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 March 2017
SXSW Screens 'Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film'
The 2017 SXSW Film Festival, March 10-18, in Austin, Texas, features a high caliber and diverse film lineup, including  Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film, an hour-long documentary exploring the visceral and transformative power of land art. The film's perspective provides an understanding of our complex relationship with the environment. It follows PostCommodity, an arts collective currently constructing a two-mile-long outdoor artwork that crosses the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.  Intercut with their story is a journey through land art and land use that is guided by the Land Arts of the American West programs, operated out of the University of New Mexico by Bill Gilbert and Texas Tech University by Chris Taylor. This journey includes lush scenes that absorb viewers into striking land art environments like The Spiral Jetty and The Sun Tunnels as well as scenes with other artists, writers and critics such as Stanley Marsh, Ann Reynolds, Lucy Lippard, and Matt Coolidge of The Center For Land Use Interpretation.
Annual Report Highlights Successful Partnerships
Vision Maker Media (VMM) celebrated 40 years by partnering with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the Library of Congress to stream 40 films in 40 weeks through August 2017. In this Fiscal Year 2016, VMM invested $900,000 in 38 projects in all stages of production and presented:
  • Seven new documentaries to PBS stations;
  • Three new media projects;
  • Curated and produced two film festivals.
- A total of 38 filmmakers participated in workshops or technical assistance. Vision Maker Media produced six Viewer Discussion Guides and provided content for PBS Learning Media.  The biennial Vision Maker Film Festival brought 22 films and a dozen filmmakers to Lincoln, Nebraska. The premiere of Medicine Woman, a film by Christine Lesiak and Princella Parker-Red Corn (Omaha), opened the festival. 
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha's third annual Native American Film Festival featured a retrospective of work by Cherokee filmmaker Heather Rae and her husband, Russell Friedenberg.
- Boarding School Stories is an on-line oral history project from the producers of The Thick Dark Fog. The Medicine Game II: Four Brothers, One Dream web series featured Lyle and Miles Thompson-professional lacrosse players from Onondaga.
- Work continues on The Blackfeet Flood, a memorial to the tragedy that struck the Montana Tribe in 1964.   Watch Our Progress
40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks.
'Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage' 
Gives Rare Insider's View of Navajo Culture
Navajo filmmaker Lena Carr turns the camera on herself and her family as she documents the kinaald√°, or coming-of-age ceremony, of her niece. Telling her own personal story, Carr provides a rare insider's look at Navajo culture and the complexities of growing up Navajo
in contemporary times. 
Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage is featured on Vision Maker Media's  40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks.   during the week of March 21. Read what Carr says about her film and the overall importance of Native films.

Q. Why is it important to have films created, written and produced by Natives in today's media?
A. The American viewing audience is hungry for programming about Native people. However, one of the key issues for us is how we present our films for a broader national viewing public while still preserving our particular core values, traditions and history. Having chosen the visual broadcasting media as a platform to tell our stories and history, it becomes critical to discover and create unique, new story structures and situations that incorporate the needs and wants of the viewing public; a national audience that wants to know about our Native lives and traditions, but also has certain expectations in terms of well-developed plots and strongly developed characters who exist in past or modern lives at home, at work and in situations that are familiar to all Americans. 
Q. Why do you think people should tune in for 40 Years. 40 Films. 40 Weeks?
A. To witness the evolution and overall pattern of our particularly Native use of modern media and development of our unique film language, as displayed in the 40 films. Also, hopefully, so that the next generations of Native filmmakers can utilize these programs as foundations in discovering new ways of creating and adapting current media methods and technologies to expand our unique viewpoint and form of Native storytelling.
Q. What one experience would you want audiences to take away after viewing your film?
A. While working on  Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage as producer/cinematographer an Elder told me how important it was to be a role model for members of my community. The Elder said that, especially our youth, were witness to not only how I took professional control of the equipment and managed the non-Native members of the film and sound crew, but also how I encouraged the spirit of collaboration that the crew members all shared. This is an important aspect of our productions to consider-- that we Native filmmakers are always seen by our people and that we are role models. Using professional knowledge of all aspects of our craft, and through collaboration, it's possible to make the best programming and in a positive spirit that best represents us as a people and nation.
Upcoming Film Screenings
Don't miss a chance to screen one of our films when it comes to your area. Tell your friends.

In the Beginning Was Water & Sky
SLO Film Festival
San Luis Obispo, California
March 16

March 18
March 19
March 19
March 23
Chicago Public Schools
Garfield Park Offices

March 25
April 4-5
April 11
University of Nebraska Omaha
UNO Community Engagement Center
Omaha, Nebraska

April 12
How Your Support Helps to Serve Indian Country
According to Julianna Brannum (Comanche), Producer,  The Creek Runs Red
"Vision Maker Media gives Native filmmakers an opportunity to share stories from a vast network of storytellers, to learn about one another's issues or cultures, and to inspire one another to continue our tradition of storytelling."
Your continued support... allows us to offer films that reflect and affirm the lives and cultural heritage of Natives. Together, we make films available to both Native and non-Native viewers.  We thank those of you who provided your support during the current fiscal quarter. Support Vision Maker Media

Nadema Agard Thomas W. Graf Ann McKeighan
AmazonSmile Patrick Haggarty Rebekah Orr
Dawn Amory Chereeze Hall Martha Pessaro
Evan Glenn Anaiscourt Susan Hartmann Evon Peter
Ernel L. Anderson Meg Hayes Penelope Phillips
Robin Brack Jack Hoyer Susan Reynolds
Adrienne Brant James Walter F. Hunter Mary Santulli
Janet Brown Franz Joachim Jonathan Skurnik
Joni Buffalohead Julie Kaplan Juaune Quick-to-See Smith
Brian and Margaret Bull Charles Kennedye Shirley K. Sneve
Sam Calvert Peter Kirkpatrick Vance and Virginia Sneve
Jeannine Chambers MacArthur and Lucy Kirksey Colleen Stockmann
Victor and Joanne Chandler Ramona Kohrs Blake Thurman
Roy Clem Elizabeth Koopman Suree Towfighnia
Martin Combs Theodora Kramer Celeste Tremel
Margaret Conlin Walter Lehmann Marie Tymrak
Mary Cordova Max Licher Larry Wainblat
Jacqueline Gaess Robert Lonewolf Elizabeth Weatherford
Maria Gil Duncan H. Maitland Agnes Wenum
Diane Glancy Laura Markman Jerry and Norma Wilson
Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund Mark McCloud Zucchini Toast
Thank You to Our Sponsors
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