Native Cinema Showcase Returns as a Virtual Program With Messages of Strength and Resilience

Annual Event Highlights Works by Indigenous Filmmakers From the Western Hemisphere and Arctic
October 6, 2021
News Release
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Native Cinema Showcase

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian brings its annual Native Cinema Showcase to online audiences Nov. 12–18. This year's showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community and a continued relationship with the land. 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: 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 pre-recorded 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), Run Woman Run—the films will be available to watch worldwide. The full schedule, including information about geographic restrictions, is available online. The public can check individual listings for dates and times.

“For the second year in a row, the museum will reach international audiences through our online presentation of the Native Cinema Showcase,” said 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.”

Feature Film Schedule

  • Waikiki (USA, 2020, 77 min.)
    Available on demand from 12:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 12, to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 12.
    Viewing of this film is restricted to the United States.
    English and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i with English subtitles
  • Beans (Canada, 2020, 92 min.)
    Available on demand from 1:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 13 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 14
    Viewing of this film is restricted to the United States.
  • The Song of the Butterflies (El Canto de las Mariposas) (Peru/Colombia, 2020, 65 min.)
    Available on demand from 1:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 15 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 16
    Viewing of this film is restricted to the United States.
    Spanish and Munuka with English subtitles
  • Run Woman Run (Canada, 2021, 100 min.)
    Available on demand from 1:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 17 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 18
    Viewing of this film is restricted to the United States.
  • What Happened to the Bees? (¿Qué les pasó a las abejas?) (Mexico, 2019, 67 min.)
    Available on demand from 12:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 13 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 14
    Spanish and Mayan with English subtitles
  • Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective (USA, 2020, 76 min.)
    Available on demand from 12:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 12 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 18
  • Rez Metal (USA/Denmark, 2021, 76 min.)
    Available on demand from 12:01 a.m. ET, Nov. 12 to 11:59 p.m. ET, Nov. 18

Shorts Programs

All shorts programs will be available throughout the duration of the showcase.

“Future Focused” Shorts Program
This program of family-friendly short films is fun for kids of all ages.

Sister Wolves (USA, 2020, 4 min.)
Pua Ka Uahi (USA, 2020, 7 min.) ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i with English subtitles
Naja (Little Sister) (Greenland, 2020, 5 min.)
Heli, set ŧte sќál Ƚte (Bringing Our Language Back to Life) (Canada, 2020, 5 min.) SENĆOŦEN with English subtitles
Katinngak (Together) (Canada, 2020, 1 min.)
Let´s Look at the Rainbow Again (Cuteem psawi wkaa sewja) (Mexico, 2020, 1 min.) Ko´lew with English subtitles
Coyote & Big Buff (USA, 2019, 8 min.)
Inage'i (In the Woods) (USA, 2020, 11 min.) Cherokee with English subtitles
The Potion (La Pócima) (Mexico, 2019, 7 min.) Spanish with English subtitles
Aloha Song (USA, 2020, 2 min.)
This Is a Hogan (USA, 2020, 4 min.)
The Pākalā Kids (USA, 2020, 5 min.)
Inuit Languages in the 21st Century (Canada, 2020, 9 min.) Inuktitut and English with English subtitles
Skate Break (Canada, 2019, 5 min.)

“Home” Shorts Program
What is the meaning of home and how can it be found in many places?

Border Nation (USA, 2020, 19 min.)
Snake's Mouth (Boca de Culebra) (Mexico, 2020, 16 min.) Mayan and MSL with English subtitles
Meli (Chile, 2020, 20 min.) Mapuche and Spanish with English subtitles
Yaõkwá, Image and Memory (Brazil, 2020, 22 min.) Portuguese and Enawenê-Nawê with English subtitles
Chuj Boys of Summer (USA/Guatemala, 2020, 16 min.) Chuj, Spanish, and English with English subtitles

“Our Stories” Shorts Program
The best of Native storytelling as told through history, language and tradition.

Between Two Lines (Australia, 2019, 15 min.)
Purea (New Zealand, 2020, 6 min.) Māori with English subtitles
Kapaemahu (USA, 2020, 8 min.) Ōlelo Ni‘ihau Hawaiian with English subtitles
Sey Anchwi (Communicating Worlds) (Colombia, 2020, 8 min.) Ikʉ with English subtitles
Sky Aelans (Solomon Islands, 2020, 6 min.) Pijin with English subtitles
Nuxalk Radio (Canada, 2020, 3 min.) Nuxalk and English with English subtitles
Halpate (USA, 2020, 14 min.)
Sardis (USA, 2020, 10 min.)
Pandemic at the End of the World (Canada, 2020, 6 min.)
Bunky Echo-Hawk: The Resistance (USA, 2020, 8 min.)

“Rise Above” Shorts Program
The realities of rising above adversity, loving oneself and learning life’s lessons.

Joe Buffalo (Canada, 2020, 16 min.)
Pitoc E Icinakosian (Canada, 2020, 6 min.).
French with English subtitles
Becoming Nakuset (Canada, 2020, 13 min.)
Hop Along Hang On (Canada, 2020, 4 min.)
Future Ancestor (USA, 2020, 10 min.)
Dream (USA, 2021, 4 min.)
êmîcêtôcêt—Many Bloodlines (Canada, 2020, 11 min.)
Piiksi Huia (New Zealand, 2020, 10 min.)
Badjelánnda (Sweden, 2020, 4 min.) Sámi with English subtitles
Tarcila: Indigenous Solutions to Climate Change from Peru (USA/Peru, 2020, 13 min.) Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles
This Is the Way We Rise (USA, 2020, 12 min.)

Filmmaker Panels

Panels will be available for the duration of the showcase Nov. 12–18:

The Land Speaks
Ciara Lacy (Kanaka Maoli) and Colleen Thurston (Choctaw Nation). Moderated by Cindy Benitez.
How are Indigenous filmmakers using film to tackle environmental crises?

Mapping the Landscape of Native Shorts Filmmaking
Ben-Alex Dupris (Colville/Mnicoujou) and Zoe Hopkins (Heiltsuk/Mohawk). Moderated by Justin Mugits.
This panel discusses the advantages and limitations of short films for Indigenous filmmakers.

A Different Lens
Tracey Deer (Mohawk), Adriana Otero (Maya [Yuc]), Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Kanaka). Moderated by Cass Gardiner (Anishinaabe).
Celebrate how women and two-spirited people tell Indigenous stories through their own lens.

Home: New Beginnings
Ayelén Lonconao Vargas (Mapuche) and Marcos Ixwalanhkej Ordoñez Mendoza (Chuj). Moderated by Amalia Córdova.
Investigating the concept of home, this panel explores the ways Indigenous peoples' connections to home continue to change with time and place.
Spanish with English closed captioning.

Donor Acknowledgements

Special support for Native Cinema Showcase provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional funding is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature, the Walt Disney Company, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, the Council for Canadian American Relations and Canada Now.

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. For information about the museum, visit Follow the museum on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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