Red Nation Celebration Institute

Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) The Creative Enterprise by Natives delivering to all people the stories that shape our world. Is the longest-running successful Native Women-Led Indigenous Media Arts and Cultural non-profit enterprise in the history of the entertainment industry. Serving over 575+ Native Nations in the U.S. and collectively on the planet 1200. Based in Los Angeles with office in Santa Fe New Mexico.

Founded by Joanelle Romero in 1995 with the mission to break barriers of racism by creating systemic change through film television in all media in order to eliminate American Indian stereotypes. Our vision for the future of cinema and the arts 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.


Red Nation International Film Festival (RNIFF) is a program of RNCI. Empowering Native Indigenous Storytellers Since 1995. Is the largest Native Indigenous Film Festival in the world and the first in Los Angeles.

Amplifying more than 5000+ Native and Indigenous content creators through its streaming company Red Nation Television Network, supporting 2700+ Native Indigenous filmmakers through its Red Nation International Film Festival, including films directed by women through its Native Women in Film & Television in All Media, since 1995. In the last six years RNCI has screened 162 films directed by women.

Los Angeles is home to the largest urban American Indian and Alaska Native population in the country, with over 200 tribes, including the original peoples of this land: the Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash.

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.


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

Alma Martinez
Alma Martinez takes a seat in the Dailey Theatre. Alma is an active actor, teacher, director and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. / photo by Terrence Lewis

Amazing … The integration of indigenous spirituality and respect for traditions and elders was, as an artist eye-opening and life changing. The sense of community and respect for integrity as a state of mind, a way of life as a lens through which to see the world was extraordinary at Red Nation Film Festival.

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

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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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