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Native American Film & Video Festival

Native American Film & Video Festival

Blog - Festival of the Week


Location: New York, New York
Festival Dates: November 30 – December 3, 2006

It’s that time of year again: The time when Americans give thanks—for the lives we lead, the health we have and to the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims survive that very first winter in the New World. Well, that last part of the tradition is always a bit fuzzy. However, this year we should be looking to give thanks to the people who have given us an abundance of independent films that vibrantly depict their contemporary national identity.

The Native American Film & Video Festival, organized by the National Museum of the American Indian, is celebrating its thirteenth year by showcasing more than 125 films from Native American moviemakers, including The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the newest outing from The Fast Runner directors Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk. Elizabeth Weatherford, head of the Film and Video Center at the New York-based museum, praises this year’s roster of moviemakers, saying that their “liveliness and numbers have created a whole new vision of the future of Native film.”

When the festival first began there were only two major festivals celebrating Native American moviemaking; there are now more than 40. Yet, outside of urban areas such as New York and San Francisco, there is little exhibition for such productions. In the years to come Weatherford looks to tour with the festival “bringing Native works to audiences everywhere.” Let’s hope the festival will be able to share its cinematic wealth sooner rather than later.

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