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Native FilmFest Returns to Palm Springs

02/08/2013 04:04PM ● Published by Steve

Native FilmFest

Celebrating its twelfth season, Native FilmFest, presented by Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, is one of the most highly regarded events of its kind. The festival, which features the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples from around the world, will be held at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs Wednesday, February 27 through Sunday, March 3.

Guest Programmer of the festival is Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Engaging, entertaining, and enlightening feature films, documentaries, and short films are followed by informative Q&A sessions. Visit www.accmuseum.org for screening schedule. Tickets are available at Camelot Theatres Box Office or www.camelottheatres.com.

Michelle H. Raheja, an Associate Professor in the English Department at UCR, will give a talk about Native American/Indigenous film on Tuesday night at the start of Native FilmFest. She has recently returned from Norway where she was a Fulbright Research Scholar studying Sami films. Her most recent book is Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film.

Special guest filmmaker and educator Chris Eyre, who is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations of Oklahoma, will be a festival participant. People magazine named him “the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time.” His debut film Smoke Signals was based on a series of short stories by Native American writer Sherman Alexie. It debuted in 1998 at the Sundance Festival winning the Filmmakers Award Dramatic and Audience Award Dramatic.

Since that debut, Chris Eyre has made a number of distinctive films such as Skinwalkers and the signature film for the National Museum of American Indian, A Thousand Roads. He newest film release is Hide Away, starring Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zuver and James Cromwell. Currently, he is the Chair of the Moving Image Arts Department of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Mr. Eyre’s Hide Away will be screened at the festival, and he will be an integral part of the Q&A that follows the screening. Also, he will conduct film lecture/workshops for high school students interested in film—drawing primarily from media classes at area high schools. Complimentary All Access Passes to Native FilmFest will be made available to students.

Every year, the late Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Richard M. Milanovich, attended Native FilmFest. He was a true lover of films of all genres. It is most fitting that we honor him, with the good wishes of his family, by establishing the Richard M. Milanovich Award for Distinguished Contributions to Indigenous Film. Although not an annual award, the Museum will present the first Award to Native filmmaker Chris Eyre at the 2013 festival.

Tickets to the festival will be affordably priced at $10 for Adults and $7 for Senior Adults (60+), Youth (16 and under), Students, and Active Military Personnel. All Access Passes are $70. Ticketholders may attend public receptions daily between the afternoon and evening screenings where they may purchase tasty meals, snacks, and beverages at the Camelot Internationale Café, as well as visit with other filmgoers and the filmmakers, directors, and actors in attendance.

Event Details:

Views on Native Film Lecture
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Camelot Theatres
2300 East Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Free Admission and Parking

Native FilmFest
Date: Wednesday, February 27 through Sunday, March 3, 2013
Time: Visit www.accmuseum.org for Screening Schedule
Location: Camelot Theatres
2300 East Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Box Office: 760-325-6565

Free Parking

Tickets available for purchase at Camelot Theatres Box Office or online at www.camelottheatres.com.

2013 Native FilmFest Schedule

PRE-FESTIVAL EVENT

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

7:30 pm

Views on Native Film – Lecture

Presenter:
Michelle H. Raheja, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in the English Department at University of California, Riverside

Dr. Raheja will set the stage for Native FilmFest with a free lecture about Native American Indigenous film. She has recently returned from Norway where she was a Fulbright Scholar studying Sami films. Her most recent book is Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film.

Camelot Theatres
2300 East Baristo Road in Palm Springs

Admission and parking are free.

SCREENING SCHEDULE & FILM SYNOPSES

Wednesday, February 27

7:00 pm
Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests. 

8:00 pm

Pathfinder – Ofelaš
(Norway, Feature, 90 minutes)

Pathfinder is the first Sami-language feature film and is based on a Norwegian legend that dates back 1,000 years. This story of a young man who leads his people in a fight against a brutal band of plunderers vividly evokes ancient Sami life.

Director: Nils Gaup (Sami)

Thursday, February 28

5:00 pm

Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos
(Canada, Documentary, 50 minutes)

A young woman is on a journey to revive the ancient Inuit tradition of face tattooing, a tradition forbidden for a century and almost forgotten. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril struggles to overcome resistance from younger and middle generations of her fellow Inuit in her quest to find out all she can before she tattoos herself.

Director: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuit)
We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân
(United States, Documentary, 56 minutes)

Celebrating every Thanksgiving as “the Indians” who saved the Pilgrims, then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, spurred on by their intrepid Wampanoag linguist and MacArthur fellow Jessie Little Doe Baird, are saying loud and clear, in their Native tongue, “Âs Nutayuneân”  – “We still live here.”

Director: Anne Makepeace

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests. 

8:00 pm

Mesnak
(Canada, Feature, 96 minutes)
Strong language and situations

After receiving a photo from his biological mother, Dave embarks on a journey of understanding to help explain his past. The twentysomething urban aboriginal actor in Montreal returns to Kinogamish, a fictional First Nation’s reservation in northern Quebec where he was born and from which he was adopted at the age of three. Mesnak is as much about ritual, landscape, and nature as it is about the tragedy of modern-day Indigenous life.

Director: Yves Sioui Durand (Huron-Wendat)

Friday, March 1

5:00 pm

Hoverboard
(United States, Short, 6 minutes)

After watching Back to the Future Part ll, an imaginative young girl and her stuffed teddy bear try to invent a real, working hoverboard.

Director: Sydney Freeland (Navajo)

From the Heart
(United States, Documentary, 42 minutes)

Through the ages, bird singing and dancing have been an important part of Native culture for tribes of the Southwest.  From the Heart focuses on the many varieties of singers in California and Arizona through filmed interviews with elders and younger singers on their respective reservations.

Director: Sean Owen

Racing the Rez
(United States, Documentary, 57 minutes)

Racing the Rez is about running, Native American culture, high school cross-country, and what it takes to have a goal and never say die. In the rugged regions of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from rival high schools compete for the state championship and learn how their triumph over adversity will impact their lives forever.

Producer: Brian Truglio

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests. 

8:00 pm

Amaqqut Nunaat (The Country of Wolves)
(Canada, Short, 14 minutes)

In Amaqqut Nunaat, two brothers find themselves adrift on broken sea ice while hunting for seal. For many days, the boys drift in the darkness until the ice they are on settles on the shore of a strange and distant land.

Director: Neil Christopher
Producer: Louise Flaherty (Inuit)

On the Ice
(United States, Feature, 96 minutes)
Strong language and situations

Two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town find their bond tested when a seal-hunting trip goes wrong, resulting in the accidental death of their friend. Bonded by their dark secret, the two best friends are forced to create one fabrication after another in order to survive.  With their future in the balance, the two boys explore the limits of friendship and honor.

Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Inupiat)

Saturday, March 2

5:00 pm

Skins
(United States, Feature, 90 minutes)

This is the story of two Lakota Sioux brothers, Rudy and Mogie Yellow Lodge, on the fictional Beaver Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and the impact of destruction in Native American history on their lives today. Through his attempts to help his family and people, Rudy searches for answers to understand why they are in a condition that needs so much help, and the reasons for the sometimes extreme actions he employs to be helpful.

Director: Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes)

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests. 

8:00 pm
Hide Away
(United States, Feature, 88 minutes)

In Hide Away, a successful businessman (Josh Lucas) attempts to resurrect his life. Entering an idyllic harbor as a broken and haunted man, he buys and boards the dilapidated sailboat, Hesperus. Disturbed at night by unsettling dreams of his past, the boat becomes a beacon of hope as he begins the challenge of bringing back the shine to the tarnished vessel -- and to his life.

Director: Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes)

Sunday, March 3

5:00 pm

Sousa on the Rez
(United States, Documentary, 26 minutes)

The phrase "Native American music" may not suggest tubas and trumpets, but march music by composers like John Philip Sousa has been a part of Native culture for over a century. Sousa On The Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum takes a look at the vibrant but little-known tradition of brass band music in Indian country. It traces the origins of these groups and uncovers a secret history of the 20th century when all-Indian bands toured the United States and abroad.

Producer: Cathleen O.Connell

My Louisiana Love
(United States, Documentary, 66 minutes)
Strong language and situations

My Louisiana Love follows a young Native American woman, Monique Verdin, as she returns to southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. But soon she sees that her people’s traditional way of life is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. In this intimate documentary portrait, Monique must overcome the loss of her house, her father, and her partner – and redefine the meaning of home.

Director: Sharon Linezo Hong

7:00 pm
Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests. 

8:00 pm

The 6th World
(United States, Short, 15 minutes)

Navajo astronaut Tazbah Redhouse is a pilot on the first spaceship sent to colonize Mars. But a mysterious dream the night before her departure indicates there may be more to her mission than she understands.

Director: Nanobah Becker (Navajo)

Shouting Secrets
(United States, Feature, 88 minutes)
Strong language and situations

Shouting Secrets is a dramatic, yet hopeful and heartwarming, universal story that takes place in a Native American family. It’s a story that is at once about the constancy and the fragility of love, as well as the importance of family. It is finally a movie, which skips the stereotypes and lets the Native Americans save themselves with no need to be saved by the white man.

Director: Korinna Sehringer

The Sun Runner Magazine is proud to return as a media sponsor for the Native FilmFest in 2013.

Culture, News sun runner palm springs agua caliente film festival Native American indigenous camelot indian cultural museum native film fest filmfest elizabeth weatherford smithsonian michelle raheja ucr chris eyre richard milanovich

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