International Institute for
Indigenous Resource Management


The International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management is proud to have launched the Indigenous Film & Arts Festivals. Our First Annual Indigenous Film Festival, The Continuum of Culture: Reclaiming Tradition, Preserving Culture and Adapting for the Future was a great success.

“Why,” you may ask, “is a law and policy research institute organizing a film festival?” We're involved because film, especially good film, and especially film wrtten, made, and directed indigenous peoples, is perhaps the most expressive medium we have for communicating messages about who we were; who we are; and who we are striving to become. These messages undergird all the work we do whether it's examining the societal impacts of genetic research, or looking at roles indigenous peoples can play in warning and educating the public of long-lived environmental contamination, or developing different approaches for protecting native intellectual property rights.

Film lets us “talk story.” It lets us convey to others our unique perspective of the universe and all the creatures, places, and things within. Film lets the viewer see with our eyes how we are connected to each other, and to past and future generations in more compelling ways than mere words permit.

More answers to the question: "Why an indigenous film & arts festival?"

First answer: “You know . . . for kids.” (Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) in The Hudsucker Proxy). Last year middle schoolers from the Denver Public Schools Indian Focus Program piled out of their yellow buses and into the Starz FilmCenter to watch three short Claymation films created by students from Morris High School in Morris, Oklahoma. This year, we will again working with the DPS to get their students to the festival. Additionally, we will be working with native filmmakers and writers to establish a student filmmaking project for the students at the Indian Focus schools.

Another answer: “[I]f the knowledge is given to everyone then we can have lots of leaders, and soon everyone will be strong not just the ones that have been chosen because sometimes even if you're the leader and you need to be strong, you can get tired.” (Paikea Apirana (Keisha Castle-Hughes) in The Whale Rider ). For us, it's important that our film festival is not just about film. Sometimes it's about creating opportunities for young students to spend time with filmmakers, writers, and actors to learn and be inspired. We do create these opportunities-last year matching students with Witi Ihimaera, author of The Whale Rider. Judging by the comments of these young students they do learn and they are inspired..

  • My experience at the film festival is a time I will never forget. . . . It was a very great time for me because I got the chance to meet and talk to Witi Ihimaera and I had the time and chance to have my book Whale Rider personalized. The most important thing I learned from Mr. Ihimaera is to always follow your dreams. Samtasia M.
  • We had a wonderful time. . . . Meeting Mr. Ihimaera was probably a once in a lifetime chance. . . . If I was offered to go back to the festival again, I wouldn't turn the chance down. Emily T.
  • All in all it is an experience that I will never forget. Because it's a very fun thing that not a lot of kids and teens like us get to go to. Evelyn A.

And lastly: Because it's more than a Native American film festival or an American Indian film festival. The festival reflects the global focus of the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management and the broad range of interests it has.

Supporting the Indigenous Film & Arts Festival

The philanthropic support of our friends is becoming increasingly critical to the work of the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management. The Indigenous Film & Arts Festival would not be a reality without the generous support of private and corporate donors. Every gift helps. Your tax deductible contributions to support the Institute and the Indigenous Film & Arts Festival can be sent to:

444 South Emerson Street
Denver, CO 80209-2216

Or you can make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION by credit card or PayPal account by clicking on the button below or you can call Jeanne Rubin at 303-744-9686 for other options. Thank you.

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