If you really want to support Indigenous film initiatives in North America now is your chance. The Sundance Institute will be screening many films from this year’s festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) including Sterlin Harjo’s feature length film, Four Sheets to the Wind and Jonathan Pulley’s short, Move Me. The National Museum of the American Indian in NYC will be hosting an invitation only event honoring Native filmakers who have come through their halls. They are also hosting the New York premiere of documentarian filmmaker Billy Luther’s Miss Navajo. If you are in New York City, have friends here or will be visiting the first week of June make Native film part of your itinerary or afternoon adventures. There’s no reason for you not to attend thus demonstrating there is indeed an audience for films made by Indians instead of made (ostensibly) about Indians.
See details below for more info. Scoll to bottom of page for links to BAM and the NMAI.
Sundance Institute at BAM
Sundance Shorts Sunday
Program 1, Sunday June 3, noon
Director: Jonathan Pulley (Laguna Pueblo)
Over the course of his last evening with his dad, Graham must find a way to say goodbye before his relationship slips away completely.
USA, 2006, 17 min, color, Sony HD Cam
FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND
Mon, June 4 at 6:40pm
Director/Screenwriter: Sterlin Harjo (Seminole and Creek)
When Cufé Smallhill finds his father dead, he keeps his promise and sinks his body in the family pond. In the midst of mourning and organizing a phony traditional funeral to satisfy the community, Cufé realizes that he must explore life outside the reservation. His sister invites him to visit her in the big city of Tulsa, opening the door to a world of possibilities.
Infused with a warm sense of humor, director Sterlin Harjos delightful first feature creates a rich Oklahoma atmosphere with easy country rhythms, while Cody Lightning and Tamara Podemski (winner of the Special Jury Prize for Acting) give compelling performances. NY Premiere!
A Conversation with the Filmmaker
Join filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and Sundance Institutes Bird Runningwater for an extended Q&A after the screening to learn more about the films development and Harjos participation in Sundance Institutes Native American and Indigenous Initiative and Feature Film Program. Runningwater sheds light on the Institutes work with native artists in the US and around the world.
RECEPTION (INVITATION ONLY)
Tuesday, June 5th at 6 pm
NMAI, American Indian Community House, Renew Media, Sundance Institute Native Initiatives, Tribeca All Access
Honorees include Native filmmakers Chad Burris, Sterlin Harjo, Terry Jones, William Luther, Andrew Okpeah Maclean, Jeffrey Morgan, Jonathan Pulley, actress Tamara Podemski, and special guest Adam Beach
New York Premiere of MISS NAVAJO
Director: William Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo)
Tickets are free but you must rvsp to reserve them. Contact the Film and Video Center: email email@example.com or phone 212.514.3737
Tuesday, June 5th at 7 pm and Thursday, June 7th at 6 pm
No ordinary beauty pageant, the Miss Navajo Nation competition requires contestants to answer tough historical questions in the Navajo language and showcase traditional knowledge. The filmmaker, whose mother was crowned Miss Navajo in 1966, goes along on one contender’s journey and interviews winners from the past five decades. The event’s sacred dimension also emergesyoung women are joining a matriarchal continuum that goes back to creation and the first Diné life-giving ancestor, Changing Woman
BILLY LUTHER (Producer/Director) studied film at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began writing and directing short films including FACE VALUE, a short documentary on racial profiling. In 2002, he was selected as an honoree at Film Independent’s Project: Involve. Most recently Luther was selected for the Sundance Ford Fellowship with his first feature documentary MISS NAVAJO, which was also recently honored with a Roy W. Dean documentary award. Luther belongs to the Navajo, Hopi and Laguna Pueblo Tribes.
CRYSTAL FRAZIER (Miss Navajo Nation contestant) is employed by National Association of State Department of Agriculture as a Field Enumerator. She is an undergraduate student of Brigham Young University majoring in Pre-Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Math. Crystal is a 2002 graduate of Shiprock High School.
TAMARA PODEMSKI (Salteaux) performs original songs at the Living Room, Wednesday, June 6, 11 pm
Actress, singer, and dancer Tamara Podemski (Saulteaux) won a Special Jury Prize for Acting at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, for her role as Miri Smallhill in Sterlin Harjos Four Sheets to the Wind. Other notable film roles include Rox in Jorge Manzanos Johnny Greyeyes and Little Margaret in Bruce McDonalds Dance Me Outside. Her television roles include Deborah Chicky Etienne in Gil Cardinals mini-series Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis, and a reoccurring role as Carla Slavinski in the teen drama Ready or Not. She recently acted in New Amsterdam, a Fox Television pilot directed by Lasses Hallstrom. Podemski was a member of the original Canadian cast of Rent, and has played Maureen in Rents Broadway company. She has released 5 albums, two of which were recorded in the Ojibwe language. For her solo album, Tamara, Tamara Podemski won Best Female Artist at the 2006 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and shared the Best Songwriter award with Karen Kosowski. She has been a lead dancer for the Aboriginal Achievement Awards since 1995, and choreographed the 2007 Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Podemski teaches dance classes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
National Museum of the American Indian