RNCI / On The Road

Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) was established out of a direct need and today is an industry standard. RNCI has its roots in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the famous Indian Market (est. 1995); RNCI partnered with Southwest Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) Don Owen, executive director at that time. RNCI pioneered the music movement during Indian Market at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre. In 1995 there wasn’t any contemporary American Indian music being performed, since the inception of Indian Market.

TODAY, RNCI is the longest-running, Native Women-Led, Indigenous Media Arts & Cultural non-profit enterprise organization in the history of the entertainment industry. Representing over 575+ Native Nations in the U.S. and collectively on the planet 1200. Based in Los Angeles with offices in Santa Fe New Mexico.


Founded by Joanelle Romero in 1995 with the mission is to break barriers of racism by creating systemic change through media and pop culture in order to eliminate Native American stereotypes. Our vision for the future of cinema is one in which Native Indigenous perspectives are authentically pictured, recognized, and valued in a way that promotes strong authentic Native identities, economic outcomes, equity, and wellness for our Indigenous communities.

Today, Red Nation International Film Festival (RNIFF) is the largest Native Indigenous Film Festival in the Entertainment Industry and the first in Los Angeles. A program of Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) the Creative Enterprise by Natives delivering to all people the stories that shape our world. Empowering Indigenous Storytellers Since 1995.

Consider contributing to changing the narrative #represnationmatters

News & Stories

The upcoming Native Women in Film Festival will feature more than 30 films from Indigenous women directors – the largest number of films by Native women among film festivals this year.

Standing Rock Protests Come to Life in Feature Film ‘On Sacred Ground,’ Starring David Arquette (Exclusive)

AMC Networks Eyes More Native American Stories With Red Nation Film Festival Pact

Indigenous Voices – Cronkite News

RNIFF Films Race for the 2023 Oscars

Through our RNCI Red Nation Awards, the only Native Indigenous awards show that is broadcast annually since 2013 on Red Nation Television Network. This is a whole new market for the entertainment industry, films made by and about people of Native Indigenous descent.

The RNIFF-screened Two Oscar-qualifying films to compete in the 2023 Oscar race for Best Live Action and Best Picture. Let’s cheer them on as they race for a nomination.

Native Indigenous film and filmmakers are still underrepresented in mainstream media and pop culture, one of the strongest pathways to breaking those barriers is supporting our mission through our year-round programs.

November 20, 2022 at the RNCI Red Nation Awards Wes Studi won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for A LOVE SONG and BURROS won Best Live Action including The Film Consultant Award went to  Larry ‘Bear” Wilson: Burros.

… both are eligible to be shortlisted for the Academy Award, being the largest Native Indigenous film festival in the entertainment industry, this is fantastic news. Congratulations to our Filmmakers.

American Holocaust When Its All Over I'll Still Be Indian


There have only been 2 Native filmmakers, that we know of, that have made the Oscars short-list in its 95 year history as of 2023!

American Holocaust: When Its All Over I’ll Still Be Indian‘ 2000 for Best Doc Short, director Joanelle Romero

Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice’ 2021 for Best Animated Short Film, director Zacharias Kunuk.


Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice

November 9-19.
In Person

RNIFF largest Native Indigenous Film Festival in the Country.

November 20.
In Person

“Hollywood & Indian Country’s Biggest Night for American Indian & Indigenous Voices”™ Hollywood has Oscar, Broadway has Tony, Television has the Emmy, and Indian Country has the Red Nation Film Award of Excellence™

Events 2022

Oct 10 – Nov 30

Event / October 10

Special / October 13

Special / October 25th

WES STUDI to receive the RNCI Lifetime Achievement Award

27th RNCI Red Nation Awards Ceremony

For Your Consideration
‘A Love Song’ premiered at #RNIFF27 Season
#Oscars @Academy

Red Nation International Film Festival is the only festival in the world that has created the ‘The Marlon Brando Award’ in his honor for his commitment to the American Indian and cinematic arts.

The Brando Award endorsed by Miko Brando and Rebecca Brando.

Red Nation Celebration Institute partners in 2022/23 with Edward James Olmos LALIFF with four Latinx Indigenous Filmmakers in Celebrating American Indian Heritage Month.  

Get Involved


The program is led by Red Nation Celebration Institute with Global partners, it’s a pathway that focuses on behind the camera, entry-level, below-the-line opportunities for Native and Indigenous talent.
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