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FILM FESTIVAL and VOD
Online

On August 3 Reservation Dogs, Season 2, premieres.

PBS Short Film Festival 2022: “Stories that Stick”

July 11 - 22. Streams across PBS on stations’ websites and on social media platforms

The PBS Short Film Festival is part of a multiplatform initiative to increase the reach and visibility of independent filmmakers from across the country and to amplify the voices of diverse content creators. Starting at midnight on Monday, July 11, audiences can watch all 27 films, selected and provided by 16 public media partners and PBS member stations.

This year PBS is also trying a beta test, to introduce viewers to a new way of watching PBS content, but framing it in an immersive, virtual environment through the web. The purpose is to evaluate future possible products in VR/AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality).

Short films with Indigenous content and creators, selected from Vision Maker Media and Pacific Islanders in Communications, are:

Ala Moana Boys Keli’I Grace. Blamed for a crime they did not commit, five young men in 1930s Hawai'i must consider their futures and their families as they weigh the consequences of taking action. The film adapts some of the events around Honolulu’s infamous Massie Trials in the 1930s. It centers around Joseph Kahahawai, one of the five local young men who pleaded innocent after they were accused of raping a white woman, Thalia Massie, who was married to a Navy officer. The film was written by Alexander Deedy, a Honolulu-based freelance journalist, and directed by Oʻahu-native Keliʻi Grace.

Ka Ho’I (The Return) Mitchell Viernes. An aging Hawaiian war veteran grapples with the nightmares of his past and the even scarier thought of being forgotten. One night he hears a familiar voice calling him from the beach, and what he encounters is beyond anything he could have imagined.

Kàntan Hereru--A Blacksmith’s Song Sean Lizama. A film celebrating the late Chamoru Master blacksmith Francisco “Corned Beef” Cruz Lizama, by his son. Lizama tells stories from his past and shares the importance of his craft to daily life in the past, and experts discuss the role the craft played once in Guam.

Osage Murders Dan Bigbee. Tells the story of how the Osage became known as the wealthiest people in the world during an oil boom on their reservation, and then the practices used to rob them. Read more about the filmmaker, Dan Bigbee and the story almost left untold here. https://visionmakermedia.org/a-story-almost-left-untold/

DCEFF/Environmental Film Festival
Climate Connections Shorts: Evidence & Advocacy

July 15 - July 17. Free. Online on website 

The DCEFF has year-round streaming of selections from previous festivals, with special curated programs each month. July’s program of 5 shorts highlights environmental activism and the consequences of disruption and displacement. The program includes Arctic Summer, dirs. Kyle Rosenbluth, Daniel Fradin. A poetic meditation on Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk), an Indigenous coastal community in the high Arctic. The film captures Tuk during one of the last summers before climate change forced its people to relocate to more habitable land. See the Indigenous programs in the year-round catalog here

PIC/Pacific Islanders in Communication and PBS Hawai’i
Family Ingredients 

VOD. Also check local PBS listings.

Executive Director: Heather Haunani Giugni. Director/writer: Ty Sanga. Producer/Cinematographer: Renea Veneri Stewart. Producer/Researcher: Dan Nakasone. Chef Ed Kenney follows a beloved food memory or family recipe from a Hawaiʻi home to its origin, traveling with a guest around the globe in search of who Hawaiians are and where from through a simple recipe. In Season Two the travels are to California, Wisconsin, the Philippines, Vietnam and the island of Lana’i, Hawai’i.

Go online to view these episodes.

S2, Ep 1: California ‐ Smoked Fish

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson shares his family food memory with Ed. Smoked fish reminds Jack of his father Jeff and what follows is a personal journey that traces a path in life – of choices made, moments reflected, experiences remembered — and along the way discovering how a simple dish can honor fatherhood. Shot in part at the Trinidad Rancheria near Monterey

S2, Ep 3: Wisconsin ‐ Fiddlehead Fern 

Ed meets Kauaʻi farmer Valerie Kaneshiro, part-Japanese and Native American, who returns to the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation to reunite with a culture she has longed for her entire life. It is a time of revitalization and reaffirmation, a celebration of indigenous food culture and a way of life, including a visit with The Sioux Chef  in Minneapolis.

S2, Ep 6: Lanaʻi, Hawaiʻi ‐ Venison 

Cultural pride can be found everywhere in world but on the tiny island of Lanaʻi, one woman makes it a way of life. Hula dancer and sustainable hunter Anela Evans is remarkable in many ways but it is the memory of her father and her love of all things Hawaiian that keeps this young woman committed to championing the land she walks 

FILM FESTIVALS and SCREENINGS
In-Person

Gimli International Film Festival

July 20 - 24. Tickets and free screenings on the beach. In person in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Gimli International Film Festival (GIFF) has announced its program of over 70 diverse and acclaimed films for its 2022 festival lineup. It presents films through various distinct film series, including Indigenous, Northern Lights, Manitoba, and Social Justice, along with short film programs, including the Indigenous Filmmakers Association members screening. Four Indigenous features and 8 Indigenous short films are featured. This year, GIFF will present the honour of the Jack Clements “Living the Dream” Award to Lisa Meeches, the Founder and Executive Producer of the production company Eagle Vision, for her significant contribution to Manitoba’s film community.

Feature films

Returning Home Canada Sean Stiller. Returning Home follows Phyllis Jack-Webstad, a member of the Secwépemc Nation in BC and a residential school survivor whose experiences inspired the Orange Shirt Day movement on a nationwide educational tour. Her family at home struggle to heal intergenerational wounds while facing the absence of salmon and a multi-year long moratorium on salmon fishing which are ripping at the fabric of Secwépemc communities. For the Secwépemc, healing people and healing the natural world are one and the same. Preceded by Bill Reid Remembers dir. Alanis Obomsawin.

Slash/Back Canada Nyla Innukshuk When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don’t mess with girls from Pang.

Ste Anne . Canada. Rhayne Vermette. Renée is a single mother who has been missing for almost four years, and leaves her young daughter called Athene to the care of her brother and his girlfriend Elenore. When she arrives, everything changes for Athene, and their caretakers question what has Renée been up to alongside their family.

Wildhood  Canada. Bretten Hannam. In a rural east-coast trailer park, Link (Phillip Lewitski) lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony). When Link discovers his Mi'kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame and they make a run for a better life. On the road, they meet Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), a pow wow dancer drawn to Link. As the boys journey across Mi'kma'ki, Link finds community, identity and love in the land where he belongs.

More Short Films

  • Grand Mother Tongue
  • Kokum, with Love
  • Shoot Your Shot
  • Spirit Emulsion
  • The Road Back to Cowessess
  • waawiyebii’ge: She Draws a Circle
  • When Land and Body Merge

Autry Museum of the American West

Thursday, July 14, 7:30 pm PDT. Free with admission to the museum. Free for members. Advance registration required. In-person in Los Angeles.

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting Dirs: Avivia Kempner and Ben West. A comprehensive examination of the movement to eradicate the words, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find demeaning and offensive. The film takes a deep-dive into the issues through archival footage and interviews with those involved in the fight. The psychological research is clear, the use of Native American mascots is detrimental, not only to Native people, but to marginalized groups everywhere.

Pre-screening introduction with co-producer Yancey Burns and co-director Ben West (Cheyenne). Post screening Q&A with co-director Aviva Kempner and interviewees Dr. Joely Proudfit (Luiseño/Payomkowishum), Dr. Amy West (Cheyenne), W. Richard West Jr. (Cheyenne), and Kiowa Gordon (Hualapai).

National Museum of the American Indian 

July 23, 1 - 2 pm EDT. Free. In-person in Washington, DC

The Song of the Butterflies (El Canto de las Mariposas) Feature documentary. Peru,Colombia. Núria Frigola Torrent. In Spanish and Munuka with English subtitles.

An Amazonian artist from the Uitoto nation in Peru, Rember Yahuarcani left his community to pursue a successful career. His artwork is inspired by the myths and stories told him by his late grandmother. To find new understanding of these stories he travels to La Chorrera in Colombia, the original land of the Uitoto people, and there confronts the painful past and deepens his understanding of why the stories of his ancestors cannot be forgotten. Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Peru.

CREATIVITY
New Compositions and Performances, Eiteljorg Celebrates

Whitney Museum of American Art
Raven Chacon: For Zitkála-Šá

Saturday, July 16, 4 pm and 7:30 pm EDT. Tickets. In-person in New York City. 

From 2017 to 2020, Raven Chacon (Navajo) created a series of thirteen lithographs, For Zitkála-Šá—graphic scores dedicated to contemporary American Indian, First Nations, and Mestiza women working in music performance, composition, and sound art. Chacon envisioned the scores as portraits of the women and how they navigate the twenty-first century. The artist drew on a range of symbols, including Western music notation, tribal geometries, symbology, and numerology, among more ambiguous designs. In this performance, Chacon’s scores will be activated and are also on view in the 2022 Whitney Biennial along with the artist’s installation there.

The title of the series refers to the Yankton Dakota composer and musician Zitkála-Šá, who lived from 1876 to 1938. As Chacon has written, “In the early twentieth century [Zitkála-Šá] was known as a composer, writer, editor, teacher, and political activist. Several of her works chronicled her early struggles with identity; as an orator, many of her speeches brought awareness to the systemic oppression of Native people. As a composer and musician, Zitkála-Šá taught violin, later writing the libretto and songs for The Sun Dance Opera (1913), the first American Indian opera.”

Biographies of Raven Chacon and the performers/honorees are found on the Whitney website.

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Read More

  • Autumn Chacon
  • Carmina Escobar
  • Joy Harjo
  • Candice Hopkins
  • Suzanne Kite
  • Koyoltzintli (performing For Barbara Croall)
  • Cheryl L’Hirondelle
  • Ange Loft
  • Laura Ortman
  • Heidi Aklaseaq Senungetuk
  • Olivia Shortt
  • Jacqueline Wilson

CARA/Center for Art, Research and Alliances
"Conjurings
"

July 8-10, July 22-24, August 5-7. Fridays at 7 pm EDT. Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm EDT. Free with online reservations. Space is limited. In-person at 225 W. 13th St. in New York City

In inaugural public programs before its opening in New York City in October as a non-profit arts center, research center and publisher, CARA is offering during this summer three weekends of unique and multidimensional performances. “Shaped by scholars, artists, musicians, writiers, sonic technologies, and many other life forms and disciplines, Conjurings will braid invocation, incantation, questioning, un-earthing, and ceremony to open space for future (un)doings.” Go the website to get details. Curated by Erika Sprey, Lamin Fofana, Sky Hopinka, and members of CARA’s team Emmy Catedral and Manuela Moscoso. The website gives the details about the CARA initiative and the creatives performing in each of this summer’s events.

Eiteljorg Museum

"Summer of Celebration" Concert SeriesJuly - September. Tickets. In-person in Indianapolis.

To celebrate the opening of its newly designed Native American Galleries, the Eiteljorg is presenting a series of concerts at the museum.

  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Thursday, July 21 at 6:30 pm CDT
  • Sihasin. Wednesday, July 27, 6:30 pm CDT

Family Day
July 16, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm CDT. Free with museum admission. In-person in Indianapolis

Celebrating Native American cultures of the Great Lakes with performances, talks and demonstrations with members of the Bizhiki Culture and Dance Company throughout the day.

TALKING ABOUT

HUNAP/Harvard University Native American Program
David Treuer - "The Trouble with Tragedy: Imagining the Native American Past, Present and Future"

Free. Online.

David Treuer (Leech Lake Ojibwe) offers a fresh and in-depth perspective on the current state of affairs for Native and Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Drawing from his experience growing up on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and as an accomplished academic, is a New York Times–bestselling author and critic. 

He has published four novels and three works of nonfiction. He is the winner of three Minnesota Book Awards, the California Book Award for Nonfiction, and the Housatonic Book Award, and he was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, among others. He divides his time between his home on the Leech Lake Reservation and Los Angeles, where he is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Eiteljorg Museum
Western Book Club: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

July 13, 6:30 - 7:30 pm CDT. Free on Zoom.

The Western Book Club comes together bimonthly to discuss books that represent the diversity of the American West and Indigenous peoples of North America. Meetings take place via Zoom, and are open to all.

In July the book to be discussed is The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie, the famous first collection of 24 tales of Alexie’s most beloved characters. Darkly comic look at Native life.

READING ABOUT

“A Spotlight on Navajo Filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe" by Nancy Zastudil in Hyperallergic, June 26, 2022. "I'm focused on contemporary Native American stories, the modern-day ups an downs of that lifestyle, but I'm not trying to do it in a traditional manner," the award-winning filmmaker told Hyperallergic in an interview.

"The Multifarious Multiplicity of Taika Waititi” by Jennifer Kahn in Wired Magazine, May 31, 2022. He makes big movies and little movies, funny movies and sad movies--but mostly big-little funny-sad movies. Waititi is a bundle of contradictions…

“Five International Movies to Stream Now” by Devika Girish in the New York Times, July 1, 2022. One of the five is Nudo Mixteco, a triptych of stories set in a small village in Mexico. Three women from the region’s Mixtec community contend wth poverty, patriarchy and the pains of emigration. Each story is spurred by a character’s return from the city. Stream on HBO Max.

“Raven Chacon, Loud and Clear” by Marya Errin Jones, in Hyperallergic, July 1, 2022. The acclaimed composer and noise artist talks about his Pulitzer Prize-winning composition “Voiceless Mass.” Chacon’s three-channel video installation of "Three Songs (2021), "Silent Choir (Standing Rock" (2016-2017 and "For Zitaála-Śá Series"(2019) is on view in the Whitney Biennial through September 5, 2022, where he will performing on July 17.  In August 2022 he will debut new chamber music in New Mexico, commissioned by Chatter.

“Who Was Merata Mita?” by Vanessa Zimmer in the Sundance Blogspace, April 28, 2022. A single Māori mother who saw inequities in New Zealand, who had experienced oppression, racism, and sexism, Merata Mita (1942–2010) picked up a camera to speak for her people. She had no formal film training and she didn’t invent new techniques. She simply told the stories.In the process, she emerged at the forefront of Indigenous cinema, both in her native country and internationally.

“A Frequently Misunderstood American Master” by Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker, July 11&18, 2022 Issue. The Yanktonai Dakota painter Oscar Howe, who died in 1983, is the subject of a remarkable retrospective at the National Museum of the American Indian.

AWARDS AND HONORS

Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences

Among the newly announced Academy members are the following Indigenous actors, directors, producers, and industry leaders:

  • Michael Greyeyes - actor, Wild Indian, Woman Walks Ahead
  • Rena Owen - actor, The Last Witch Hunter, The Dead Lands
  • Briar Grace-Smith - director, Cousins, Waru
  • Amanda Kernell - director, Charter, Sámi Blood
  • Blackhorse Lowe - director, Chasing the Light, 5th World
  • Chad Burris - producer, Collisions, Drunktown’s Finest
  • Anne Lajla Utsi, head of the Sámi Film Institute

Additionally two non-Indigenous creatives, one Dutch-Australian and the other Colombian, who have worked closely with major international Indigenous actors and stories were named,

  • Rolf de Heer - director, Charlie’s Country, Ten Canoes
  • Cristina Gallego - producer, Birds of Passage, Embrace of the Serpent

Gotham Documentary Feature Lab

In June ten documentary projects participated in the prestigious Lab, an intensive program for first-time feature filmmakers now in its 18th year. By recommendations from partner organizations, some members of the cohort of projects included those from Gotham’s new Expanding Communities program committed to enhancing access to professional support for members of communities underrepresented in the film industry.

Two Indigenous projects were included:

Standing Above the Clouds Jalena Keane-Lee, Amber Espinosa-Jones, Erin Lau. When the world’s largest telescope is set to be built on their sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, three Native Hawaiian families dedicate their lives to defending it. Through the lens of mothers and daughters

Untitled Muscogee Nation Documentary Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, JoePeeler, Jean Rheem. When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country.

67th Flaherty Film Seminar Fellows

Held annually for a week--this year in late June in-person at Colgate University and online--the Flaherty Film Seminar offers independent filmmakers, curators, scholars an opportunity to meet, see a curated program of films, and engage in deep discussion. Attending the Seminar each year are participants in its Fellowships program, which has an array of unique activities, led by a Fellows Coordinator, and is open for applications from emerging and mid-career filmmakers, media professionals and students. Many of the fellowships are co-sponsored by other film organizations. In 2022 25-30 Fellows met in-person and 25-30 internationally met in a virtual space, in addition to participating in the Seminars. “If you are Indigenous to the land you call home, or have been historically dispossessed from your land, history, culture, and power, we especially invite you to apply to one of our Fellowships.”

For the Seminar, guest curators provide a thematic approach to what films will be presented and discussed. This year’s curators, Almudena Escobar López and Sky Hopinka, identified the theme as “Continents of Drifting Clouds.” Indigenous fellows and fellows working closely with Indigenous filmmaking included

Flaherty Curatorial Fellows

  • Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker (Kanaka Maoli)
  • Viridiana Martínez Marín, Oaxaca City, Mexico
  • Isabel Rojas, Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca, Mexico

Flaherty Professional Development Fellows

  • Miciana Hutcherson (Tlingit)
  • Colleen Thurston (Choctaw)
  • Raven Two Feathers (Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, Comanche

TRANSITIONS

G. Peter Jemison

On July 23, Ganondagan--a National and State Historic Site in Victor, NY--celebrated “Dr. Peter Jemison Day,” to honor the career of G. Peter Jemison (Seneca), who in 1988 was the site’s founding manager and who then led it to become recognized as an international center for Haudenosaunee history and culture. The site now features a full-size Seneca bark longhouse, the large Seneca Art & Culture Center and interpretive trails. Jemison, a widely recognized artist, will now be concentrating full-time on his in-studio practice.

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