FILMS of the Spring 2018 FNFVF!

Viva Diva (15:00) -Note: Adult themes
Rozene and Diva are partners on a road trip to get their gender affirmation surgeries. Along the way Rozene comforts Diva with humor when Diva has trouble reconciling she has HIV. Relying on sex work to pay for their operations, Rozene places an ad on Craigslist as they drive through the place where she grew up. Directed by Daniel Flores (Yaqui/Mexican)
Joe (5:31)
joe is forced to take a look in the mirror and have a talk with himself in regards to his addiction. he learns a lesson about self respect. Directed by jack belhumeur (Metis)
secret of the bigfoot tribe (6:02)
a father tells his sons of a great secret involving the legendary bigfoot. A secret treaty between a bigfoot tribe and indigenous elders long ago. Directed by jack belhumeur (Metis)
We Only Went Out at Night (4:00)
An undead woman must endure love and loss to discover a new reason to live. Directed by Brannigan Carter (Lumbee)
Sun and the Great Frog (4:37)
A Cherokee Eclipse Story in the Cherokee Language. A great frog tries to swallow the sun. Directed by joseph erb (Cherokee)
Stand up (18:00)
Anecdotes and stories told by the grandparents of Esteban, and also a moment with them from when he was a child, have stayed in his memory. A moment that always created questions within him. Little by little he began growing up and finding answers, and with them, a sense of cultural and ancestral belonging that he felt the need to know about and reaffirm. Directed by Esteban Lema (Kichwa Nation Diaspora)
Forgotten (6:15)
Levi lives a simple life until escalating visions too strong to ignore lead him to reconnect to his indigenous heritage. Directed by Jesse Spence (Mathias Colomb Cree/Lake Saint Martin First Nation)
Shirtnami (2:30)
A Shirtnami takes over a town, only to be conquered by Skateboarding Pants. Directed by Colton Sillier (Cree/Blackfoot)
Refraction (6:25) An afternoon excursion takes a spiritual turn when a photographer helps a lost soul find peace. Directed by Chad Baker (Choctaw)
Ghost Cop (9:00)
“Ghost Cop” tells the story of Detective James McClusky Jr. as he seeks answers for a troubling mystery. Directed by Jesse Monday (Cherokee)
The Importance of Dreaming (10:39)
Old lonely Owl dreams of having his own family. In his travels he comes upon a large skulk of foxes playing together. Owl thinks they are beautiful and he watches over them for many days and nights. He wishes he could have such a beautiful family. One fox is different, she notices Owl and watches him. Owl flies down to meet her and showing off his charms, becomes a part of the skulk. Foxx and Owl fall in love, but their love is met with contention driving Foxx and Owl away to try to find happiness together. This is a true legend based on a love story between a Native Canadian woman and a non-Native man, taking place sometime between 1867-1985 when the Indian Act of Canada suppressed the rights of Indigenous women married to a non-Native. Directed by Tara Audibert (Tobique First Nations, Canada)
Exulansis (1:52)
Exulansis is a visual representation providing insight into the experience and symptoms of anxiety and borderline personality disorders. For those with these experiences, it can be difficult to translate the abstract and nuanced feelings into something relatable to others. Directed by Melanie Weldon (Cherokee) & Adrienne Johnson
Paradise Lost (5:29)
A montage showing the destructive modern age of San Francisco’s outcasted youth. Directed by Nicholas Batres (Taino)
The Spider (7:12)
Chuck has a crush on the flower shop girl next door. Using a superhero card drawn by his co-worker Kelly, Chuck tries to strike up a conversation with her. Directed by Roger Boyer (Canadian Indigenous, Non-status)
“C & J Forever…” (6:37)
Jack returns home to visit his childhood friend Candace before she starts her new life. Directed by Roger Boyer (Canadian Indigenous, Non-status)
Generations (7:19)
A look into Contemporary Native life through the eyes of a mother and her children on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation of Northern Nevada. Directed by Anthony Florez (Pyramid Lake Paiute)
Gathered Places: An Indian Documentary Film (18:58)
What happens when two Indian filmmakers, one from southern India and the other from an Indian reservation in western New York State, visits each other’s homelands? What are the similarities or differences between these ancient cultures? How does the modern world affect how they see themselves, each other and the outside world?
GATHERED PLACES is a documentary film that shows the worlds of India and Native America through the “Indian” lenses of filmmakers Terry Jones and Govind Diece. Directed by Terry Jones (Seneca) & Govind Deice
Ode to the Nine (2:42)
This video is influenced by artist Jon Rafman. His work “9-Eyes” and “You, the World and I” inspired the filmmaker to make “Ode to the Nine”. This short experimental video allows the filmmaker to ponder the relevance of the moving image and what impacts it has on the Native experience of the past, present and future. Directed by Tery Jones (Seneca)
Reclamation (3:44)
A short poetic documentary film about Indigenous Identity Directed by Viveka Frost (Teques/Caribe)
The Mayors of Shiprock (52:00)
Every Monday in the small community of Shiprock, New Mexico, a group of young Navajo leaders meet to decide how they will help their community. For over seven years, the Northern Dine Youth Committee has worked to give youth opportunities to directly make changes within their community. But while the NDYC works to make changes, many members also consider their own futures, commitments to family and the world outside of the Shiprock. While they love their community, they all must consider their options both on and off the reservation. Directed by Ramona Emerson (Navajo)
Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way (1:05:00)
“Winnetou”, the still popular American Indian character created by German author Karl May in the 19th century is a symbol of Native stereotypes, of lingering racism & colonialism: the self-bestowed privilege of taking and using whatever you want, even living peoples, for self-gratification. Intentional or not, these attitudes and behaviors continue the cycle of genocide, and can be harmful to everyone, no matter their ethnicity.
Most films on similar topics concentrate only on Native experiences in North America, but through discussions with Natives, living in or having visited Germany, the correction of Eurocentricized history & insight on German society, we’ll present why these stereotypes and practices must end: in Germany and worldwide. While some may minimize the effect or harm of stereotypes, they are evidence of much deeper societal issues of injustice, inequality and inequity based on racial or ethnic heritage, many countries face. Directed by Red Haircrow (Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee)
Innu Nikamu: resist and sing (1:32:00)
A documentary that tells the story of the Innu Nikamu Native Music Festival through the eyes of its founders and musicians. A story of healing, a duty of remembrance. Kevin Directed by Bacon Hervieux (Innu)
Hard Working Man: The Music and Miracles of Danny Brooks (1:42:29)
“Hard Working Man: The Music and Miracles of Danny Brooks” is a documentary film about the life of singer-songwriter Danny Brooks. An entertainer with over 40 years experience in the music industry who performs in a wide variety of forms; as a solo artist, in a duet with his wife Debi and as part of a band. His stage is diverse … bars, clubs, house concerts, churches, prisons and festivals. A true chameleon … one part street savvy musician; another part born again preacher, Brooks life and career runs the gamut of all spectrum’s of life much like his music which chronicles the good times, the bad times, relationships, heaven, hell and salvation. A man of deep religious belief and conviction Brooks has an uncanny capacity for reaching out and touching the lives of those around him. Directed by Christopher Darton (Metis)
The Smudging (1:34:32)
A group of paranormal researchers are called to investigate a Native American cultural center where the staff and community have been experiencing aggressive supernatural activity. What the group discovers is something they are not prepared to face. Directed by Mike J. Marin (Laguna/Navajo/Washoe)
Red Hand (1:20:00)
A man with the power to heal time-travels from the future to rescue a tech genius who is pivotal in saving the Native American race. They are helped by a psychic comic book artist who has foreseen them coming when an officer is sent from the future to destroy them. Directed by Rod Pocowachit (Comanche, Pawnee and Shawnee)
Drunktown’s Finest (1:33:00)
On a beautifully desolate Navajo reservation in New Mexico, three young people – a college-bound, devout Christian; a rebellious and angry father-to-be; and a promiscuous but gorgeous transsexual – search for love and acceptance. As the three find their lives becoming more complicated and their troubles growing, their paths begin to intersect. With little in common other than a shared heritage, they soon learn that the key to overcoming their respective obstacles may come from the most unlikely of sources, each other.
Inspired by a 20/20 story that called her hometown of Gallup, NM “Drunktown USA,” writer/director Sydney Freeland has constructed a moving and ultimately uplifting story about coming of age in the most challenging of circumstances while still finding hope, healing, and the chance for a better life. Directed by Sydney Freeland (Navajo)
Keep an eye on our SCHEDULE PAGE for upcoming Programming News



(CHICAGO, IL) First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc, (FNFVF Inc) Chicago’s only film festival that deals directly with NAtive American Film and Video Directors, is pleased to announce its Call for Entries for the Fall First Nations Film and Video Festival (FNFVF), set to take place November 1st through the 10th at venues across Chicagoland and beyond. The submission deadline is July 30, 2017. The FNFVF is open to Native American directors of all skill level with films of any length and genre that are under five years old.

The festival is free to submit to, which is of vital importance to FNFVF Director Ernest M Whiteman III, a Northern Arapaho filmmaker and artist, “Knowing what it takes to put together any kind of film, having the festival be accessible is very important. Not only to the Native filmmakers wanting the share their voice, but to audiences who would otherwise not see these films anywhere else.”

Established in 1990, the First Nations Film and Video Festival has been on the leading edge of promoting Native American first-voice and self-representation in film and media and making them widely available across Chicago screening at venues such as Northwestern University and the Claudia Cassidy Theater. The mission of the First Nations Film and Video Festival is to advocate for and celebrate the works of Native Americans filmmakers and new works and films that break racial stereotypes and promotes awareness of Native American issues.

“These films are vital to cultural understanding,” say Whiteman, “Seeing our culture from our perspective and gaze allows us to own our own cultures, representations, stories, and voice, which have been out of our hands for so long.”

For more information on FNFVF Inc or the festival guideline and application, feel free to “Like” them on Facebook at “FNFVF.Inc“. You can also submit films via Filmfreeway. “If past festival are an indication, there are many, many Native American filmmakers out there doing great works and we are looking forward to seeing all the great films come in for the fall festival.”


Ernest M Whiteman III (Northern Arapaho)
FNFVF DIrector
Facebook: @FNFVF.Inc
Twitter: FNFVF_DIR_EW3

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!