In a world dominated by film and television, stories that don’t appeal to a large demographic are often overlooked. Vídeo Nas Aldeis is striving to change that. A distribution network that has taught indigenous peoples to create their own video for over 20 years, the VNA helps in broadcasting the voices of these indigenous people to the world. From May 1 to May 4, 2008 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has organized a four-day film festival to showcase the VNA’s achievements.

The “Vídeo Amazônia Indígena: A View from the Villages” film festival will exhibit 13 films by moviemakers from the Brazilian Amazon, including a video letter from four Ikpeng children entitled From the Ikpeng Children of the World and Pirinop, My First Contact, about the Ikpengs’ first encounter with the “white man.”

The festival will begin with “Voices from the Brazilian Amazon,” a symposium led by representatives from the indigenous communities of the Brazilian Amazon and the founders of the VNA. For the duration of the festival, free screenings will offer a rare opportunity for audiences in New York City and Washington, D.C. to see the world through the fresh eyes of people just learning the art of film.

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