Local Girls), Asivak Koostachin (Portraits from a Fire, Molly of Denali), Jayli Wolf (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Last Man), Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas, FBI: Most Wanted), Braeden Clarke (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Impulse), Gary Farmer (Powwow Highway, Dead Man), Cody Lightning (Four Sheets to the Wind), Derek Miller (Guilt-Free Zone, Hard Rock Medical), Alex Rice (Twilight Saga, The New World)

“Run Woman Run” is a rite of passage dramedy with an element of magic. Beck (Dakota Ray Hebert) is a single mom who lives in Six Nations, Canada where her dream of becoming a Mohawk language teacher has long been forgotten since the death of her mother. Beck has been languishing in unresolved grief for years at her dad’s (Lorne Cardinal) tire shop; she hates her job and is only going through the motions. She is uninspired, eats terribly, lacks the energy to walk to the end of her driveway to check the mail so she drives. Life is defeating her, even more after she collapses, and it is revealed she has Type 2 diabetes. Beck knows something must change, but she doesn’t know where to start. Then, Tom Longboat (Asivak Koostachin) — a real-life sports legend of the early 1900’s — appears in Beck’s conscience as her inner voice, and ultimately her trainer. Longboat teaches Beck to become an honor runner, where she dedicates each of her runs to an aspect of creation or a special person in her life. It is through the honor runs that Beck turns her life around, becoming who she was before grief took over every aspect of her life. In her journey to escape her grief and pain, Beck meets Jon (Braeden Clark), a guy who grew up outside of Six Nations and has recently returned home to reconnect with their community. Longboat helps Beck embrace the possibility of new love, a renewed relationship with her son and family, and a new shot at her dream of speaking her language.

Awards: WorldFest Houston Remi Award: Best Actor, Asivak Koostachin

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Sooyii” (Creatures)

Directed by Krisztian Kery (The Magnificent Seven, Batman v. Superman, American Sniper)

'Sooyii' poster

Cast/Crew: Stormee Kipp, Daniel Edmo (Cowboys & Aliens, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Pat “Judge” Hall (John Carter), Cheyenne Gordon, Jesse Desrosier, Emmette Dusty Bull, Doug Fitzgerald (What’s the 48), Michael Momberg, Camden Croff

“Sooyii” is the Blackfoot word for “creature” or “mysterious being,” and is the story of one of the first pandemics that swept North America and decimated American Indian tribes in the 18th century. Sooyii follows the story of a young Pikuni[3] Man (Stormee Kipp) as he struggles to survive in the face of disease, the loss of his family, old enemies, new discoveries and a rapidly changing world. Sooyii features an entirely Blackfeet cast and was filmed in original Blackfeet language (with subtitles) making it one of the few movies to authentically present American Indian history. Sooyii was developed in cooperation with the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and supported by several Blackfeet producers and crew members. The story is narrated through the eyes of a young Blackfeet warrior who struggles with the disease, brought by Europeans, as it ravages the villages where he grew up, forever changing his world. Like the current pandemic, the outbreak served as both a unifying and polarizing force. The protagonist struggles with tribal identity and embraces those he perceives as enemies, in a battle with a bigger, invisible antagonist.

Awards: Lonely Wolf: London Int’l Film Festival, Outstanding Achievement in Production Design (Sierra Momberg). Nominations: Sooyii has 17 nominations.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Indian Road Trip”

Directed by A.W. Hopkins (Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show, Shin-chi’s Canoe)

'Indian Road Trip' poster

Cast: Ajuawak Kapashesit (Indian Horse, Tall Boyz), Paul C. Grenier (The Killing, Blackstone), Evan Adams (1491: The Untold Story of America Before Columbus, Smoke Signals), Nathaniel Arcand (FBI: Most Wanted, Heartland), Rob McEachern (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural), Miika Bryce Whiskeyjack (Blackstone, Monkey Beach), Jordyn White (Blackstone), Ross Munro (It’s About Love, A Legacy of Whining), Dale Hunter (Motherland: Fort Salem, Coffee at a Laundromat)

When unruly best friends and cousins, Hank Crow-Eyes (Ajuawak Kapshesit) and Cody Kidd (Paul C. Grenier), get caught scamming white tourists who just want to go to the local powwow, they’re forced to put their long-planned road trip to the famous nude Wreck Beach. The scam artists find their punishment is to drive the crankiest elder on the reserve — Hetta Yellow-Fry (Dale Hunter) — to see and make peace with her estranged and dying sister two realize a mysterious supernatural force is trying to stop them from delivering Hetta to her final destination.

Awards: Leo Awards (4): Best Director, Best Script, Best Composer, Best Sound Design; Whistler Film Festival: Best British Columbia Director and Honorable Mention: Best Screenplay in a Borsos Competition; Reel to Reel Film Festival: Official Selection

Film Listing & Tickets:

Category: Documentary Feature

“Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy”

Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

'Kímmapiiyipitssini - The Meaning of Empathy' poster

“Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy” is an intimate portrait of survival, love and the collective work of healing in her homeland — the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta — a Blackfoot community facing the impacts of substance use and the drug-poisoning epidemic.

“Kímmapiiyipitssini” is this Blackfoot teaching that we give empathy and kindness as a means for survival explains Elle-Máijá. In keeping with this teaching, Elle-Máijá’’s film advocates for the

The controversial practice of “harm reduction” as a more humane and effective way to treat those who live with substance use disorder. In Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empath, Elle-Máijá’s work is contextualized within the historical and contemporary impacts of settler colonialism and she draws a connecting line between the effects of colonial violence on Blackfoot land, her people, and the ongoing substance-use crisis. Elle–Máijá shares her personal process of narrative sovereignty as a First Nation’s filmmaker — a process

rooted in conversation, deep listening, accountability and is also respectful of community protocols.

Awards: Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy has received 15 nominations and 20 wins that include, but are not limited to, the DOXA Documentary Film Festival: The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary, Best Document Feature; Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival: Canadian Spectrum Audience Award, Emerging Canadian Filmmaker and Rogers Audience Choice Award; Canadian Screen Awards: Original Screenplay, Achievement in Direction; Gimli Film Festival: Grand Jury Prize.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Savage Land’

Directed by Campbell Dalglish & Dr. Henrietta Mann

'Savage Land' poster

Executive Producer, Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals)

When Custer County Police kill 18-year-old Cheyenne Arapaho Mah-hi-vist Red Bird Goodblanket in his family's kitchen, descendants of the Sand Creek and Washita Massacres take us back 150 years to reveal how historical trauma and the horrors of the past are still present in America today.

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“Spirit to Soar”

Directed by Tanya Talaga, Michelle DeRosier 

'Spirit to Soar' poster

“Spirit to Soar” —Mashkawi-Manidoo Bimaadiziwin — is a one-hour documentary inspired by Tanya Talaga’s book, Seven Fallen Feathers. Spirit to Soar looks at how the book came to Talaga when she traveled to Thunder Bay as a newspaper journalist on a federal election assignment. While there, Talaga discovered the story of seven First Nations high school students who had either died or gone missing from 2000 to 2011. Spirit to Soar examines the hard truths around the deaths of the seven students and the truths of the northern city of Thunder Bay and the country of Canada. Racism kills, especially when it presents itself as indifference. At its heart, this film is a story of the strength and bravery the First Nations youth must muster up every single day they walk out the door to go to high school in a country that has tried to erase them. We are still here and thriving.

Film Listing & Tickets:

‘Warrior Spirit”

Directed by Landon Dyksterhouse

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'Warrior Spirit' poster

Nicco Montaño is a Navajo mixed martial artist who made history when she became the first female American Indian UFC champion. “Warrior Spirit” follows Montano on her quest to defend her UFC title while also documenting the injustices of the UFC and how the multibillion-dollar company exploits their fighters for millions of dollars. Dyksterhouse lifts the veil and exposes the disturbing dangers of extreme weight cutting.

Awards: Best Documentary Feature, ImagineNATIVE, Social Impact Award and Audience Choice Award, Albuquerque Film and Music Experience Festival, Best Documentary Feature, Las Vegas Premiere Film Festival

Nominations: Best Documentary Feature, American Indian film festival.

Film Listing & Tickets:

Category: Documentary Short

“Dear Friend”

Directed by Trevor Solway

'Dear Friend' poster

‘Dear Friend” is a visual letter penned by Indigenous youth and made out to a “cruel friend.” The young authors of this letter pour their hearts into expressing the torment, confusion and empathy they feel towards their mental health.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Guardians of the River”

Directed by Shane Anderson, Swiftwater Film

'Guardians of the River' poster

In this film by American Rivers and Swiftwater Films, Indigenous leaders share why removing four dams to restore a healthy Klamath River is critical for clean water, food sovereignty and justice. “Guardians of the River” features Frankie Joe Myers, Vice-Chair of the Yurok Tribe, Sammy Gensaw, director of Ancestral Guard, Barry McCovey, fisheries biologist with the Yurok Tribe, and members of the Ancestral Guard and Klamath Justice Coalition. Four dams – Copco 1, Copco 2, Iron Gate and JC Boyle — block habitat and have devastated salmon populations. The reservoirs behind the dams encourage the growth of algae that is toxic to people, pets and wildlife. Removing the dams will restore salmon access to more than 400 miles of habitat, improve water quality and strengthen local communities that rely on salmon for their food, economy and culture. Following an agreement signed in November by the Yurok and Karuk tribes, the states of Oregon and California, Berkshire Hathaway and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, dam removal on the Klamath River is scheduled to begin in 2023. “Without these salmon, our way of life is impossible,” Sammy Gensaw, Yurok tribal member and director, Ancestral Guard, says in the film. “We’ve dedicated years of our lives — our young lives — to give opportunity for the next generation to live on a healthy, dam-free river. Over hundreds of generations, our families have developed a resiliency that can’t be beaten, that can’t be destroyed. And no matter what happens, no matter what you take away, we’re always going to provide for our people, we’re always going to take care of our children, we’re always going to find a way to move forward.” 

“This river is our umbilical cord. What feeds us, what nurtures us. This reciprocal relationship that we have with it. I would do anything for this river, just like I would my own children. I would die for it; I would do anything before I would give up on it.” — Annelia Hillman, Yurok tribal member, Klamath Justice Coalition

Film Listing:

“Indigenous Dads”

Directed by Peter Brass

'Indigenous Dads' screen shot

Four Indigenous dads candidly discuss their fears and hopes in raising their kids in today's world.

Film Listing:

"Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again"

Directed by Courtney Montour

‘Mary Two-Axe Earley - I Am Indian Again' poster

“Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again” shares the powerful story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge the discrimination against Indigenous women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act and became a key figure in Canada’s women’s rights movement.

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“Nalujuk Night”

Directed by Jennie Williams

'Nalujuk Night' poster

Run as fast as you can, the Nalujuit are here!

“Nalujuk Night” is an up-close look at an exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, Labrador Inuit tradition. Every January 6th from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appears on the sea ice. They walk on two legs, yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal, and otherworldly. Snow crunches underfoot as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain. Despite the frights, Nalujuk Night is a beloved annual event, showing that sometimes it can be fun to be scared. Rarely witnessed outside of Nunatsiavut, this annual event is an exciting chance for Inuit, young and old, to prove their courage and come together as a community to celebrate culture and tradition. Inuk filmmaker, Jennie Williams brings audiences directly into the action in this bone-chilling black and white short documentary about a winter night like no other.

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Category: Live Short

“In Our Own Hands”

Directed by Jennifer Varenchik

'In Our Own Hands' poster

A group of women plan rescue efforts when one of their own goes missing from their reservation.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“kwêskosîw (she whistles)”

Directed by Thirza Cuthand

'kwêskosîw - she whistles' poster

En route to her girlfriend's place on a night when the Northern Lights are out, a 2-Spirit nêhiyaw woman is assaulted by her cab driver. Amidst the struggle, she discovers a deadly supernatural power that may help her solve the mystery of her mother's disappearance.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Meet the Sky”

Directed by K.J. Edwards

'Meet the Sky' poster

Two sisters travel to a reservation to learn about Kanien'kehá:ka culture. Due to the progression of her illness, Andie intends to live out her days there. Mel, on the other hand, rejects both the truth about Andie’s diagnosis and the importance of bringing ceremony into their lives.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Shoot Your Shot”

Directed by Madison Thomas, Meegwun Fairbrother

'Shoot your shot' poster

“Shoot Your Shot'' is a sci-fi/action-comedy that follows Tover, a teenager on the frontlines battling a future alien invasion. However, it’s not the aliens that terrify Tover. It’s the idea of asking out his crush, fellow soldier Savoy!

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Directed by Kyle Bell

As time gets closer for Bon to depart for school and go play college basketball, the thought of leaving everything behind troubles him. As a young Muscogee Creek Indian, Bon has been raised by his grandmother, who has instilled in him a deep appreciation for his culture. When he has one last conversation with his grandmother before he leaves, Bon looks to the past for strength in the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

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Category: Animated Short

“Ajjigiingiluktaaqtaugut (We Are All Different)”

Directed by Lindsay McIntyre

'Ajjigiingiluktaaqtugut' - Screen shot

What does it mean to be Inuk? Historically depicted as welcoming and friendly people in remote snowy landscapes Inuit live across the globe. Using antique wind-up bears, layered animation, and analog techniques, McIntyre constructs an animated documentary in an exploration of identity and belonging by Inuit, both in and outside of the community. Herself of mixed Inuk and settler heritage, McIntyre depicts the value of community and asks what it means to belong in a changing world when our ideas of Inuk-ness are so tied to representations.

Awards: Vancouver International Film Festival 2021: Honorable Mention: Best BC Short Film

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Behind the Mask”

Directed by Christian Ryan

'Behind the mask' poster

A young, Indigenous man, struggling to understand the mandate to wear a mask during Covid, begins to see the face of compassion behind it.

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“How to Lose Everything: A Field Guide”

Directed by Christa Couture, Bekky O'Neil

'How to Lose Everything: A Field Guide' poster

Through the loss of her leg, her children, her marriage, and her voice, Christa Couture presses into the pages of this field guide stories and notes on how to lose everything. How to Lose Everything is based on an excerpt from Couture’s book of the same title: How to Lose Everything, a collection of naked stories of enduring love, profound presence and a deep witnessing of the most precious moments of life. Couture writes through layers of grief and loss to show us what it means to love, to build a continuous life after losing everything and to be alive, anyway.

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“Powwow Highway: The Lego Movie”

Directed by Jonathan Thunder

'Powwow Highway: The Lego Movie' Directed by Johnathan Thunder, was created at Nay Ah Shing School in Mille Lacs, MN in 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the original film. This stop motion animation was part of Project Mezinichigejig, a 2019 Mille Lacs Band Summer Youth/Adult Art program designed with the goal to build artistic skill sets, foster community creativity, cross-cultural sharing, and exposure to fine arts and artists.

Powwow Highway: The Lego Movie was created at Nay Ah Shing School in Mille Lacs, MN in 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the original film. This stop motion animation was part of Project Mezinichigejig, a 2019 Mille Lacs Band Summer Youth/Adult Art program designed with the goal to build artistic skill sets, foster community creativity, cross-cultural sharing, and exposure to fine arts and artists.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“The Train Station”

Directed by Lyana Patrick

'The Train Station' poster

In this beautifully animated documentary short, filmmaker Lyana Patrick narrates her family's powerful story of love and survival at Lejac Indian Residential School.

Awards: Vancouver International Film Festival, Official Telefilm Selection: Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Not Short on Talent Program, Hot Docs 2021, Lundenburg Doc Festival, American Film InstituteDocs 2021, Los Angeles Animation Film Festival 2020, Wairoa Maori Film Festival, POW Film Festival 2020, Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 2021, ImagineNATIVE 2021, AFI Fest 2021, NYC Doc 2021, 37th International Short Film Festival – Berlin 2021, Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival 2021

Film Listing + Tickets:

Category: Music Video


Directed by Adam Conte

'Dream' poster

Doc Native and Spencer Battiest of the Seminole Tribe of Florida collaborate on a single for the first time in over a decade. Dream is a fight song, an anthem, and call to action on overcoming struggles in life. The “Dream” video showcases Native people striving for their dreams in the world of athletics, media, politics, and entertainment.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Fry Bread”

Directed by Michael S Etcitty, Jr.

'Frybread' screen capture

“Fry Bread'' is a music video released from Connor Chee's album of original piano music titled "Scenes from Dinétah." The video features a Diné woman (Doris Etcitty) demonstrating the process of making traditional Navajo Fry Bread, while Connor Chee performs his piece on the piano.

Film Listing & Tickets:

“Politician Man”

Directed by Justin Stephenson

'Politician Man'

Politician Man, the debut single from Adrian Sutherland, is a protest song for Canada. The seeds were planted in July 2019 when his Cree community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency over contaminated water. At the same moment, insensitive comments from a politician in Ottawa sparked massive public outcry, and a spontaneous response from Sutherland himself, and national media coverage.

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Directed by Janet Rogers and Shane Powless

'Solidarity' Directed by Janet Rogers and Shane Powless

“Solidarity” was written by Six Nations Bluesman Joshua Arden Miller during land reclamation events on his territory and while witnessing other land and water protection events across the nation known as Canada.

Film Listing & Tickets:

American Indian Film Institute / American Indian Film Festival website 

46th Annual American Indian Film Festival


The American Indian Film Festival is the first and longest-running festival of its kind showcasing independent films dedicated to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and First Nations culture and stories. For the past forty-six years, the film institute has supported and celebrated generations of Native filmmakers, performing artists, and audiences while simultaneously drawing into its circle of support: celebrities, industry professionals, student filmmakers, seasoned festival-goers, and newcomers. The institute and festival have become a trusted guide for those seeking to gain a multi-dimensional and realistic understanding of the heterogeneity that exists in Indian Country.


The mission of the American Indian Film Institute is to foster understanding and appreciation of the culture, traditions, and issues facing contemporary American Indians. AIFI supports filmmakers whose work expresses the native voices, viewpoints, and stories historically excluded from mainstream media; develops stories traditionally excluded from mainstream media; creates audiences for their work; and advocates for authentic representation of American Indians in the media.