The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian celebrates the 20th year of presenting Native Cinema Showcase with an online program streaming Nov. 18–27. An annual celebration of Native film, this year’s program features a combination of new works, fan favorite classics and conversations with filmmakers. This year’s program includes a total of 64 films (nine features and 55 shorts) representing 49 Native nations in 12 different countries: United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Guatemala, Finland, Ecuador, Norway, Peru, Argentina, Australia and Belize.
Genres include documentaries, music videos, kid-friendly shorts, films in Indigenous languages and more. With the exception of three films—Blood Quantum and Angry Inuk, which are restricted to the United States, and nîpawistamâsowin: WE WILL STAND UP, restricted to North America—the films will be available to watch worldwide. Most films will be available on demand for five days; exceptions are noted on the schedule below and on the event website.
“The films provide insight into the complexity, beauty and many nuances of Native life,” said Academy Award-winning Cherokee actor Wes Studi about the showcase. “It’s no coincidence Native peoples are using their talents to create films that examine social justice in the world we live in today. As we find ourselves at a moment in contemporary life where outdated notions and ways of doing things are being challenged, it is more important than ever to hear our Native stories and consider the perspectives they bring to these issues.”
Wednesday, Nov. 18 (streaming through Nov. 23)
- 7 p.m. EST: Conscience Point (USA, 2019, 74 min.)
Conversation to follow with Treva Wurmfeld, Rebecca Hill-Genia (Shinneock) and Julianna Brannum (Comanche).
- 9 p.m. EST: Retrospective Showcase Shorts 1
Combining a collection of short films from the showcase’s previous years, this shorts program explores the residential school experience, regaining one’s cultural identity and loss of ancestral artifacts.
Thursday, Nov. 19 (streaming through Nov. 24)
- 3 p.m. EST: Arctic films program
- 5 p.m. EST: Barking Water (USA, 2009, 80 min.)
- 7 p.m. EST: nîpawistamâsowin: WE WILL STAND UP (Canada, 2019, 98 min.)
This film is only available for viewing in North America. Conversation to follow with Tasha Hubbard and Jade Tootoosis (Red Pheasant Cree Nation). Moderated by Jason Ryle (Saulteaux).
Friday, Nov. 20 (streaming through Nov. 25)
- 5 p.m. EST: Our Stories shorts program
This program reflects the best of Native storytelling as told through family history, language and tradition.
- 7 p.m. EST: Angry Inuk (Canada, 2016, 85 min.)
This film is only available for viewing in the United States.
- 9 p.m. EST: Blood Quantum (Canada, 2019, 96 min.)
One time screening. This film will not be shown on demand. This film is only available for viewing in the United States. Conversation to follow with Jeff Barnaby (Mi'kmaq) and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi). Moderated by Justin Mugits.
Saturday, Nov. 21 (streaming through Nov. 26)
- 1 p.m. EST: Future Focused shorts program
This program of family-friendly short films is fun for kids of all ages
- 3 p.m. EST: Rise Above shorts program
These shorts focus on rising above adversity and learning life’s lessons, often with a dose of Native humor.
- 5 p.m. EST: One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (Canada, 2019, 112 min.)
- 7 p.m. EST: Trudell (USA, 2004, 80 min.)
Conversation to follow with Heather Rae and Sage Trudell (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe).
Sunday, Nov. 22 (streaming through Nov. 27)
- 1 p.m. EST: Retrospective Showcase Shorts 2
From the humorous to the thrilling, a compilation of shorts makes up this wildly eclectic narrative program.
- 3 p.m. EST: Healing Voices
This screening concludes with Sisters Rising (USA, 2020, 59 min.) Conversation to follow with Willow O'Feral, Brad Heck, Jaida Grey Eagle (Oglala Lakota) and Sarah Deer (Muscogee). Moderated by Cass Gardiner (Anishinaabe/Algonquin).
Native Cinema Showcase is made possible by the support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Support is provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and The Walt Disney Co.
About the Museum
In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum in Washington, D.C., is located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and AmericanIndian.si.edu.
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