(There will be a 30 minute intermission between each block of films)
12:00 PM Gathering Around the Fire Shorts Block
Naked Island is a series of shorts produced by The National Film Board of Canada that act as public service announcements for the modern era. Hipster Headdress, an ultra-short film, is an unapologetic confrontation of cultural appropriation and everything that’s wrong with hipsters in headdresses. The takeaway? Just don’t do it.
First-ever Native American Oscar honoree Wes Studi plays Ronnie BoDean, a larger-than-life outlaw with a short fuse and probably some loose screws. Uncouth and suffering from a mean hangover, he struggles to babysit his jailed neighbor’s precocious kids.
In this road-trip movie, Rozene and Diva drive to Guadalajara for their gender affirmation surgeries. On the way, Rozene visits her father to get answers about their fractured relationship, but secrets stand in the way of getting the closure she seeks.
In order to keep her alcoholism a secret, Ruby chooses to suffer rather than seek help. On her last living day, she finds solace in the effects alcohol takes on her mind, and her death is a transcendence where she no longer suffers.
68 Voces is an animated series that seeks to promote the preservation of Mexico’s 68 indigenous language groups. My Face Dies is based on the poem “Die Mi Rostros” by Manuel Espinosa Sainos, as told in the Totonacan language. With English Subtitles.
In this video, drawing from Bob Dylan’s song “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” layers of experiences circling loss and longing are overlaid between images of landscapes and movement. In the song, a stranger’s listlessness and exhaustion are woven through and around Juarez, Mexico, and so too are these stories woven around original discontent and uncertainty as they move through an uneasy negotiation with the strangeness of the American pioneer spirit.
Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into 14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.
1:30 PM Indigenous Futurism
This animated short tells the true story of a Cree family’s strange encounter one winter night, which results in a conversation beyond words.
Anishinaabe stories of the Moon People are retold through experimental steampunk animation with music by Cree cellist Cris Derksen.
In five short minutes, this short film destroys any remaining shreds of the myth of a fair and just Canada. Children forced from their homes and sent to residential schools, families examined like livestock in crowded tuberculosis clinics, tainted water and land, poisoned for industry and profit at the cost of Indigenous lives, and the list goes on. But filmmaker Jeff Barnaby’s message is clear: We are still here. Featuring the music of Tanya Tagaq.
A man with the power to heal time-travels from the future to rescue a tech genius who is pivotal in saving the Native American race. They are helped by a psychic comic book artist who has foreseen them coming when an officer is sent from the future to destroy them.
3:35 PM Community in Focus
The Northern Diné Youth Committee has worked to give youth opportunities to directly make changes within their community. But while they work to make changes, many members also consider their own futures, commitments to family, and the world outside of Shiprock.
In the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitán in Oaxaca, the world is not divided simply into males and females. The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” – men who consider themselves women and in-between genders. With English subtitles.
A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas) is based on the telling of two events: the San Antonio pecan shellers’ strike of 1938 and the Jobs with Justice march led by Nacogdoches cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, and housekeepers in 1987. Director Anne Lewis and associate producer Laura Varela will be in attendance for a Q & A.
7:00 PM For the Generations
Seri indigenous children and elders attended an animation course, where they studied cave art, ancient songs and oral accounts from the past. This is their adaptation of the Seri creation story. With English subtitles.
In this Maya-language short, a father recounts memories of his departed wife to his daughter, and reminds her of the purpose and cyclical nature of life. With English subtitles.
About the First Sunrise is a re-telling of the first sunrise, as told in the Huichol language. With English subtitles.
In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.
Summer moves slowly for Tia, a 10-year-old Syrian girl who has recently moved to Montreal with her parents, as she struggles to make new friends. When she finds a magic portal that transports her to the arctic tundra, she befriends Piujuq, an Inuk girl of her age, and they immerse themselves in a world of Inuit myth and magic.