National Museum of the American Indian Presents the Best in Indigenous Film in the Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe

July 12, 2023
News Release
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Photo of parents with their children in yard in front of small home

Still image from Hey Viktor (Credit Lightning Mill Inc.) 

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Aug. 17–20 for the Native Cinema Showcase. The annual celebration of the best in Indigenous film includes 41 films this year. The showcase provides an unparalleled forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic. Two of the feature films, Hey Viktor! and Fancy Dance, will have their New Mexico premiere during the showcase. All screenings will take place at the New Mexico History Museum; seating is first come, first served.

In addition to the screenings, the museum will host a special performance Saturday, Aug. 19. The event will include music video screenings, music by DJ Emcee One and a live performance by Battiest Brothers (Seminole Tribe of Florida). Other special appearances include an evening reunion event Thursday, Aug. 17, with some of the original cast of Smoke Signals—Cody Lightning, Adam Beach, Irene Bedard, Simon Baker and Gary Farmer. 

The screenings and dance party are free and open to the public. All programs are subject to change; the full schedule is listed on the museum’s website. Native Cinema Showcase is an official program of the 2023 Santa Fe Indian Market, which is sponsored by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.

This year’s program includes 41 films (35 shorts, six features) representing 33 Native nations in seven countries: U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia and Finland. There are 15 Indigenous languages spoken in the films. Genres include documentaries, music videos, kid-friendly shorts, films in Indigenous languages and more. 

Showcase Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 17

7 p.m.: Hey Viktor! (Canada, 2023, 102 min.)
For mature audiences. Contains nudity, alcohol, substance use and coarse language.
An Indigenous child star (Cody Lightning [Cree]) sets out to recapture his former glory by making the sequel to the film that made him famous 20 years earlier. Special reunion event with some of the original cast of Smoke Signals—Cody Lightning, Adam Beach, Irene Bedard, Simon Baker and Gary Farmer.

Friday, Aug. 18

1 p.m.: We Are Still Here (Australia/New Zealand, 2022, 90 min.)
For mature audiences. Contains violence, historical trauma and coarse language.
We Are Still Here is a unique Indigenous film that interweaves eight powerful tales that tell a sweeping story of hope and survival.

3 p.m.: Rosie (Canada, 2022, 92 min.)
An orphaned Indigenous girl is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart, Francophone aunty and her two best friends in 1980s Montreal.

7 p.m.: Fancy Dance (U.S., 2022, 90 min.)
For mature audiences. Contains coarse language.
Following her sister’s disappearance, Jax (Lily Gladstone [Blackfeet/Nimíipuu]), a Native American hustler, kidnaps her niece, Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson [Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation/Anishinaabe]), from the child's white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in hopes of keeping what is left of their family intact.  

Saturday, Aug. 19  

11 a.m.: “Future Focused” shorts program (Program running time: 64 min.)
Family-friendly short films that are fun for kids of all ages.

1 p.m.: “Connections” shorts program (Program running time: 92 min.)
A collection of short films that explore the unique complexities of the relationships people form within themselves and with other people.

3 p.m.: Powerlands (U.S., 2022, 75 min.)
A young Navajo filmmaker investigates the displacement of Indigenous people and devastation of the environment caused by the same chemical companies that exploited the land where she was born.

7 p.m.: Special Performance Event
An evening highlighting Indigenous music videos followed by a special concert with the Battiest Brothers (Seminole Tribe of Florida) and DJ Emcee One.

Sunday, Aug. 20   

11 a.m.: “Inside Out” shorts program (Program running time: 91 min.)
Unique short stories that defy the norms through true crime, supernatural elements and humorous twists on cultural appropriation.

2 p.m.: Lakota Nation vs. United States (U.S., 2022, 120 min.)
Lakota Nation vs. United States is a lyrical and provocative testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation and genocide—and whose best days are yet to come.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

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 strives toward equity and social justice for the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration and empowerment. Through two locations, it features exhibitions and programs in New York City and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit Follow the museum via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, to learn more about the 2023 #NativeCinemaShowcase.

About the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts

SWAIA’s ( mission is to bring Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education and creating meaningful partnerships.

About the New Mexico History Museum

Opened in May 2009 as the state system’s newest museum, the New Mexico History Museum is attached to the Palace of the Governors National Historic Landmark, a distinctive emblem of U.S. history and the original seat of New Mexico government. The museum presents exhibitions and public programs that interpret historical events and reflect on the wide range of New Mexico historical experiences. It is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is located at 113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe. Events, news releases and images about activities at the history museum and other divisions in the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at

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