SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM THE NMAI FILM AND VIDEO CENTER
With 2012 almost here, the staff of the Film and Video Center wants to share with you a look at what we did in 2011.
First of all, for their lively participation and creative gifts, we want to thank the filmmakers whose works we have screened this year, the program speakers who gave us new insights, the interpreters that made fluid our on-site and Internet discussions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and indigenous languages, and the festival’s four guest selectors: Ana Rosa Duarte, Helen Haig-Brown, Terry Jones and Nancy Marie Mithlo.
In 2011 the Film and Video Center’s main event was the 15th Native American Film + Video Festival, March 31 – April 3. Its new webpage remains on-line at www.nativenetworks.si.edu/nafvf. We've posted a lively video about the festival's programs and participants on the FVC's YouTube channel. If you want to view it with English or Spanish subtitles, click the CC button on the media player before playing the video. To see the video, enter here.
100 works were screened and discussed by the 100 filmmakers and other cultural activists here to show their work and to exchange ideas with each other. More than 75 Native nations from 11 countries in the Americas were represented in this year’s events.
The department is also a national resource for Information Services about Native film and media, and work leapt ahead on the redesign of the Native Networks Website and on developing our data base of indigenous media info. We began to use social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter to continue conversations about Native film and to promote a diversity of programs. We responded to hundreds of inquiries and this year hosted more than 40 researchers using the media study collection. We are particularly pleased to have had as a resident fellow, Maite Sanz de Galdeano of Cultura de Futuro in Madrid.
FVC initiated Mother Earth in Crisis, in response to the urgency expressed in many film submissions this year, to showcase and discuss outstanding films about environmental issues. This launched during the festival with a full-day event that included filmmakers and eloquent leaders Chief Oren Lyons and Tonya Gonella Frichner.
Mother Earth in Crisis was the theme of two fall programs featuring the Conversations with the Earth project for indigenous community media, and selections from the series Samaqan/Water Stories, with outstanding commentary by Chief Brian David of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
This year’s Native Cinema Showcase (NCS) in Santa Fe moved to a new venue, and expanded to a week-long event, with Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s multiple award-winning first feature On the Ice as opening night. And in New York the 2011 Animation Celebration! and other daily screenings were well-received, including special screenings for Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays.
Other highlights included a partnership with UCLA’s Motion Picture and Television Archives and Cinema Tropical to screen a retrospective of works by filmmaker Pedro Daniel López (Tzotzil Mayan) in New York and Los Angeles. Other screenings with discussion included Smokin’ Fish by Luke Griswold-Turgis and Cory Mann (Tlingit), and Grab by Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), which screened with a Laguna-style “grab” throw to the audience in both New York and Santa Fe. Here I Am, the first feature of Aboriginal filmmaker Beck Cole (Luritja/Warrumunga), had a special screening here just before going to Toronto to win Best Feature in the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival.
Thanks and Appreciation
The FVC’s programs could not have flourished without the generous support and lively contributions of so many filmmakers, funders, colleagues, and friends. We are all especially appreciative of this year’s Festival Manager, Reaghan Tarbell, for accomplishing this immense job and making a fabulous festival.
FVC continued partnering and working with other organizations, including Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s Film and Culture Festival in Palm Springs, Cinema Tropical, Experimental Film Festival of Madrid, imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, International Center for Transitional Justice, Mexican Cultural Institute, Native American Public Telecommunications, New York University’s Native Forum and its Centers for Media, Culture and History and Media and Religion, SWAIA, Tribeca Film Institute, and many others.
Comings and Goings
The Film and Video Center staff is going through a lot of changes. There have been many goodbyes. Having worked as the FVC’s information specialist and programmer for more than 30 years, Millie Seubert has returned home to Oklahoma. Reaghan Tarbell has started her work towards a M.A. in Cinema Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, returning home to live on the Kahnewake Reserve. Also returning home, this time to Georgia, is program assistant Rebekah Mejorado. Gaby Markey, FVC’s invaluable administrative support staff for the past 6 years, has now joined the staff of FEMA. We are very grateful to this year’s intern Adam Khalil and our great volunteers, including Lisa Sparagano, Eddie Whitewolf and Tatiana Bookbinder.
Newest additions to the staff include Fatima Mahdi, coordinator of data base and media study activities; Lindsey Cordero, Latin American Program assistant; and Aaron Kutnick, media producer working on films about FVC’s programs for on-line posting. Wendy Allen continues to provide her talents to the new design of the Native Networks website and the Film and Video Center’s own web page on the NMAI site. Cindy Benitez returns in January, and Amalia and Elizabeth are still at work developing the program and FVC’s future possibilities. This year, perhaps the greatest welcome we give is to Ayelén Avirama, Amalia Cordova’s daughter, born in February.
What an incredible year it has been!!!
All our best,
Elizabeth Weatherford • Amalia Cordova • Wendy Allen
Fatima Mahdi • Aaron Kutnick • Lindsey Cordero • Cindy Benitez
To find Media News—awards and honors; festival entry deadlines and upcoming festivals, independent film/video deadlines—click on the links at right.
For a list of Current/Upcoming Programs by the Film
and Video Center (FVC), enter here.
For a calendar of other programs by the National Museum of the
American Indian, enter
Carlos Efraín Pérez being interviewed by Marcelino
Pinto, 2000 Native American Film and Video Festival - Photograph
by Amalia Cordova, NMAI