Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, in partnership with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), present a program of 8 feature films and 10 short films highlighting the most exciting indigenous themes and filmmakers of 2019. The program, created by SFiFF Advisory Board Chair, Gary Farmer (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois), and sponsored by the Institute of American Indian Arts, represents indigenous cultures and filmmakers globally, including, but not limited to, First Nations, Māori, Native American, Sámi, Greenlandic, Aboriginal, Inuit, and Alaskan Native.
Honoring Santa Fe's abundant history as a hub for Native American arts and culture, SFiFF presents its 11th Annual Indigenous Film Program. These films include narrative features, documentaries, and short films highlighting indigenous subjects or created by indigenous filmmakers.
SFiFF Advisory Board member Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), says "Indigenous filmmaking is happening all over Turtle Island, come see the revolution at SFiFF."
The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi'gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.
Showtimes: 7:30 PM, Sunday, October 20, 2019, CCA Cinematheque
FALLS AROUND HER
Directed by IAIA Alumna
- in person
As part of SFiFF's special tribute to Tantoo Cardinal, the festival will screen Falls Around Her after awarding Cardinal with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Although she has been an influential and prolific actress for nearly 50 years, Falls Around Her is Cardinal's first leading role in a feature length film. Legendary Anishinaabe singer, Mary Birchbark (Cardinal) returns to the vast wilderness of her reserve to reconnect with the land and her community in Darlene Naponse's Falls Around Her. Mary begins to sense that someone might be watching her, and unsure of what is real and what is imagined, she embraces isolation as she explores the psychological impact of her past and present.
Showtimes: 7:00 PM, Saturday, October 19th, 2019, Lensic Theater
THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN
Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi) and Kathleen Hepburn
Two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding when brutality and fear drives one of them from her home and into a cold rainstorm in East Vancouver, BC. As this intimate yet challenging encounter develops, what began as violent and terrifying, tentatively expands as the women's shared imagery and cultural experience weave a fragile bond between them. Both women now must face their own unique struggles as they navigate the complexities of motherhood, class, race, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.
Showtimes: 2:00 PM, Saturday, October 19, 2019, CCA Cinematheque
TOP END WEDDING
Directed by Wayne Blair (Batjala Mununjali Wakkawakka)
Lauren and Ned, a young couple in love, visit Lauren's hometown in Australia's Indigenous Territory to find her mother missing, just ten days before they're supposed to get married. This rom-com takes the newly engaged couple through wild Northern Australian landscapes in a quest to reunite Lauren's parents in time to pull off their dream wedding.
Showtimes & Tickets : 10:00 AM, Thursday, October 17, 2019,
2:30 PM, Friday, October 18, 2019, CCA Cinematheque
NÎPAWISTAMÂSOWIN: WE WILL STAND UP
The winner of Best Canadian Documentary at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up depicts the tragic story of a young Cree man, Colten Boushie, while also incorporating the harrowing personal history of director Tasha Hubbard's own upbringing as an Indigenous Canadian.
On August 9, 2016, Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley's rural property with friends. The jury's subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada's legal system and propelling Boushie's family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker's own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a transformative vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
Showtimes: 11:40 AM, Sunday, October 20, 2019, CCA Cinematheque
WORDS FROM A BEAR
Directed by Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) - in Person N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa)
When N. Scott Momaday won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, it marked one of the first major acknowledgments of Native American literature and the vibrant contemporary culture it described. Now, Momaday's transportive words come to life in this cinematic biography of one of the most celebrated Native American storytellers.
Distinctly expressive animations intersect with stunning footage of the Great Plains as Momaday draws from his Kiowa ancestry and identity to pose universal questions about how we connect to our origins, each other, and the earth. In a series of intimate interviews, Momaday expounds on his life and its many challenges, while insights from the likes of Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation), Robert Redford, and Jeff and Beau Bridges reveal the impact of his literary contributions. Words from a Bear reveals the inspiring beauty of Momaday's work while also guiding audiences through the grave historical struggles that Native American communities have faced. The result is a profound celebration of not only Momaday's writing and history but also the art of storytelling itself.
Showtimes: 4:30 PM Sunday, October 20, 2019, CCA Cinematheque
WE UP: INDIGENOUS HIP-HOP OF THE CIRCUMPOLAR NORTH
Directed by Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley (Inuit) and David Holthouse in person for Q&A
Forty years after hip-hop was born in the South Bronx, it's being re-imagined in fresh ways by young Indigenous artists of the North- from Athabascan villages in Alaska, to the capital city of Greenland, to reindeer-herding towns of northern Finland. WE UP profiles the rising stars of Circumpolar Indigenous hip-hop, exploring shared themes in their work, like decolonization, language revitalization, community, and spiritual connections to homeland.
Showtimes & Tickets: 3:00 PM, Friday, October 18, 2019, Jean Cocteau Cinema
2:00 PM, Sunday, October 20, 2019, Jean Cocteau Cinema
Directed by Drew Nicholas in person for Q&A
Battles over blood quantum and 'best interests' resurface the untold history of America's Indian Adoption Era - a time when nearly one-third of children were removed from tribal communities nationwide. As political scrutiny over Indian child welfare intensifies, an adoption survivor helps others find their way home through song and ceremony.
Showtimes: Friday, October 18, 2019, The Screen
DEFIANCE OF SILENCE
Defiance of Silence is a proactive, multi-media art installation aimed to expose injustice against Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG) curated by Charmaine Jackson, director of Naalkid Productions. One tree will be lit red in front of the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe New Mexico. A MMIWG music video directed by Cameron L. Martinez Jr. will be presented and a song called "Waiting for You" will be performed by the Red Willow Singers of Taos Pueblo. A shawl designed by Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) will also be on display to revive attention and awareness of missing and murdered indigenous women. It is also to support U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland's (Laguna Pueblo) call for a national investigation of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Defiance of Silence is in collaboration with the following respected women artists: Patricia Michaels, Fashion and Textile Designer, PM Waterlily; Charlene Teters (Spokane), Artist & IAIA, Academic Dean of Students; and Sandra Claymore (Lakota).
Indigenous Short Films
Throat Singing in Kangirsuk
directed by Eva Kaukai (Nunavik) and Manon Chamberland (Nunavik)
Sweetheart Dancers directed by Ben-Alex Dupris (Colville Confederated Tribes)
directed by Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)
directed by Carlos Rafael Betancourt
Wajak: At the End of the Lake
directed by Peter Poucachiche (Anishnabe), Kobe Wawatie (Anishnabe)
directed by George Annanack (Inuit)
directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga)
Wearing My Culture
directed by Olivia Lya Thomassie (Inuit)
directed by Nicole DiLeo
Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock
directed by Michele Noble
Showtimes & Tickets: 12pm, Thursday October 17th, Jean Cocteau Cinema
10am, October 17th, the Screen
IAIA Student Shorts
Students from the Institute of American Indian Arts showcase their work.
Showtimes: 5 pm, Friday 10/18/2019, CCA Cinematheque
About the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival invests in the advancement of independent, innovative, and cutting-edge cinema, bringing five days of excellence in filmmaking to the inclusive and diverse community of Santa Fe. The Eleventh Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival takes place October 16-20, 2019.
To join us for the Eleventh Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, you can purchase festival passes for $325.00 (
) tickets on sale now (
For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through our Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures -- and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities. Learn more about IAIA and our mission at
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