Indigenous perspectives: Smithsonian's Native Cinema Showcase to feature 47 films streaming online - Albuquerque Journal

Indigenous perspectives: Smithsonian’s Native Cinema Showcase to feature 47 films streaming online

Mike walks in a Hopi corn field in the film “Inhabitants.” (Courtesy of Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective)

Each year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian puts on the Native Cinema Showcase.

Leaders pull together some of the best films by Indigenous filmmakers to stream.

Usually, the event would be held in person during Santa Fe Indian Market.

Beginning on Friday, Nov. 12, the museum will hold the showcase online. It will run through Thursday, Nov. 18, at nmai.brand.live/c/native-cinema-showcase.

Torrent Rember Yahuarcani watches his father, SantiagoYahuarcani, working on a painting in their family house in Pebas, a community in the Northern Amazonia of Peru in “The Song of Butterflies.” (Courtesy of Nria Frigola)

Marielba Alvarez, NMAI spokeswoman, says the showcase is part of Native American Heritage Month.

“This year’s showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community and a continued relationship with the land,” Alvarez says. “Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.”

The program includes a total of 47 films (seven features and 40 shorts) representing 39 Native nations in 13 countries: the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Sweden, Greenland and the Solomon Islands.

In addition to the films, the showcase includes a series of prerecorded panel discussions with Native filmmakers and writers about all aspects of Indigenous storytelling from their own experiences.

“With the exception of four of the feature films – ‘Waikiki,’ ‘Beans,’ ‘The Song of the Butterflies (El Canto de las Mariposas),’ and ‘Run Woman Run’ – the films will be available to watch worldwide,” Alvarez says.

Tom and Beck training for the marathon in “Run Woman Run.” (Courtesy of Running Home Production)

The program is curated by Cindy Benitez each year.

“For the second year in a row, the museum will reach international audiences through our online presentation of the Native Cinema Showcase,” says Machel Monenerkit, the museum’s acting director. “Even as the presence of Indigenous writers and filmmakers grows in Hollywood, the program highlights the work many continue to produce in their own communities, on their own terms.”


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