(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

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 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



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

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

CHICAGO, IL) The Call for Entries is now open for First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc’s fall festival set to take place November 1st through the 10th, at venues across the Chicagoland area. The deadline for entries is September 15, 2016.

“We have seen a great number of entries in the past two festivals thanks to moving to an online platform,” says Ernest M Whiteman III, Director of FNFVF Inc. “The quality and variety of films seems to have increased as well and we are proud to showcase the little seen films right here in Chicago.

The First Nations Film and Video Festival has been screening Native-produced film in CHicago since 1990 and the outreach has never stopped. FNFVF Inc has several educational program they offer, usually free of charge, organizations, schools, and colleges. They offer “The Other 51%: Native American Women Directors” and educational screening on Native Americans Cinema that can tailored to fit any classroom or event. Contact the film festival for information on these programs.

“Interest in Native-directed films is growing” said Whiteman, who as a filmmaker himself, knows the difficulty in getting an independently-made film to the exhibition stage, “Growing media awareness of Natives still needs to grow to match the strides made in other communities. But the FNFVF is a film get like no other in that we are the regions largest Native film fest and we deal directly with the Native filmmakers themselves. It’s a point of pride.”

The guidelines for the FNFVF are as follows; open to Native directors only, and films of any genre or length are accepted if produced within the last five years.

“We hope to keep focusing on the Native voice behind the scenes with a contemporary depiction in front of the lens,” says Whiteman “it is important to show audience that Native Americans are still a part of today’s society.”

For more information and to access their festival application, visit the APPLICATION PAGE. You can access the online application at Film Freeway.

First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc is a 501c3, non-profit organization.


Ernst M Whiteman III
Director, FNFVF Inc.