Back to Business: Gearing up for the Fall 2016 Fest

FNFVF-Fall-2015-MENU-SMALLWith board elections complete, we have two new members. Please welcome Cassy Smith and Don Nole to the FNFVF Board. Also, thank Jane Stevens for her services and she moves on to other things.

Look for news on the Fall 2016 Call for Entries,  which will open in August, and possibly new fundraising efforts, events, and more, very soon. We hope to focus on colleges, universities, and maybe outreach to schools for the fall.

For donations, please use the PayPal link at the top of our website main page. Or, if you prefer, we have opened our Tee Spring FNFVF Store once again if you want cool tees or hoodie. All funds go to support our fall and spring festivals directly to cover venue fees or screening fees if needed.

Always, thank you for your years of support.

REEL INJUN – Student Review: COMM 363

by Ericka Goldenberg

This documentary discussed many relevant examples of cinema involving Native Americans. By this, I do not mean that the films discussed were truly “Native American films” or accurately represented the Native population – actually, the film did quite the opposite. In order for something to be a legitimate piece of Native American media, it needs to be made by a Native. Reel Injun exposed the reality that many films the general public would label as “Native American films” are nothing of the sort. Many films meant to depict Natives actually cast the roles to non-natives who could not possibly provide a genuine depiction. Rather than providing a voice to the Native community – which is what many people think these movies are achieving – the films “representing” Natives are really just reinforcing common stereotypes through the gaze of the white man.

To me, the most powerful part of the film was the footage from the Academy Awards when Marlon Brando had Sacheen Littlefeather accept the award on his behalf. Brando had seen the treatment of Natives in Hollywood and the film industry; rather than avoid the topic, he chose to spotlight it and reveal the truth to the American audience. Sadly, Littlefeather, who gave the speech that night experienced the same types of prejudice and discrimination at the event than she did in Hollywood and in life. The bold move by Marlon Brando and the courage of Sacheen Littlefeather to provide the voice for the Native community was absolutely necessary because without issues being confronted and brought to the surface, nothing will change.

This entire film was essentially a lesson in media literacy. It provided the tools in which a critical viewer can use to create a proper lens through which to view cinematic presentations. The documentary used various films as examples of how the representation of Natives in the media needs to be taken with a grain of salt when it is not made by Natives themselves. People automatically jump to movies such as Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves to justify their knowledge of Native Americans, but it is vital to challenge those representations and notions that have become ingrained in us through fabricated media depictions.

I would definitely recommend this documentary to other people because it is very important for more people to be cognizant of the media they are taking in. It is all too common for the public to believe everything they see or hear in the media, and becoming critical is the only way to avoid being deceived. What I have taken from this film is that the world is viewed through countless lenses, yet each piece of cinematography only provides perspective from a single lens. I consider this idea to be very important, and I think Reel Injun reinforces that message.

From the Author: My name is Ericka Goldenberg. I am currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In May 2015, I will graduate with a major in Communication and a minor in Human Interaction. During my studies at UW-Parkside, I took a course titled “Native Americans and Media” which was a class centered on the representation of Native Americans in the media and in our society. It was for this class that I viewed Reel Injun, and composed a review of the film.

FNFVF Friend: Diverse Voices in Docs Workshop Seeks Filmmakers

DVIDflyer2014Chicago, IL) Applications are now being accepted for the Diverse Voices In Docs 2015 program! Apply at before December 19th!

Diverse Voices in Docs (#DVID) is a professional development and mentorship program for documentary makers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.

At the core of the fellowship are six engaging three-hour workshops at the Community Film Workshop, with creative advice provided by Kartemquin Films’ world-class staff and associates. Each session will provide practical skill-enrichment designed to help incubate your next documentary project, as well as time to network and share experience with your cohort of participants.

Applicants should be filmmakers who have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.) and have experience or work history that demonstrated their commitment to social issue documentary. We will facilitate continued engagement throughout the six-month workshop program, and connect you to an expert community, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors. The program will culminate in exposure through a final public exhibition.

For more information on the program please email Beckie Stocchetti, Kartemquin Community Engagement Manager at or visit


FNFVF Director’s Note: FNFVF Inc. encourages Native American film and video makers to apply!