With Great Thanks (Spring 2017)

The Spring 2017 First Nations Film and Video once again closes out its events for the year. It has been another great festival. Mainly because of the great venues that stepped up and helped us bring Native American Cinema to the audiences of Chicago and beyond.

We opened at the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the historic Chicago Cultural Center. The FNFVF had screen there before back in 1999 and we were hoping to get back there again. We screened there two days, offering our featured films and our short films program. We have to thank Beckie Stochetti for helping us get back there. We also need to thank the projectionists for both days, Eric and Ryan, and staff member Shannon for being so welcoming.

Next, FNFVF returned to the University of Wisconsin Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We screened our featured films in the Student Center Cinema, a large and beautiful venue. We need to thank Laura Khoury and the CAH Center for Ethnic Studies, as well as Fay Akindes for always supporting FNFVF throughout the years. A huge thank you to projectionist Robin for his efforts.

We then held an event at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian where we have had some fantastic crowds. Thanks to Kathleen McDonald for hosting us, as well as Scarlet and Melinda for their assistance.

We also returned to the College of Computing and Digital Media at the Loop Campus of DePaul University. We had a great turnout for the films there! All thanks go greatly to Anthony Chung for all of his efforts and support these past years. It is growing there.

Then we were back at the School of the Arts Institute, screening in the MacLean Building. We need to thank Ana and the Indigenous@SAIC Group for their putting on the festival. Another fantastic turnout for filmmaker Jospeh Erb (Water is Life) who made the trip to attend the festival and give his support to our shared cause.

We then hosted another program at the Latino Cultural Center at UIC, with thanks to Cynthia Soto and the Native American Student Organization for helping us put up the films.

Then, we closed out the spring FNFVF at the Beverly Arts Center, while opening their Summer Film Series! Many, many thanks are due to Jonathan Moeller, who went above and beyond prepping the BAC for our event, including shooting a promo video!

Thanks also go out to the board members who ventured out and made it to the events. It is a great reflection on you and of your dedication. A heartfelt thanks in particular go to Board Member Don Nole, for his efforts at our printed programs that we handed out at the events. Thanks Don!

Thanks are due to all the filmmakers: Jeff Barnaby and Monteray Media, for their allowing us to screen “Rhymes for Young Ghouls”, to Nadine Arpin for her excellent “Jane & the Wolf”, to Joseph Erb for his “Water is Life”, to Rob Fatal for his well-received and excellent “Mi Familia 2”, Howard Adler & Charlotte Hoelke Anishinaabe, to Steven Davies, Narsiesse Paul, Roger Slagle, Conor McNally, Terry Jones & Govind Deecee, Jeremy Dennis, Charles Bicalho and Isael Maxakali, Razelle Benally, and Dane Whiteman for submitting their films and making their voices heard here in Chicago.

Lastly, this has been a great festival overall, and great thanks go to all the patrons who attended the events. To paraphrase Joseph Erb, you are continuing the circle of storytelling by seeing these Native stories unfold on the screen and through these film, we hope you capture a glimpse of the Native American experience that we work hard to reclaim and promote.

We now begin on the Fall 2017 First Nations Film and Video Festival. We hope to see all of you there once again.

With respect,

Ernest M Whiteman III
Director, FNFVF Inc.

SPRING 2017 FNFVF: VENUES!

Laura Guzman (Stockbridge Munsee/Mexican); Photo property of FNFVF Inc.We are please to announce the venues for the Spring 2017 First Nations Film and Video Festival!

FNFVF SPRING 2017 VENUES:

Tuesday, May 2: Opening Program! Claudia Cassidy Theater, 5pm – 7pm

Wednesday, May 3: The University of Wisconsin Parkside, Kenosha, WI, 7pm

Thursday, May 4: Mitchell Museum, 6pm – 7:30pm

Friday, May 5: DePaul University, To be announced!

Saturday, May 6: School of the Art Institute, 6pm – 9pm

Sunday: Claudia Cassidy Theater, 5pm – 7pm

Tuesday, May 9: UIC – Latino Cultural Center, 12:00n – 2pm

Wednesday May 10: The Beverly Arts Center, 7:30pm

Stay tuned for an announcement of the FNFVF films screening at these great spaces.

We look forward to seeing you there.

EW3

FNFVF Spring Appeal 2017

The filmmakers that submit their works to the First Nations Film and Video Festival are doing so with a trust that we will work our hardest to get their film seen by the great arts audiences here in Chicago. First Nations Film and Video Festival, Inc. and its venue partners do our best to provide accessible programming that presents Native American people and society in a contemporary view where we hold the gaze, and we control how we represent ourselves.

For so long, the ability to represent ourselves in media has been out of the hands of Native people. The ability to own our own experiences, spaces, and representations has been a long, hard road in the face of so many who wish to take that authority away from Native filmmakers for their own purposes. A film festival dedicated entirely to interacting with Native American filmmakers from the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and Mexico is a beacon of Native self-representation in a murky world of Native iconography, and we are proud to be able to bring these films, some that will never have another chance to be viewed, to our audiences.

We make no money from the programs, charging no admission fees. We do not charge a submission fee to the artists. As filmmakers and artists ourselves, we know the value of our efforts in creating art. Sometimes filmmakers, especially new and beginning filmmakers, cannot afford entry fees, yet, having their film seen by an audience is much too important for the careers of filmmakers to have them be left out. Which is why the First Nations Film and Video Festival will remain free to enter by Indigenous filmmakers.

There are times when we need to pay fees to venues or to producers of feature films. We do so gladly. Because we are such a small organization, our finances are made up mostly of donations from kind patrons, the support of our great venues, and the occasional grant funding.

Right now, we are working to secure a feature film in time for our Spring 2017 film festival set to take place May 2 – May 10 at venues across Chicago, with our opening program at the historic Claudia Cassidy Theater in the heart of downtown Chicago. Unfortunately, the cost of securing any feature film that has not been submitted to us through our call for entries, is out of our budgetary means and we are looking to raise funds in several ways.

FNFVF Inc is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to showcasing the works of Native peoples at appropriate venues in Chicago and beyond. We will once again screen at the University of Wisconsin Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We have screened as far away as the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in Denver, Colorado. We have two great educational components, one that puts these Native-directed films into classrooms at any level, the other is our “The Other 51%: Native American Women Directors” that promotes the vastly underrepresented and overlooked voice in media.

We are appealing to you for support. There are a few ways you can help us bring these feature films to audiences here in Chicago. The first is a direct donation. You can email teh Festival Director at ernest-3@fnfvf.org about donations to FNFVF INC, or, for your ease, donate online via PayPal. (You can also click the DONATE NOW Button on our front page!) You can also support us on Facebook via the Network for Good campaign we are currently running. Though our goal is $6000, mainly for some great future events we are planning, the campaign pays out monthly if the donations are over $100. We set a short-term goal of $1000 by the end of the campaign. Lastly, we offer our TeeSpring Campaigns, where you can purchase a tee shirt or hoodie and the profits of each sale goes to our festival costs. All donations made to FNFVF Inc are tax-deductible.

Our patrons and supporters have been there through all the years and we cannot thank you all enough for your support of Native American first-voice and self-representation. In these times, such efforts become more and more important, when the gaze shifts and how Native peoples are viewed in media becomes more important than ever. First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc. will always be there, working to provide many opportunities for Native filmmakers to present their works and to showcase films that present our culture and people as an equal part of our shared society. The First Nations Film and Video Festival appreciates your support and ask that you support our efforts today.

With respect,

Ernest M Whiteman III (Northern Arapaho)

FNFVF Director/Filmmaker