March is Women’s History Month, and some virtual and television offerings— films and events — are listed below. Two anthology films to watch from the Pacifika region — comprised of short films by women directors that are linked by a common storyline — are also included. Online festivals include the San Diego Latino Film Festival and the monthly Indigenous Film and Arts Festival from Denver. The Mother Tongue FF contributes a retrospective of shorts linked via the Smithsonian's online Folklife magazine. Also talks, a book discussion, performances (online and in-person) and news of the field.
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
WHAT TO WATCH
From the Pacifika Region
Two outstanding anthology films by women directors
"Waru." Aotearoa/New Zealand. 2017. Directors and/or writers: Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Winstanley, Renae Maihi, Paula Whetiu Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene, Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu. Producers: Kiel McNaughton, Kerry Warkia. For rent and sale on all major platforms as listed on the Just Watch website.
"Waru' is a powerful anthology film, composed of eight scenes by different women filmmakers, each 10 minutes long. Together they add up to a portrait of the events surrounding the tangi (funeral) of a young boy, Waru, who has died in terrible circumstances, and his people are gathering to bury him. Themes of redemption, retribution and old historical wrongs come to the surface. To make this film, the producers issued a challenge to the film-makers: each story had to have a female lead and point of view; be shot in one day, using one continuous take; each starting at 9:59 the morning of the tangi. The film is bold and beautifully done. Trailer.
"Vai." Eight Pacific locations. 2019. Directors/writers: Becs Arahanga, Amberley Jo Aumua, Matasila Freshwater, Dianna Fuemana, Miria George, Ofa Guttenbell, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Nicole Whippy, Sharon Whippy. Produced by Richard Fletcher, Kiel McNaughton, Kerry Warkia. Free on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Tubi
This is a combined effort by nine directors filming on seven Pacific Islands to each create a 10-minute vignette from the life of a fictive woman named Vai. Each segment advances a decade or so forward, using a single continuous shot where possible, creating a meditation on womanhood and changing traditions in places where those things have been under siege from various forms of colonialism for hundreds of years. Trailer.
PIC/Pacific Islanders in Communication
PIC’s online series Pacific Pulse presents award-winning short films from across the region, streaming on PIC’s “Pacific Heartbeat” YouTube channel. In 2022, Pacific Pulse is presenting all-new lineups of shorts in March and in July. Films are selected each year from among numerous submissions, including projects funded by PIC with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. The lineup starting in March celebrates Womenʻs History Month with a series of shorts featuring women in film, "Reel Wāhine of Hawai’i," focused on editor and producer Lisa Kealohilani Altieri, hand-drawn animation artist Laura Margulies, director Marlene Booth, and producer Myrna Kamae.
Women’s History Month at the Smithsonian
NMAI/National Museum of the American Indian
March 1 - 31. Streaming online.
"Without a Whisper: Konnon:Kwe." Documentary. US. 27 min. Katsitsionni Fox, Mohawk. The hidden history of the profound influence Haudenosaunee women had on the beginnings of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Also link at the NMAI website to a taped panel discussion with Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner, who are featured in the film, and the director, Katsitsionni Fox, moderated by the director of programs at Vision Maker Media, Georgiana Lee-Ausun, Navajo.
SAAM/Smithsonian American Art Museum
2022 Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival March 9, 5:30 pm ET
This virtual screening and live conversation about community and environmental stewardship features artist and filmmaker Sasha Wortzel. Her early film "Paint It Again" (2010) which chronicles the life and memories of two women who shared a home for forty years, and a preview of her work in progress feature documentary, River of Grass, “that ties Florida’s current vulnerability to climate change to ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and waves of displacement.” The conversation includes Houston Cypress, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, artist and founder of Love the Everglades Movement; Dr. Tony C. Perry, curator of environmental history at the National Museum of American History; and Saisha Grayson, time-based media curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. A recording of this event featuring clips from the films will be available through March 31.
NMAAHC/National Museum of African American History and Culture
NMAI/National Museum of the American Indian
March 11, 11 - 11:30 am ETFree on Zoom. Registration required.
Making Moves: Celebrating Black & Native Women and Girls in SkateboardingA program for children, led by museum educators using art and historical objects, explores the innovative roles of Black and Native women and girls in the world of skateboarding. Then, participants are led to design their own skateboard art. This program is part of the Smithsonian's American Women's History Initiative early childhood program series, "Her Story: How Women and Girls Transformed the World!"
Starting Thursday, March 10. Broadcast on PBS stations. Not yet available online.
"Sisters Rising." Documentary feature. US. Willow O’Feral, Brad Heck. Co-producer Jaida Grey Eagle. Executive producer: Tantoo Cardinal. Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women, and often their perpetrators target Native women as “safe victims.”
This film is the story of six Native American women — a tribal cop in the midst of the North Dakota oil boom, an attorney fighting restrictions on tribal sovereignty, an Indigenous women’s self-defense instructor, grassroots advocates, and the author of the first anti-sex trafficking code to be introduced to a reservation tribal court. They are fighting to restore personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of ongoing sexual violence against indigenous women in the United States. An urgent call to action, and a memorable portrait of women acting in solidarity. Trailer
Wet'suwet'en Women Face Violence in Frontline Struggle to Protect Ancestral Lands" Molly Wickham, Wet´suwet´en, Supporting Chief in the Cas Yikh House of the Gidimt’en clan of her Nation, spoke to Cultural Survival about her involvement and the importance of continuing to resist the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia through unceded Wet’suwet’en land.
Monthly Film Series Online
International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
Presented by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. MT
Short films followed by live discussion on Zoom. Free and with donation. RSVP required to get the link.
A project to create short animated Indigenous films, each a story narrated in its original language, is in progress in Mexico, by the production organization Hola Combo. The goal is to produce an animation for each of the 68 language families in Mexico. This evening’s program is a virtual screening of 19 animations, all subtitled in English, and made 2018-2021. Following the films is a live Zoom discussion with the project’s producer, Gabriela Badillo.
March 10 - 20. In-person in San Diego. Online in US, Puerto Rico and Baja California (MX). General tickets $12 / Seniors, students, military $10 / members $9
This year’s San Diego Latino Film Festival features virtual & drive-in film screenings, Q&As with filmmakers and special guests, a Sonido Latino concert, and an awards ceremony. Online screenings start on specified dates and times and are accessed through the website’s Catalog. They are available to start for 24 hours and once started, available for an additional 24 hours. Films have English subtitles
Thursday, March 10, starting at 12:01 am PT
"Tejiendo Sombras (Shadow Weavers)." Documentary feature. Peru, US, Spain. Erica Nguyen. In Spanish and Quechua. A story of Peruvian hats, their different identities and cultural meanings, a story told by the people who wear them, who make and repair them, and who perpetuate the tradition. Preview.
Friday, March 11, starting at 12:01 am PT
"Mariposas del Campo" Documentary feature. US. Bill Yahraus. In English, Spanish, Mixteco, Zapoteco. Indigenous Mixtec, Zapotec, and Purépecha teenagers from Mexico strive to change their families’ destinies in the strawberry fields of Oxnard, California, while they navigate cultural identity, parental expectations, economic challenges, and the justice needs of their migrant farmworker community. Preview.
"Ska’yaa (Strength)" Documentary feature. Mexico. Jorge Díaz Sánchez. In Spanish, Triqui. In the Oaxaca highlands Sergio Zúñiga created a project for Triqui youth based on believing basketball has the capacity to encourage them in their studies and their circumstances, and to offer an alternative to the cycle of poverty that envelopes their community. The film follows three boys as they work hard and achieve some international triumphs. Preview.
Tuesday, March 15, starting at 12:01 am PT
"Palabras verdaderas" (True Words) Documentary feature. Mexico. Denisse Quintero. In Spanish, Zoque ayapneco. The community of Ayapa in the state of Tabasco, traditionally has spoken a form of the Zoque language--the Nuumte Oote “True Voice”-- that is critically endangered. In this film, through the testimonies of various elderly locals, the collective memory of the town is created as an oral history, and the current efforts to recover their language, vibrant until the mid-20th century, from disappearing are followed. Preview.
"Los guardianes del maíz (Keepers of the Corn)." Documentary feature. Mexico. Gustavo Vasquez. In Zapotec, Chinantec, Spanish, English. The importance of heritage practices based on local environments and the vital knowledge of Indigenous farmers, and the investigations of agricultural scientists, is explored in a highly informative documentary filmed in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Central to this are seed exchange gatherings, venues for trading seeds, knowledge and experience, that have taken place in small villages in these highlands for thousands of years. Since 1960 a central seed exchange has taken place at the annual Feria de la Agrobiodiversidad in the town of Ejido Union Zapata.
Online in California only. March 11 starting at 12:01 am PT
"El silencio del topo (The silence of the Mole)" Documentary feature. Guatemala. Anaïs Taracena. In Spanish. In the decade of the 70s, a journalist, self pro-claimed as “The Mole” infiltrated one of the most repressive governments of Guatemala. Through the quest of this unusual man, the film explores how the revelations of the truth can force cracks in the walls of silence.
Free. Ongoing online.
In “Language Builds Legacies,” posted online in Folklife, the digital magazine of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Maddie Van Oostenburg has selected a retrospective of 10 short films from the Mother Tongue Film Festival. The films are accessed in the article and stream for free.
First Contact Animation. US. Stephen Paul Judd. What would the Americas look like today had European settlers never invaded the continents? Here’s an imagined conversation between two Mohegan men as they witness the arrival of European ships onto their shores. "Smoke That Travels" Documentary. US. Kayla Briet. An intimate exploration of director’s own family history and the knowledges transmitted by her father. "Zuni in the Grand Canyon" Documentary. US. Daniel Byers. The A:shiwi (Zuni) people have regained their ancient pilgrimage to sacred sites, forbidden to them since 1906, in the Grand Canyon. "Kat at Kat’ex / Where Are They Now?" Guatemala. Eduardo Mutzumá Say (Ixil Maya). Documentary. The legacies of the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996) echo loudly in the lives of the country’s Indigenous communities.
"The Gringo Mapuche" Documentary. Chile. Anthony Rauld. A young Mapuche man, adopted as by a family in the US, takes a great journey of self-discovery and experiences being welcomed into his community of origin. "UU?uu~tah" Narrative. Canada. Chad Charlie. A young Ahousaht chief, Uu?uu-tah, must prove himself to his community, becoming an expert whaler and providing for those he loves. "Tama" Narrative. Aotearoa/New Zealand. Jared Flitcroft and Jack O’Donnell. A Māori boy yearning to connect to his cultural roots is empowered by a near-tragic experience. "Koriva" Narrative. Papua New Guinea. Euralia Paine. A fascination with earrings; a reminder of how traditions and objects from the past can build connections. "Source of the Wound" Animation. US. Adrian Baker. Probing the nature of generational trauma in Native communities. "Identidad" Video essay. Panama. Iván Jaripio. Artfully compares notions of modern progress with the loss of Indigenous identity and expression.
March 11 - 20. In-person in New York. Online in US and Puerto Rico.
Tickets $15 / $6 for students.
Two Indigenous short films in this annual women-focused film festival.
"The Shaman’s Apprentice" Animation. Canada. Zacharias Kunuk. A shaman must face her first test. In Shorts 1. "Tarcila: Indigenous Solutions to Climate Change from Peru" Documentary. Peru. Activist Tarcila Rivera Zea (Quechua) and her organization Chirapaq fight for Indigenous rights. As weather becomes more unreliable, they focus on what’s working for Andean farmers. In Shorts 3.
March 4 - 13. In-person in Miami. Tickets.
Sunday, March 6. "Nalujuk Night" Documentary short. Canada. Jennie Williams (Inuk). Experience an exhilarating and sometimes scary Nunatsiavut tradition. In Shorts Program 2. Schedule TBA. "Burros" Narrative short. US. Jefferson Stein. On the Tohono O’odham Nation, in Arizona 20 miles from the Mexican border, a six-year-old girl discovers a migrant her age who has lost her father while traveling from Mexico into the United States. In Shorts Program 6
Upcoming March Festivals with Indigenous Films
DCEFF/Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, March 17-27. Online
Maoriland Film Festival, March 16-20, In-person in Otaki, Aotearoa/New Zealand
“Soul of a Nation: Tribal Sovereignty and the American Revolution”
Live presentation on Zoom. Register on website.
March 10, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm ET
This historic center in New Paltz, NY, frequently offers public programs concerned with the history and presence today of the original Lenape peoples of the area and their descendants. This talk considers the active engagement in the American Revolution of Native nations, in addition to the British and the colonists, playing major roles in both the fight for and against American independence. Indigenous groups, like the Munsee and the Mohicans, were inspired or persuaded to take sides in the conflict, and this talk explores how such decisions would go on to impact the course of their communities’ histories forever. Heather Bruegl is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and a first line descendent Stockbridge-Munsee. Mark Peters is the Chief of the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. He has been the historian for their community for the past 30 years. A recording of this program will be posted later on the website.
Free. On Zoom. Register on the website
March 9, 6:30 - 7:30 pm CT
A discussion of "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann. This award-winning nonfiction book examines a violent episode in American history. In the 1920s members of the Osage tribe were being murdered under mysterious circumstances, sparking a major investigation by the new FBI agency, and exposing a chilling conspiracy. The book has been adapted for a major motion picture produced by Martin Scorcese. The Eiteljorg Western Book Club meets bi-monthly.
Streaming on Zoom. Free with online registration.
March 16, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm ET
Speaker: Paul Basu, Professor of Anthropology, University College London. In his introduction to the work of the research project "Museum Affordances / [Re:] Entanglement," Basu writes, “What do museums and their collections make possible? How can we activate these latent possibilities? Through such activation, can archives and collections assembled in the context of colonial scientific expeditions contribute to the project of decolonization? Over the last four years, we have been exploring these questions through an extended experiment in museum methods.” This timely research is focused geographically on collections assembled from West Africa in the early 20th century, with a significant look at original intentions and what can be meanings for communities and stakeholders today.
Soon to be online on BGC website
"MacArthur x BGC: What is Conservation?"
Preservation can be seen at the heart of both modern political and modern biological thought. A panel of MacArthur Fellows in the arts discusses the significance of conservation, and how it affects or reflects the way humans consider themselves and their society. Featuring Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw), Sendhil Mullainathan, Marla Spivak, and Campbell McGrath. Moderated by Peter N. Miller. Originally live on Zoom on March 2.
Theater and Talks
"Limikkin" by Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora Six Nations of the Grand River). Directed by Rhianna Yazzie (Dine). Actors: Ajuwak Kapashesit (White Earth Ojibwe descent and Cree) and Oogie Pushetonequa (Meskwaki).
The fourth audio play from NNT’s online festival introduces the work of a playwright who has created a world of recurring characters, here and in her full-length works.
In-person in New York City. Free with Museum admission. Space is limited so attendance is on first-come, first-served basis
Friday, March 11, 11:00-11:45 am ET.
Artist Marie Watt (Seneca Nation, German-Scots descent) discusses her artistic process, exploring how her collaborative, interdisciplinary work draws from history, biography, Haudenosaunee feminisms, and connections to place.
March 10 - 12, 17-19. In-person in New York. Tickets
"In the Court of the Conqueror" by george emilio sanchez. A solo performance that both delves into how US courts have diminished tribal sovereignty and shares Sanchez’ experiences being raised in an Ecuadorian immigrant Indigenous household.
Adam Piron, Kiowa and Mohawk, has been named the director of the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program. He previously served as the Indigenous Program’s interim director, associate director and program manager. He will continue to serve as a short film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. Previously Piron was the film curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is a co-founder of COUSIN, a film collective dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of the moving image. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Seen, a journal produced by BlackStar examining the visual culture of communities of color, featuring interviews, reviews and essays about Black, Brown and Indigenous visual culture. Piron has a degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts
Indigenous Eligibility for Film Production Support
This week in Canada a major issue in Indigenous film and other sectors of cultural production--how to determine who is eligible for Indigenous production support--was addressed by Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office in collaboration with Canada’s Indigenous broadcast channel, APTN. The two entities released "Building Trust and Accountability: Report on Indigenous Eligibility in the Indigenous Screen Sector," a major study authored by Indigenous-owned Archipel Research and Consulting.
The report’s prologue states that it “...represents a step in an ongoing journey, which will require the continuation of these important conversations among our communities and nations. It is not lost on any of the organizations involved in the work that this report is the result of issues arising from colonialism and, like so many facets of unpacking colonialism, we as Indigenous Peoples are taking the lead and finding solutions. It is work we do because it is necessary to honor and uphold the efforts of our ancestors and of our future relations...
“...This report will help guide our organizations in determining eligibility for our programs in a way that includes citizenship as well as notions of belonging and kinship that exist within our Nations, to ensure we are as inclusive of our relations as possible, while also ensuring our funding is directed appropriately... “