Founded 2003

Program Overview

NATIVE INDIGENOUS ANIMATION LAB, will open for submissions September 1st, 2023. The animation lab is held during the Red Nation International Film Festival (November), it’s a creative lab like no other. The format consists of a combination of commercial television production elements and techniques with professional industry animators.

The Animation Lab is a system of television and film collaborations between producers, writers, educators, and researchers.

This is a creative environment for Native Indigenous writers, filmmakers and artists who have an animated film, script, treatment, comic book, or visual material they want to develop into an animated television series or feature film.

Throughout the 18 years of working with and experiencing the creative talent we have in our Native Indigenous communities, Red Nation Celebration Institute has witnessed the development and growth of our fellows. 

A total of 4 writers, filmmakers and artists are accepted and receive professional guidance from Industry professionals in this field of animation. The overall goal is that the participants hone their craft in developing a project for distribution and/or obtain employment in film, television and media.


Animation Lab
Sage Romero, Joanelle Romero, Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, Reem Ali-Adeeb, Amos Sussigan

Presented By:

Film LA

Success Stories

Alba Enid García

Film went on to stream at HBO and win a RNCI Red Nation Awards for "Best Animation Short' 2019. In 2022 Alba Garcia will create her first Children's TV Series alongside Bronx Net TV channel.

Dak’Toká Taíno, (I am Taíno)

A young Taíno girl, Marabelí, visits her grandma, Abuela Yaya after Hurricane María. Marabelí expresses her fears of survival, while Abuela Yaya comforts and reminds her of their resilient Taíno ancestors and challenging history. This film warmly reflects in the future of Puerto Ricans as an indigenous society.

Director: Alba Enid García.

Raven Meets The Little Makers went on to win a RNCI Red Nation Awards for "Best Animation Short' 2018 and was invited to attend Jim Henson Sesame Street Workshop in New York 2019. In 2022 Daniel went with a Native delegation to the Cannes Film Festival.

Raven Meets The Little Makers

In “Raven Meets the Little Makers,” Raven has wandered outside of his familiar islands. He meets a funny little couple who invite him to their lodge and serve him delicious salmon pulled from a cedar screen. While trying to figure out this magic, he’s confronted by a hungry coyote trying to get in! Raven’s new friends have disappeared with Raven hot on their tracks and Coyote right behind! How can Raven help his friends and not be eaten himself? Teachings: Cooking using a cedar plank; creation story about how the Haida islands became covered with water; learn about beavers and how their population has declined in Canada.

Director: Daniel Foreman.

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • NoVo Foundation
  • California Community Foundation
  • National Endowment for Humanities

Support for the Native Indigenous Animation Lab

Native Indigenous Animation Lab is made possible through gifts, grants and sponsorships.

Give your support to Native Indigenous Animation Lab program.

  • Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles
  • Gavin White Empowerment Fund
  • Joanelle Romero
  • RNCI Board of Directors

RNCI Year-Round Program Calendar

The Red Nation Celebration Institute Programs focus on the specific development of storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds, encompassing feature film and episodic work. Fellows will receive hands-on support from the Institute and advisors, including one-on-one feedback sessions and roundtable discussions.

A look inside our Creative Program Labs and Intensives

to experience more documentaries visit Red Nation Television Network and RedNationFilms

Animation lab
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