November 11 - 28, 2020

The Conversation Series: Red Nation Indigenous Filmmakers Lounge Fellows Program

MEET THE FILMMAKERS 

 

Wed. 11/11

12:00 Nolan: Here Nor There (Feature Film)

Screenwriter/Producer: Dustan Hlady

“Nolan: Here Nor There is the coming-of-age tale of Nolan; a young man growing up on a reserve in the throes of a suicide epidemic. His mother, fearing for his life, sends him to live with family in Ft. Qu’Appelle. While in Ft. Qu’Appelle Nolan meets a quirky girl and a residential school survivor who become unwitting supports as he navigates his personal grief and finds his place in history and the treaty relationship.

The film was shot on Treaty 4 and 6 territory; On Okanese First Nation, Peepeekisis First Nation, Star Blanket First Nation, and in Ft. Qu’Appelle, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.”

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Wed. 11/11

3:00 One Word Sawalmem

Director: Michael “Pom” Preston

Nominated: Best Documentary Short 

“Finalist of the short film program of the Tribeca Film Institute, One World Sawalmem is born from one question: what is one word from your ancestral language which changed your life and which you can offer to humanity to heal our relationship with the Earth?”

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Friday 11/13

1:00 The Transcenders 

Director/Screenwriter: Montana Cypress and Actor: Andrew Roa

Nominated: Best Picture

“Two Native Americans struggle to make the transition from their home reservation to the city life, but soon find a solution in an advertised remedy that promises to transform their primitive behavior, to the ranks of the refined and successful.”

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Friday 11/13

4:00 In the Shadow of the Tugtupite

Director: Inuk Jørgensen 

Nominated: Best Documentary Short

“A poetic documentary questioning the rationale behind past and future mining prospects in Greenland and how they are linked to the search for identity of the fledgling nation in a post-colonial world. This is a cinematic portrait of despair and anxiety towards an unknown future for the Inuit of the world’s largest island.” 

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Friday 11/13

5:00 Without A Whisper 

Director: Katsitsionni Fox

Nominated: Best Documentary Short 

“The untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Mohawk Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner shake the foundation of the established history of the women’s rights movement in the United States. They join forces on a journey to shed light on the hidden history of the influence of Haudenosaunee Women on the women’s rights movement, possibly changing this historical narrative forever.”

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Friday 11/13

7:00 Truly Texas Mexican 

Director: Anibal Capoano and Screenwriter: Adán Medrano

Nominated: Best Documentary Feature

“The Native American roots of Texas Mexican food serve up a plate of feminism, cultural resistance, tacos and barbacoa. Texas chefs look boldly into the violence of colonization to offer a new culinary encounter for peace.”

“The story of comida casera, (home-cooking) of the Mexican American community of Texas is a Native American saga that begins 15,000 years ago when the first people step on Texas soil. They began domesticating the plants that sustain us today, and cooked the same wild game and fish. Comida casera was made famous in the late 1800s by indigenous businesswomen, chefs, who operated outdoor diners in Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio. Later called chili queens, they were eventually harassed and forced out of business by new dining regulations of the growing city center.

But others followed in their footsteps. Maria Sanchez of McAllen says that the food she serves in her restaurant not only keeps important traditions alive, it supports the sense of community. “I bring them memories,” she says of her customers, as she points to dishes of “fideo” and “caldo de res.” They are family recipes, so different from what she calls “cardboard food” sold by Taco Bell and others. Leticia Perez in Brownsville, a chef and street vendor, affirms that “while there are people who feel a passion to cook this, the roots will continue.”

This unique cuisine opens up a view of what it means to be “American.” It offers a new type of encounter with the other, one of understanding, building a table where ALL ARE WELCOME.

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Monday 11/16

2:30 Kiss The Ground (Documentary) 

Directors: Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell

Nominated: Best Documentary Feature

“The Solution is Right Under Our Feet”

“A revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians band together in a global movement of “Regenerative Agriculture” that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.”

Cast Woody Harrelson, Ray Archuleta, John Wick, Kristin Ohlson, Kristine Nichols, Mark Hyman, Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady, Maria Rodale, Jeff Creque,Paul Hawken, Stéphane Le Foll, André Leu, Jason Mraz Gabe Brown, Ian Somerhalder, Doniga Markegard, Erik Markegard, Michael Doane, Robert Reed, Gavin Newsom, Michael Martinez, Pashon Murray, Patricia Arquette, David Arquette, Ryland Engelhart, David Bronner, John D. Liu, Rosario Dawson

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Monday 11/16

4:00 Monkey Beach  (Feature)

Producer/Director: Loretta Todd

8 Nominations: Best Movie, Director (Loretta Todd), Best Actress (Grace Dove, Tina Lameman), Best Actor(Joel Oulette, Adam Beach, Nathaniel Arcand, Supporting Actor (Glen Gould)

“In an effort to turn her life around, a young indigenous woman returns to her hometown and discovers how dysfunctional her family has become.”

“Lisa Hill has powers. She can foretell death, She sees mythical creatures. She talks with the dead. She has harrowing visions. She left Kitamaat, her ocean-side village, hoping if she partied hard enough in Vancouver, her visions and the grief they inflicted would disappear. But when a warning from her dead cousin sends her racing back home, Lisa realizes the partying didn’t work. Her visions are back – with a vengeance. Her childhood visions of her younger brother Jimmy have returned. In them, Jimmy drowns.

Growing up, Lisa’s visions made her feel like she had to protect Jimmy. But no one would believer her – except for her grandmother, Mama-oo. Back home, Jimmy reassures Lisa that he’s good, he’s safe. But one morning he heads out with Uncle Josh on his fishing boat. When the Coast Guard calls to say the boat has disappeared, Lisa feels hopeless. Jimmy had insisted on fishing with Josh, but Lisa soon learns he wasn’t interested in fishing. He was intent on ridding the village of Josh, a sexual predator who has abused many young women, including Karaoke, Jimmy’s fiancé.

In a desperate quest to save Jimmy, Lisa sets out on a journey by boat to Monkey Beach, a powerful place where she believes she will find Jimmy – and where she will face the hardest journey of all, to the Land of the Dead. In her quest Lisa discovers the true meaning of her visions: But are they blessings in disguise or agents of dark forces?”

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Tuesday 11/17

12:00 Sacred Connections (Doc Short)

Director: Mckenna Sweet Dorman

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe: Celebrating Our Sacred Heritage
Tagline: We raise our hands to our ancestors. We raise our hands to all our relatives and all of those who joined us in this journey to get us to where we are today. We are truly blessed. Thank you all.

“As Snoqualmie People, for time immemorial we have lived, fished, hunted and gathered on and stewarded lands that are now known as Washington state. Almost 100 years after Snoqualmie and others signed the Treaty of Point Elliott of 1855, and promises were left unfulfilled, the federal government claimed Snoqualmie was an unrecognized tribe, abandoning their trust responsibility. For nearly 50 years after, the Snoqualmie Tribe fought for our federal recognition status to be restored which was successfully finalized in 1999. This 18-minute documentary, produced for the 20th Anniversary of our Re-Recognition, chronicles that fight through interviews with Tribal Elders past and present, Spiritual Leaders, and a rising generation of young Snoqualmie tribal members who are carrying forward the teachings of our ancestors. While honoring the land and natural gifts that have always been the source of life for the People, Sacred Connections tells the story of how the Tribe’s devoted members came together in resistance to injustice and pushed through obstacles at every level of the federal recognition process to re-establish the acknowledgment of our continued existence in the heart of our homelands and usher in a new era of connection with the land and each other.

Our hands go up to all who were involved in Snoqualmie’s historic Re-Recognition effort and in conceptualizing, filming, and producing this film.”

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Tuesday 11/17

1:00 Voices from the Barrens (Doc feature)

Directors: Nancy Ghertner, Brian Francis (Canadian Mi’Kmaq) 

Tagline: Native People, Blueberries and Sovereignty

“Voices from the Barrens, Native People, Blueberries and Sovereignty,” documents the wild blueberry harvest of the Wabanaki native peoples from the USA and Canada. The story engages with the Passamaquoddy tribe’s challenge of balancing the tradition of hand raking blueberries with the economics of the world market which favor mechanical harvesting.
For many years, in August First Peoples from the Canadian Wabanaki tribes- Mi’kmaq and Maliseet traveled across the international Canadian-USA border to participate with their Wabanaki brothers and sisters – the Passamaquoddy of Maine in the tradition of hand raking wild blueberries. The Native Americans (Wabanaki) do not describe this seasonal “agricultural labor” as work, but as part of the harvest from the earth, part of a visit to the blueberries of Maine’s barrens. The film’s story touches on the ancient pattern of this migration and how it relates to border crossings and Agri-Business in the 21st century. Conversations, experiences with rakers in the fields and in their cabins are interspersed with stunning views of the glacial barrens of Down East Washington County, Maine. As the film progresses through harvests from 2014 to 2019, the economic pressures of a global food economy threaten their tradition, as mechanical harvesting becomes the dominant form of harvesting the blueberries”

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Tuesday 11/17

2:00 Forgotten People  (Doc Short)

Director: Kenji Hawasaki

“An intimate look at how Navajos from different generations of a single family strive to keep their traditional values to pass on to future generations while finding their own place in American society.”

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Wed. 1/18

2:00 The Dark Divide (Feature)

Director: Tom Putnam

Nominated for 5 Awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Gary Farmer), Supporting Actor (Dyami Thomas), Supporting Actress (Kimberly Guerrero)

“Based on the story of renowned butterfly expert Robert Pyle (David Cross) who embarked on a life-changing trek through one of America’s most important unprotected wildlands in the summer of 1995.”

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Thursday 11/19

1:00 Soul of the Lands (Doc Short)

Director: Fabio Del Percio

“In Iceland, the indigenous ritual of the sweat lodge, brought there by a Native American more than 25 years ago, has been adopted by the Icelanders, undoubtedly demonstrating the practice’s resilience to new cultures.”

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Friday 11/20

7:00 Tonal 

Director: Leonel Oscar Gonzalez Benavides, Producer: Marcos Aguilar

3 Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor: Antonio Mike

This story recounts the adventure of some intrepid young men, who arrive at a village of Nahuatl speakers, -located north of the state of Guerrero, Mex- with the intention of studying their culture. When they arrive to the home of a humble family that offers them their hospitality, they are warned by the elder of the family of the dangers of the forest, and about a hunter who disappeared without a trace. Then, even after being forewarned, they treaded into the forest! Never imagining that their worst nightmare was about to begin!”

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Sat. 11/21

12:00 Dreamer (Live action short)

Directors: Vergi Rodriguez, Diana Zollicofer

“Lily Cruz, a DACA recipient, travels on a medical volunteer mission and upon returning to the USA a TSA agent isn’t so welcoming.”

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Sat 11/21

1:00  Becoming: Orlando Dugi   (Doc Short)

Director:  Kaela Waldstein

“Becoming” explores the connection of Orlando’s contemporary designs with his traditional Navajo upbringing, the honoring of Native women, especially his grandmothers. It challenges the notion that Native art must be fixed in time, and shows how weaving the past into the present can be a powerful form of cultural expression.”

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Sat 11/21

2:00 Blackwater (Live Action Short/TV Mini-Series Pilot)

Director: Boise Esquerra

Nominated: Live Action Short Film

“Blackwater follows the story of Birdie Blackwater. A washed up Native American country singer from the reservation who found stardom and fame at an early age. Now on her last leg career wise, and having burnt every bridge across America, Birdie finds herself alone and broke returning to her home land trying to cope with her life as it spirals out of control after ten years of reckless, unchecked, alcoholism.”

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Sunday  11/22

2:00 Shuar: Sendero de Vida (Doc Feature)

Director: Gregory Collett

“2012 we arrived in the Pastaza, Ecuador. Two filmmakers. Two travelers looking for the truth about the Amazon. With our guide Luis Kuash, we traveled via canoe, horse, on foot through intense jungle lands to Shuar/Kichwa comunidades. Our goal was to create needed projects with the Indigenous and this ‘doc film’ is the visual result of our work.”

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Monday 11/23

1:00 Yakonnhéhkwen (It Sustains Her) (Doc Short)

Director: Candace Maracle

“Two years ago, while I was mid-production of my film “Yakonnhéhkwen (It Sustains Her)” a student who I was teaching in Six Nations, ON committed suicide. Touched by this event, it informed the narrative of “Yakonnhéhkwen” placing a stronger focus on mental health and suicide. I wanted to create space to engage this discourse and empower viewers who have resonance with my main character’s story because suicide is such an epidemic on First Nation’s territories. 

Yakonnhéhkwen is a Kenyen’kéha word meaning ‘it sustains her’. Ann found healing in the rare traditional Iroquoian art form of black ash basketry. She also became keenly aware that her ancestors were there to show her the way. This is a short film about the depression that brought her to brink of suicide and her journey home, back to her culture and learning to truly value herself as an Onkwehonwe woman and artist.”

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Monday 11/23

2:00 Essence of Goodness: The Harold Axtell Story. (Doc Short)

Director: Christopher Darton

“Documentary film on the life of Dr. Harold Axtell, raised in an abusive family he went on to play trombone in the Isle O’Blues Orchestra and tour the world. When the music ended, Harold got his BA and Ph.D at Cornell University and went on to become one of the leading Naturalists/Ornithologists in North America. The legacy he left behind of memories, letters, diaries, notes and photos reveal a man of great philosophy, depth and a passion for life.

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Monday 11/23

3:00 Shattering Sacred Ground (Doc Short)

Director:  Neta Rhyne

“Shattering Sacred Ground is the first film in this important Documentary Mini-Series focused on the history of a group of artesian springs that have flowed over 20 million gallons a day of clear, fresh water for 11,000 years in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas and a Cherokee womans fight to protect this very fragile ecosystems existence from the onslaught of the fossil fuel industry.”

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Tuesday 11/24

1:00 Angels Ladder (Live Action Short)

Director:  John Powers

“When a devout woman (Clare Carey) takes ownership of a family home in the coastal hills north of Santa Barbara, she is possessed by the spirit of a Native shaman (Carla-Rae) and is transformed into a powerful seductress who begins to play out a trauma from her past.”

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Tuesday 11/24

2:00 Nahanni: River of forgiveness (Doc Feature)

Directors: Geoff Bowie, Michael Allder

“The Dene are Indigenous people in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Dehcho Dene spent the winters hunting and trapping in the mountains along the South Nahanni River. In the spring they would build a great moose skin boat. When the ice broke, the families with all their belongings and their harvest of dried meat and furs would set off down the magnificent Nahanni River. A moose skin boat hasn’t been seen on the Nahanni in one hundred years! Now Dene want to re-awaken this tradition, to reconnect with the spirit – the spirit of their ancestors, the spirit of their land, and of their culture. It is a sacred, healing journey to reclaim whatever has been lost.”

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Tues  11/24

3:00 Uma: A Water Crisis In Bolivia (Doc Feature)

Director: Ana Llacer

Nominated: Best Documentary Feature

“Three indigenous communities in the Bolivian highlands fight to protect their water from diversion and contamination amid a national water crisis. Evo Morales has consistently supported the expansion of mining throughout his presidency and granted miners unrestricted water access. UMA, the Aymara word for water, takes us on a journey from the tropical Andean glaciers and the highest navigable lake in the world to the mines of Oruro, and the vanished Lake Poopó. It is a women’s story of displacement, resistance, and struggle for environmental justice.”

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Wed. 11/25

1:00 Ophir (Doc Feature)

Directors: Alexandre Berman, Olivier Pollet

“Ophir tells the story of an extraordinary indigenous revolution for life, land and culture, leading up to the creation of the world’s newest nation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. A poetic yet dramatic ode to the indelible thirst for freedom, culture and sovereignty; the film sheds light on the biggest conflict of the Pacific since WWII, revealing the visible and invisible chains of colonisation and its enduring cycles of physical and psychological warfare.”

 





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