RNCI Flagship Programs

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.

Filmmakers includes (short-list) Danis GouletSterlin Harjo, Loretta Todd, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark Williams, James Bird, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kyle Kauwika Harris, Zahn McClarnon, Katsitsionni Fox, Daniel Foreman, Alba Enid García, Klee Benally, Yvonne Russo, Randy Redroad, Jeffrey Palmer, Hepi Mita, Chelsea Winstanley, Taika Waititi, Quannah Rise Chasinghorse  including allies that have made Native and Indigenous themed films or have been presenters at RNCI Red Nation Awards Christian Bale, Scott Cooper, Benicio del Toro, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Cara Jade Myers, Edward James Olmos, Ed Begley Jr., Joely Fisher, Frances Fisher, Chloe Zhao, A Martinez, Taylor Sherdian, Joe Berlinger, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, Josh Tickell, Susanna White, Stephen S. Campanelli, Brigitte Timmerman, Deborah Anderson, Kathleen Hepburn, Alma Martinez, Jaima Chevalier, Joanne Storkan, Haroula Rose, Lesley Johnson, Chris Writs, Mark Ruffalo, Jason George, Dolores Huerta and Dan Aykroyd.

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.


“Hollywood & Indian Country’s Biggest Night for American Indian & Indigenous Voices”™
Cementing Native Indigenous at the forefront of the Entertainment Industry

Hollywood has Oscar, Broadway has Tony, Television has the Emmy, and Indian Country has the Red Nation Film Award of Excellence™

Since 1995, the RNCI Red Nation Awards has honored outstanding artistic achievements in television, film, comedy, music and the arts. The show is an integral part of RNCI’s mission and is held on the last day closing the Red Nation International Film Festival. RNCI’s mission is to create greater opportunities for American Indian & Indigenous families in the United States. As a national television special with a cause, the RNCI Red Nation Awards demonstrates how inclusion strengthens the entertainment industry and diversity strengthens our country by promoting fair, accurate, and representative portrayals of American Indian & Indigenous image.

Each November, in celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to RNCI Red Nation Awards. Interest and anticipation builds as we lead up to the RNCI Red Nation Awards LIVE telecast on Red Nation Television Network, when hundreds of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in native filmmaking.

Since 2015, RNCI produces a Nominee Awards Press Conference

Native Women in Film & Television in All Media (NWIFTV)

Native Women in Film & Television in All Media #NWIFTV founded in 1995 and started as a Native Women in Music Festival in Santa Fe NM. #NWIFTV went on to having its own program of screenings at the annual Red Nation International Film Festival (RNIFF), films directed by women screen annually in November. In 2003, Native Women in Film & Television needed to become a stand alone Film Festival leading up to The Academy Awards, out of a direct need to keep our image at the forefront of the entertainment industry. NWIFTV is the only film festival dedicated to Native & Indigenous women filmmakers, hence Native Women in Film & Television in All Media Festival was born.

At the height of #MeToo actor/director/founder/humanitarian Joanelle Romero (AMPAS) founder of NWIFTV  coined and founded #WhyWeWearRED with a media coalition to address a Global Call to Action initiative that aims to bring awareness to Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls and the lack of inclusion of Native Women in Film & Television. Every year in March, leading up to the Academy Awards the annual Native Women in FILM Festival takes place along with Conversation Series and Women of Influence.

The Matriarchs of Cinema™ / Women of Influence Decolonizing The Entertainment Industry

NWIFTV Festival has 32 films directed by women this year 2023, marking the largest number of films by Native women directors. We’ve surpassed all of them in numbers — Toronto Film Festival, Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca and the Oscars. It’s been quite extraordinary. We are in our 14th year with NWIFTV film festival and the past six years our numbers are reflecting that we are leading the way for women directors from a native perspective.” – Founder / Director Joanelle Romero

RNCI designed this program to connect people with deeply moving stories of those within our community to lead the entertainment industry to become more inclusive of our storytellers. In 2018, NWIFTV launched a media campaign WHY WE WEAR RED bringing a global awareness to the lack of inclusion of Native Women in Film & Television, which is directly linked to the epidemic of Murdered and Missing Native Women & Girls.

Red Nation Television Network (RedNationTV)

Red Nation Television Network is the first streamer predating Netflix and all others and is the longest running Native Indigenous television network. The station provides unique content about Native Indigenous news, heritage, pop culture, education, entertainment and lifestyle.

Native Indigenous Student Academy for Cinematic Arts 

The Native Indigenous Student Academy for Cinematic Arts is a program of Red Nation Celebration Institute amplifying emerging Native Indigenous student filmmakers. Each year, students from North American Indian, First Nation Peoples of Canada, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and International Indigenous Peoples from Mexico, South America, New Zealand, age range 10-25 years (College, University), enrolled (full-time or part-time) in a degree-granting program at an eligible school when the film was made or from a Native Reservation or Native based school compete for awards with films being judged in the following categories: Animation, Documentary, Live Action Narrative and Alternative/Experimental.

Other programs include RNCI Student Film Labs ‘Mentorship’ and Screenwriters’.

The Native Indigenous Student Academy of Cinematic Arts is an international student academy of excellence in film competition, first established in 1995 with the name Native Youth Matter – If I Can See It I Can Be It.  Since 1995, Native and Indigenous students have always been included in the submission process for RNCI program ‘Red Nation International Film Festival’ however in 2021, RNCI Board of Directors recognized that the students needed their own stand alone film festival and awards ceremony.

In 2022, RNCI reimagined the contributions that Native and Indigenous Students have brought to the table through their lens hence Native Indigenous Student Academy for Cinematic Arts was born.


RNCI Indigenous Film Commissions

The Creative Enterprise by Natives Delivering to All People the Stories that Shape our World™

Economic Development on Native Land™ in partnership with the Entertainment Industry


Provides film and television productions access to thousands of below-the-line crew members from native and Indigenous backgrounds.

A RNCI Crew community founded by Joanelle Romero in 2015.

Where Community Meets Culture Think Globally


RNCI has its roots in Santa Fe, New Mexico, produced during the famous Indian Market (1995); RNCI pioneered the MUSIC MOVEMENT during Indian Market.

In 1996, RNCI launched NATIVE WOMEN in MUSIC, NWIM has become a MUSIC MOVEMENT.

In 1998, Red Nation Celebration Institute produced their signature event Native Indigenous ‘Concert Series’ during the most important weeks of the music industry “The Grammy Awards Week.” In 2003, RNCI “Concert Series” became an “Official Grammy Event”

In 2005, RNCI launched the music scene on the Plaza during Indian Market.


The “On The Road” event by Red Nation Celebration Institute is a vibrant cultural and artistic showcase that celebrates the diversity and history of Native American communities in Los Angeles. This unique event will feature a diverse array of Native American artists, filmmakers, musicians, and dancers, showcasing their talents and sharing their stories. Through live performances, film screenings, and interactive exhibits, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Native American history, culture, and contemporary issues. With a focus on community, creativity, and inclusion, “On the Road” is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all those who attend.

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