Announcing the Spring 2017 Short Films!


Jane & the Wolf (9:45) FEATURED SHORT FILM!
Jane & the Wolf is a hybrid documentary that incorporates cinéma vérité, archival photographs and animation. In the 1960s, Pagwa River was a booming railroad town populated by 2nd generation Crees. During one cold winter, the community was being stalked by a lone wolf. Every attempt to kill the wolf failed. Jane recognized the wolf as a spirit sign from the ancestors. Ridiculed for her beliefs, Jane set out alone to killing the wolf using the old ways.

Narrated by Jane’s Great Granddaughter Rachel Garrick, Jane’s story is interwoven with Rachel’s own journey to bring her mother Minnie Garrick to her final resting place. Minnie was a story teller, a surviver, and a woman who reclaimed her life despite many personal challenges. Minnie had passed on the story of Jane to Rachel at a time in her life when Rachel most needed to hear about the strength that is inherent in their family.
Director: Nadine Arpin (Métis)

Water is Life (4:37)
An animated film that talks about the issue of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and their struggle to survive as they try to protect the water source into their small nation. Narrated by The Standing Rock Chairman.
Director: Joseph Erb (Cherokee Nation)

Mi Familia 2: Class Order Family Tribe (26:04)
Mi Familia 2: Class Order Family Tribe  is a silent, experimental documentary by Queer/Latino/Native American filmmaker Rob Fatal. The film is comprised entirely of 60 year old 8mm footage created by the filmmaker’s matrilineal Native American family as they struggled to survive poverty, racism, and boredom in 1960s Central California. Utilizing techniques of self authorship and camp pioneered by queer filmmaking pioneers like Marlon Riggs, Cheryl Dunye and Sadie Benning, Fatal inserts himself into the macabre and comedic film as a textual narrator in an effort to examine his family and his overlapping and differing generational strategies for survival and identity.
Director: Rob Fatal (Southern Plains Ute, Jirillica Apache)

Native Snaglines (4:52)
In the Native community, “snagging” is slang for picking up, or hooking up, with that special person you’ve had your eye on. In this short film, “What’s your best Snagline?”, is the question that’s posed to the local Indigenous community in Ottawa, resulting in fun and tantalizing responses.
Directors: Howard Adler & Charlotte Hoelke Anishinaabe (Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation, Canada)

Written In My Blood (3:02)
Written In My Blood is a collaborative film featuring choreography and performance by Aboriginal contemporary dancer Jeanette Kotowich (Cree Metis) accompanied by a remix by Dean Hunt from the Heiltsuk Nation. This film follows a young indigenous women’s transcendence through her contemporary practice through movement and breath.
Director: Steven Davies (Coast Salish-Snuneymuxw)

Vic leaves his marital problems behind and goes on a winery tour and on his journey he meets two children but are they real or imaginary? At the vineyard, THE WINEMAKER plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with Vic.  At the climax, THE WINEMAKER forces Vic to decide to save himself or the souls of the two children. Remember that #TheWinemakerknows
Director: Narsiesse Paul (Adams Lake Indian Band)

ZiLLA Z. DooGiN – So So What (OFFICIAL VIDEO) (2:21)
Music Video for Experimental Hip-Hop Artist, ZiLLA Z. DooGiN
Director: Zee Mathis (Cherokee Descent)

Sparrow Hawk (15:00)
When teenagers, Michael and Jessie Sparrow Hawk have a dirt bike accident  they must survive in the wilderness. Once found they begin their personal recovery. How will they recover and who will help them along the way?
Director: Roger Slagle (Paiute)

ôtênaw (40:00)
ôtênaw is a film documenting the oral storytelling of dwayne donald, an educator from edmonton alberta, canada. drawing from nêhiyawak philosophies, he speaks about the multilayered histories of indigneous peoples’ presence both within and around amiskwacîwâskahikan, or what has come to be known as the city of edmonton.
Director: Conor McNally (Métis)

Gripped (7:28)
A Father must overcome his fears in order to pass custom and tradition on to his Son.     Terry Jones, Govind Deecee
Director: Terry Jones (Seneca Nation of Indians)

Empire State (5:03)
This film shows invasion, war and occupation through the perspective of an Indigenous character. This film has no dialogue or narration and features wild onions, Iroquois white corn and a turtle rattle.
Directors: Terry Jones (Seneca Nation of Indians), Govind Deecee

Hearthless (4:00)
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation, but some attempt to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past.    Homer’s Iliad describes a character that is in the worst imaginable position, known as the hearthless, lawless, stateless man; that there is nothing worse than to be outside the civic order of things. To be separated from people of one’s own kind; separated from laws and habitats of your people. At the same time, there’s something beautiful in observing this ‘other,’ making you feel thankful and privileged. In seeing parallels between this idea and the experience of leaving the small reservation communities or feeling alien in your own land, I created this video that embodies these concepts while also freeing the stereotypical Native American characters.
Directors: Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock and Hassanamisco-Nipmuc)

Konãgxeka: the Maxakali Flood (12:50)
Konãgxeka in the maxakali indigenous language means “big water”. It’s the maxakali version of the great flood. As a punishment because of selfishness and greed of men, the yãmîy spirits send the “big water”.

It is an indigenous film. One of the directors is representative of the Maxakali indigenous people in the state of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil. The movie is in Maxakali language, with subtitles. The film’s argument is the myth of the flood by Maxakali people. The illustrations for the film were made by indigenous Maxakali during workshop held at Aldeia Verde (Maxakali Green Village).
Directors: Charles Bicalho and Isael Maxakali (Maxakali Barzailian)

I Am Thy Weapon (11:25)
A young Navajo woman comes home and returns to the place where she witnessed her older sister’s murder. Attempting to confront the tragedy, she tries to make peace while trying to stay away from the vandalistic past that killed her sister. Discovering she can’t escape who she is, she realizes that killing the trauma has nothing to do with violence.
Directed/Written by: Razelle Benally (Oglala Lakota/Diné)

Scoot Life (3:03)
“The scooter kids asked for a edit, so I made them one. I let them choose everything from music to lines preformed.”
Directed by: Dane Whiteman (Northern Arapaho)

Keep your eyes here for coming info on the Spring 2017 Program and Feature Film Announcement!


First Nations Film Festival Fall 2016 begins Nov. 2

Laura Guzman (Stockbridge Munsee/Mexican); Photo property of FNFVF Inc.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016: University of Wisconsin Parkside
Student Cinema, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Never Give Up       0:08:43
#stillhere           0:01:20
Corrina’s Letter       0:02:30
JAAT SDIIHLYL’LXA Woman Who   Returns   0:10:00
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
Project Eagle Feather: When   They Took The Children   0:51:47

Total Program Time: 1:50:13  (0:09:47)

Thursday, November 3, 2016: Beverly Arts Center
Main Theater, 2407 W 111th St, 7:30-9:30pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
HONOR RIDERS       1:45:00

Total Program Time: 1:46:20 (0:13:40)

Friday, November 4, 2016: DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media
243 S Wabash Ave, CDM 708, 4:00 – 6:00pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
Give and Take       0:14:39
[untitled & unlabeled]       0:03:27
Our Sisters In Spirit       0:35:00
Alma Avira           0:08:08

TOTAL PROGRAM TIME: 1:47:10 (0:12:50)

Saturday, November 5, 2016: School of the Art Institute Chicago
Sharp Building, 37 S Wabash Ave, 6:00 – 8:00pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
INAATE/SE/ [it shines a   certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]   1:11:00

TOTAL PROGRAM TIME: 1:56:56 (0:03:04)

Sunday, November 6, 2016: Citlalin Gallery & Theater, Pilsen
2005 S Blue Island Ave, 3:00 – 5:00pm
Deadpool & Black Panther:   The Gauntlet   0:29:00
#stillhere           0:01:20
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Alma Avira           0:08:08
The Foreverlands       0:26:55
Soup For My Brother       0:10:14
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53

Total Program Time: 2:00:13

Monday, November 7, 2016: Northwestern University
McCormick Tribune Center, Forum, 1870 Campus Dr, Evanston
7:00 – 9:00pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
Never Give Up       0:08:43
[untitled & unlabeled]       0:03:27
Our Sisters In Spirit       0:35:00
INAATE/SE/ [it shines a   certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]   1:11:00

Total Program Time: 1:24:30 (includes special bonus “Preview Screening”)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Events Center in the James Stukel Towers
718 W. Rochford Street, 3:00 – 6:00pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
[untitled & unlabeled]       0:03:27
kiskisiwin | remembering       0:06:14
What if….You Had To Choose?   0:07:14
Family of Sorrow       0:10:29
Ohero:kon: Under the Husk   0:26:46

Total Program Time: 1:40:06 (0:19:54)

Thursday, November 10, 2016: Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central St, Evanston, 6:00 – 7:30p
#stillhere           0:01:20
Corrina’s Letter       0:02:17
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
[untitled & unlabeled]       0:03:27
Our Sisters In Spirit       0:35:00

Total Program Time: 1:26:40 (0:03:20)

Sunday, November 13, 2016: Comfort Station, Logan Square
2579 N Milwaukee Ave, 7:00 – 9:00pm
#stillhere           0:01:20
Corrina’s Letter       0:02:17
Never Give Up       0:08:43
Kaeyas Msek Oskeken       0:35:53
kiskisiwin | remembering       0:06:14
What if….You Had To Choose?   0:07:14
Family of Sorrow       0:10:29
Ohero:kon: Under the Husk   0:26:46
The Foreverlands       0:26:55

Total Program Time: 2:05:51

All programs are free and open to the public.

Films’ screening order are subject to change due to unforeseen technical or logistical difficulties.
We hope to see you there.

Fall 2016 FNFVF Films!


#stillhere (01:20)
Short Video Art piece which challenges traditional representations of Indigenous people as being trapped in the past.

Desmond Hassing Choctaw of Oklahoma


Corrina’s Letter (02:17)
The film is a re-enactment of a letter submitted for the project. Tomahawk calls out for letters on Indigenous Peoples Day on Alcatraz and takes them to be read aloud at the Columbus Statue at Coit Tower, San Francisco.

Tomahawk Greyeyes, Dineh


Alma Avira (08:08)
“A woman awaits the return of her husband as he is away at war.”

Kyle Harris, Choctaw


The Foreverlands (26:55)
“A drifter (Ace Denison) finds more than he bargained for when he meets the eccentric Henry Bonneville upon the road. Past and destiny soon collide when Ace realizes that supernatural occurrences are at play and souls at stake, and the mantic Henry Bonneville may or may not be the devil.”

Kyle Kauwika Harris, Choctaw


Never Give Up (08:43)
Although the state of Oklahoma has one of the largest prison systems in the US, it provides released prisoners with little post-incarceration support. Many struggle to find their way on the ―outside and are eventually re-incarcerated. In the early 2000s, the Muscogee Creek Nation set out to tackle this problem. The Nation’s Reintegration Program works with tribal citizens before and after they leave prison, paying attention to everything from jobs and housing to counseling and spiritual needs.

Sterlin Harjo, Muscogee Creek Nation


JAAT SDIIHLYL’LXA Woman Who Returns (10:00)
In order to become a member of her Haida clan, an Edmonton woman must first sew a traditional blanket with her grandmother.

Heather Hatch, Haida Gwaii


Give and Take (14:39)
“Give and Take” is a story about Chris Green (Rick Kolceski), a linguistic anthropologist who wants to record indigenous songs for his research. When Chris arrives at a nearby reservation to meet with a community elder, an American Indian trickster (Awenheeyoh Powless) lures him into the forest. “Give and Take” was filmed on the Onondaga Nation Territory in central New York State.

Terry Jones, Govind Deecee, Erin Perkins
Terry Jones, Seneca Nation of Indians


Soup For My Brother (10:14)
Today is a special day for Jimmy’s brother, Danny. As Jimmy prepares a batch of soup for his brother, we learn this documentary is about tradition, brotherly love and loss.   This documentary was filmed entirely on the Seneca Nation Territory which is located 50 miles south of Niagara Falls.

Terry Jones, Seneca Nation of Indians


[untitled & unlabeled] (03:27)
Ever been told you were different when all you were doing was being you? This personal piece explores how it feels to be labeled “other”.

Terry Jones, Seneca Nation of Indians


INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./] (01:11:00)
Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil’s new film re-imagines an ancient Ojibway story, the Seven Fires Prophecy, which both predates and predicts first contact with Europeans. A kaleidoscopic experience blending documentary, narrative, and experimental forms, INAATE/SE/ transcends linear colonized history to explore how the prophecy resonates through the generations in their indigenous community within Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With acute geographic specificity, and grand historical scope, the film fixes its lens between the sacred and the profane to pry open the construction of contemporary indigenous identity.

Adam Khalil & Zack Khalil, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians


HONOR RIDERS (01:45:15)
Arising from the Great Tribes of the Navajo and Hopi Peoples, the Honor Riders began in 2003 to celebrate the life of Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman to be lost in battle. The Honor Riders are a group of Veterans and their supporters who gather each year before Memorial Day in May to honor the missing and the fallen; to ride for those who cannot. To remind everyone; whether they are Past or Present, a Warrior remains a Warrior, and Freedom is never Free. This is their legacy….

Ralphina Hernandez, Navajo


kiskisiwin | remembering (06:14)
A young Métis historian takes down Canadian pioneer mythology, with a very personal account of the impacts that version of history has had in his life. In Kiskisiwin, a jingle dress dancer, an 1850s blacksmith, and a troop of defiant urban Indians assert Toronto as Treaty Land and a very contemporary Indigenous space.

Martha Stiegman, Cree & Métis


What if….You Had To Choose? (07:14)
A politician and his family get abducted in broad daylight. The politician has a choice to make. No matter what he choses, the outcome is less than desirable.

Chris Basso & Glenn Spillman
Glenn Spillman, Choctaw


Deadpool & Black Panther: The Gauntlet (29:00)
Superheroes Deadpool and Black Panther team up to battle Taskmaster in this Marvel based Fan Film.

Garrett H. Dumas, Blackfoot and Cherokee


Family of Sorrow (10:29)
A Sister and Brother decide to rob a bookmaker and family man to help their family through a financial crisis.

Kiefer Friday, Weenusk first Nation


Our Sisters In Spirit (35:00)
Our Sisters in Spirit explores the question of calling a national public inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women & girls in Canada or whether there may be a better approach.

Nick Printup, Onondaga & Algonquin


Ohero:kon: Under the Husk (26:46)
“Ohero:kon – Under the Husk” is a 26 min documentary following the journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S. / Canada border. They both take part in a four- year adolescent passage rites ceremony called Oheró:kon “Under the Husk” that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become.

Katsitsionni Fox, Mohawk


Project Eagle Feather: When They Took The Children (51:47)
Project Eagle Feather: When They Took The Children features First Nation documentation of unheard stories aimed to encourage the legacy of First Nations storytelling by sharing life experiences previously untold. First-hand testimonials articulate the way in which the residential school system so impacted generations of First Nations peoples. This project starts from the beginning of human life, to the state of the world today, and carries a beautiful visual representation of the hope and beauty that lies in our future.

Tammy Lynne Elder, Ojibwa Native, from the Nippissing First Nations


Kaeyas Msek Oskeken (35:53)
A Young Menominee woman begins to see whatever true passion is at the end of her junior year. The audience is taken on a journey as youth and elders walk to protect and honor the sacred water during the Menominee River Water Walk.

Reynaldo Morales and Cherie Thunder
Cherie Thinder, Menominee of Wisconsin, Renaldo Morales, Quechua of Peru


Total Runtime: 07:44:21