International Institute for
Indigenous Resource Management


Contact: Conflict and Accommodation
5th Annual Denver Indigenous Film & Arts Festival
October 7-13, 2008

Film Synopses


Alone and Together. Rain Lily SuperFly Youth Producers. This film explores the loss of a loved one through the eyes of a young man as he remembers his sister who died at an early age. An original script by Aaron and Derek Jones based on a book by Sherman Alexie. (Longhouse Media/Native Lens, 2008, 4 min.).


Andrea Menard Music Video. Produced in 24 hours at the 2007 IFAF Fly Filmmaking Workshop With singer/actress Andrea Menard, as their subject, the students from Native Lens combined live footage of Ms. Menard's 2007 Film Festival concert with their creative impressions of the actress. (Longhouse Media/Native Lens, 2007, 5 min.)




Beyond Boundaries, An Artist Exchange. Six Native artists from Hawai’i, Alaska and Massachusetts gather to share techniques & styles. Travel with them beyond boundaries in their unique exchange of art and creativity. (2007)


Bunky Echo-Hawk: A Profile. In this profile piece, Bunky Echo-Hawk shares his thoughts on the role of art and the artist. Bunky was the featured artist at the 2007 Indigenous Film & Arts Festival. His work appears in Future Warrior, a 2008 Festival selection. (Longhouse Media/Native Lens, 2008, 6 min.)


Double Trouble. Directors Wayne Blair and Richard Frankland. Are Kyanna from the Central Australian bush, and Yuma raised in Sydney, really long lost twins? When they trade places to find out, they get more than they bargained for. This delightful series made for Australian children's television adds a cross-cultural dimension to the “lost twin” story, exploring Aboriginal culture, and contrasting traditional ways of life with modern day thinking. One of thirteen episodes. (CAAMA Productions, 2008, 23 min.) A U.S. premiere.


The Elements of Ice. Director Honey Dawn Karima Pettigrew. Video portraits of indigenous people blend with Pettigrew's vocals and the music of Cherokee flutist Wildcat. (Wadulisi, Inc., 2007, 3 min.) A Colorado premiere.

The Exiles. Director Kent Mackenzie. The Exiles chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. The film follows a group of exiles— transplants from Southwest reservations—as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. Mackenzie earned the confidence of these Individuals who finally agreed to re-enact scenes from their lives for this picture. All of the actors play themselves. The Exiles premiered in 1961. Although not a commercial success, Native American writers and activists have long considered it one of the first works of art to portray modern life honestly and as an important forerunner for the cultural renaissance of American Indian fiction, poetry, filmmaking and theater starting in the 1970s. Thom Andersen's 2003 compilation documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself kicked off the rediscovery and restoration of this lost masterwork. (Milestone Film & Video, 2008, 72 min.) .

Future Warrior. Directors Jeana Francis & Nigel R. Long Soldier. This impressive first film by Francis and Long Soldier presents an intriguing sci-fi interpretation of “contact” in a future world where memories are chemically suppressed and the government has imprisoned the last traditional medicine man, hoping to prevent him from passing on his medicine and powers. (2007, 30 min.)


History of the Inupiat 1961: The Duck-In. Director Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson. Alaska statehood in 1959 brought federal laws to bear on the subsistence hunting of the Inupiat of Barrow. This video documents the community's successful protest against the government's insensitivity to its traditional way of life. (2005, 30 min.)


Indigenes (Days of Glory). Director Rachid Bouchareb. They had never stepped foot on the soil of Metropolitan France, but because France was at war, Said, Abdelkader, Messaoud and Yassir enlisted in the French Army, along with 130,000 other “indigenous soldiers” to liberate the “fatherland” from the Nazi enemy. These heroes that history forgot won battles in Italy, Provence and the Vosges before finding themselves alone to defend an Alsatian village against a German battalion. A film so powerful, it changed the course of history, convincing French President Jacques Chirac to reinstate the pensions to the “indigenes” who fought with the Free French Army. (2006, 120 min.)


Kokum Déménage (Kokum on the Move). Directors Vince and Évelyne Papatie. This film tells the story of the annual migration of the last nomadic people of Abitibi towards Kitcisakik (“the Island of the Elders”) in Grand Lake Victoria, where the grandparents have met every summer for centuries in the place where time stops. (Wapikoni Mobile, 2006, 6 min.) .


Le Lac Abitibi (Lake Abitibi). Director Mélanie Kistabish. Algonquin director Kistabish traces the history of Lake Abitibi, a traditional gathering place for her people, now abandoned. Her search for a forgotten past reveals the efforts of political and religious authorities to “civilize” the Algonquin and other First Nations peoples of Canada. (Wapikoni Mobile, 2006, 15 min.)


Making the River. Director Sarah Del Seronde. The story of Jimi Simmons, a member of the Muckleshoot/Rogue River Tribe, charged with murdering a prison guard while serving time in Walla Walla prison. This riveting documentary traces Jimi's life from early childhood to his incarceration, his search for Indian identity within the prison, his death penalty trial, and life after prison. Institutionalized by the state for most of his life, Jimi's story is one of tragedy transformed. (Aboriginal Lens Ltd., 2008, 83 min.)


Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula. Director Lisette Marie Flanary, appearing in person. Beyond the deep-rooted stereotypes of “grass skirt girls,” Na Kamalei: Men of Hula explores the revival of men who dance the hula. This documentary follows legendary kumu hula Robert Cazimero and Halau Na Kamalei, the only all-male hula school in Hawai'i, as they journey to compete at the world’s largest hula competition. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their school and competing with some of the oldest male dancers at the competition, Robert and his men are out to prove that the renaissance of male hula is not over. Once forced underground by missionaries and businessmen, hula is enjoying a renaissance in the islands. Na Kamalei tells a story of Hawaiian pride through the exploration of male roles in the hula tradition. (2007, 60 min.)


Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School. Director Chip Richie. Imagine you are a child taken from your home, your family, everything you know. This searing documentary presents a Native American perspective on Indian boarding schools, uncovering the dark history of U.S. government policy that took Indian children from their homes, forced them into boarding schools and educated them in the ways of Western Society. This film gives voice to the countless Indian children forced through a system designed to strip them of their Indian culture, heritage and traditions. (Rich-Heape Films, Inc. 2008, 80 min.)


Radio Chanul Pom: From the Heart of the Highlands of Chiapas. Director José Alfredo Jiménez. Through this indigenous, community-based radio station in the mountains of Chiapas, Civil Society Las Abejas fights for justice and defends its language and cultural identity, broadcasting in the Tzeltal and Tzotzil languages. (Civil Society Las Abejas, 2005, 19 min.)


Re-encuentros: Entre la memoria y la nostalgia (Re-encounters). Director Yolanda Cruz. When Alejandro Santiago returned to his Zapotec village after a decade abroad, he found abandoned houses, empty streets and deserted farm fields. His sense of emptiness inspired him to create 2501 Migrants a symbolic community of life-size clay sculptures in homage to those who left. (Petate Productions, 2008, 110 min.) .


Sueños Binacionales/Bi-National Dreams. Director Yolanda Cruz. This documentary recounts the bi-national experience of indigenous immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico. It tells the stories of the Mixtec people, immigrating to California for more than three decades, and the more recent stories of the Chatinos immigrating to North Carolina for the past ten years. (Petate Productions, 2005, 30 min.)


Te Whare (The House). Director Richard Green. This parable explores the relationship of Tangata Whenua (people of the land - Maori) and Europeans who signed The Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 confirming Maori Tino Rangatiratanga (Sovereignty) and Crown Governance. Te Whare sees Hone opening his home to his friend Richard who has just broken up with his girlfriend and need a place to stay. Initially the relationship is positive, but slowly Richard invites his own friends to come to the house and by film's end Hone finds himself on the couch - a guest in his own home. The film parallels the experience of Maori and many other indigenous peoples who have experienced the devastation of colonization.


Tnorala. Director Warwick Thornton. See the world through Aboriginal eyes as this magical combination of storytelling and cinematography transports you to the amazing vistas of Tnorala, Australia. Storyteller Mavis Malbunka takes you on a journey through time as she describes the relationship of her people to the ancestors, to the land, to intruders, and their approach to modern day tourism that may be the key to preserving Tnorala for future generations. (2008, 22 min.)


What. Directors Dylan Bonspille, Abraham Cote, and Alexis de Gheldere. Images of Colorado provide a backdrop for a message of hope for the younger generation. Produced at the 2007 IFAF 24-Hour Fly Filmmaking Workshop (Wapikoni Mobile, 2007, 3 min.)



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The International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
444 South Emerson Street
Denver, CO 80209-2216
303-744-9686 (for ticket information)