ANNOUNCING: Fall 2022 Festival Programs

First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc is pleased to announce the programs for our Fall 2022 First Nations Film and Video Festival, running November 1, through the 9th at various venues across Chicagoland and online. All programs are free and open to the public.

3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Theater 2
TUESDAY,  November 1, 7-9pm
Rustic Oracle (1:41:00)
Set in the late 90s, Rustic Oracle is a dramatic feature about Ivy, an 8-year-old girl trying to understand what happened to her big sister who has vanished from their small Mohawk community. With minimal clues, Ivy and her mother Susan embark on an unwelcome journey to find Heather which ultimately brings the pair closer together despite challenging circumstances. Behind the story of desperation, told through the eyes of a child, lies one of hope, growth, awakening and love.
Directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Mohawk Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy)

Total Program Time: 1:41:00



1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605


PLEASE NOTE: Get your admission tickets through EventBrite. Then, you will use West Doors nearest the Montgomery Ward Theater. An FNFVF Representative will issue you a Black FNFVF Postcard for your entry to the theater.
For anyone using a different entrance, they just need to check in with the security guard to let them know they are there for the First Nations Film and Video Festival in the Montgomery Ward Theater. Security should direct them over.

The Field Museum will host a small reception afterwards.

Our way (5:30)
Two young Innu women take up the old roads of the past to revive the identity of their Nation; a tribute to the Elders, the territory and the Innu people.
Directed by Laura Fontaine, Yasmine Fontaine (Innu from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam.)

Nukum Mary (My grandmother Mary)-(6:31)
A Naskapi grandmother passes on to her Innu granddaughter her experience, knowledge and culture as well as the patience and meticulousness that have characterized the first peoples of Canada for thousands of years.
Directed by Normand Junior (Innu from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam.)

Aniskenamakewin (10:30)
Shot over three years during the Matakan Project’s cultural transmission camps in the Atikamekw community of Manawan, this documentary attempts to demonstrate the urgency of taking action to ensure the preservation of Atikamekw heritage and culture.
Directed by Marie-Christine Petiquay (Atikamekw from Manawan)

The River and Us (7:17)
Myriam explores the importance of the W8linaktegw River (Bécancour River) to her family and her nation through her memories and the stories of her father. The film also bears witness to this river which has been transformed over the generations.
Directed by Myriam Landry (Nation Abénaquis, Community Wôlinak)

I Youtuber (19:00)
Fael is a 9-year-old boy who dreams of being a video game youtuber, but he doesn’t have the main thing: a video game.
Directed by Rodrigo Sena (Potiguara Brasil)

Happy Birthday… i guess (5:00)
A girl whose birthday is today. Her parents don’t care so she is upset and decides to have a party for herself. Her sadness may get the better of her, but for now she just wants one last birthday party even if she’s by herself.
Directed by Bailey Lowe-Summers (Oneida Nations of the Thames)

The Kaingang Story by Themselves (22:10)
The oral tradition of kófas Kaingangs, that tell some historical facts of the Indigenous Land of the Guarita, that is in the border between Brazil and Argentina.

WE, THE BEASTS (13:46)
In the 1980s, Bolivia is recovering from the military dictatorships that took over the country. Franco, a little boy, starts a friendship with the strange man his mother keeps locked up in their basement. Thinking that he is his father, he tries to free him, finding out truths that he cannot understand.

Can Archaeology Repair its Past with Indigenous America? (14:39)
Archaeology has had a long, strained history with Indigenous America. A review of past controversies and egregious conflicts with Native people and Tribal Nations in America begins with a chronological telling of the federal statutes that progressively went from protecting sites and places of heritage and research for archaeologists, to statutes that protect the interests of Native America. The story tells how statutes and training a new generation of archaeologists have been used to repair and restore damage done over the centuries. The narrative follows the excavation of the oldest site for European settlement in North America along side a Native American village. Archaeologists consult with these Native Nations that today are the descendants that can be associated with this 450 year old site. Archaeological methods are followed within a set of legal guidelines for points along the process that demonstrate how respect and consideration for the Native American community is adopted as part of the training, understanding and processes of the new generation of archaeologists and anthropologists.

Directed by Victoria Sutton (Lumbee Indian Tribe)

Total Program Time: 1:44:23


400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

Eami (1:25:00)
The Asojá flies, the bird-god-woman who transmutes spirit. She was a tiger, she was a plant, she was a jaguar, and today she is a girl who must heal her pain.
Directed by Marie Culerrier (Ayoreo)

Total Program Time: 1:25:00


3009 Central Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

Mishkutashk (3:49)
In Mishkutashk, a teenager named Maikan goes back to their childhood village and is hosted by their grandmother who hopes to reconnect them with their Innu culture.
Directed by Taïma Louis-Dupuis Louis-Dupuis (US, Canadian – Innu from Ekuanitshit)

Lullaby (3:55)
Lullaby is a documentary essay about coming of age and the power of the unconscious. In the continuity of “Sweatlodge song”, this short film is a message of courage and hope.
Directed by Irène-Kimberley Valin-Awashish (Atikamekw from Trois-Rivière)

Land Acitivities (5:50)
Aliss Germain remembers where she comes from. In this short documentary, she shares with us her ancestors’ knowledge.
Directed by Aliss Germain (Innu from Mashteuiatsh)

What will I show you? (9:32)
In the tradition of direct cinema, “What Will I Show You” is an intimate documentary in which a grandfather and his grandson discuss the past and future of Innu culture.
Directed by Elie-John Joseph (Innu from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam)

Mysterious Lines (2:25)
Aski Masinikan is the first experiment to tell the story of the mysterious lines on the plateau of the former reservation site, near Wemotaci. We asked an elder the question: What would be the origin of these mysterious lines?
Directed by Bryan Coocoo (Atikamekw of Wemotaci)

Wherever You Are, Wherever I Am (2:33)
This film follows a pair of Two-Spirit Métis-Chinese youth softening a deer hide together. An experimental film about belonging and honoring your full self and ancestry, no matter where you are.
Directed by Kay Chan (Red River Métis (Duck Lake/The Pas))

Documentary: Bodies/City (40:00)
“Corpos/cidade” brings together 7 artists from 3 different cities to research possible structural conversations. How our bodies dialogue with the structures that surround us and how this can influence our artistic existence.
Directed by Kanauã Nharu Machado (Xokleng)

Diego’s profile (5:52)
Diego encounters a mysterious link on his social network, accesses it and is transferred to an auction of his personal data on the internet. Diego was browsing his computer until he found a link in which he exposes a video of a person accessing his social networks and stealing his information. Scared, he closes the link, but inadvertently appears inside a strange room where his personal data was for sale. Surprised, he walks down the hall and meets the cyber stalker. There he discovers that this subject used his hacking techniques to steal the information from his computer and sell it.
Directed by Nathaly Geraldine Álvarez Vélez, Jennifer Michelle Arellano Vega (Mestizo, Ecuador)

Total Program Time: 1:13:56


Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Building B, Room 159
Chicago, Illinois 60625-4699


Feeling the Blanks (6:20)
A young native boy frees a helpless eagle trapped in a snare, also freeing his mind with wonders, nightmares and dreams…
Directed by Leon Peter Cruz (Apache heritage/Mexican American )

Orange (2:05)
The duality of life confronting the countryside with the city, seen from the harsh life of a vendor of oranges.
Directed by Andy Garnica (Bolivia – Quechua)

never judge a book by its cover (6:11)
The love of Adriana and Rodrigo cannot be possible, she has been used by her parents as bait to catch a man with money, the attachment to her religious beliefs makes her suffer because of what is gestated around the ambition of her family.
Directed by Omar Garcia Santana (HUICHOL)

Tenochtitlan2021 (5:00)
In the south of Mexico City a filmset has been abandoned. It was used to retell the story of the arrival of Hernán Cortés to the mexica capital of Tenochtitlan. Now this set has itself turned into a ruin and become a place where time collapses and new knots are being tied. The movie is assembled from two re-appropriations of this scenery: a contemporary poet and a witch performing a ritual summoning the past to offer the generations to come a new memory, and a Youtuber diving through the archeology of this contemporary story.
Directed by Clara Winter, Miiel Ferráez, Karloz Atl (Nahua)

Trespasser (5:00)
A lost traveler inadvertently trespasses on the wrong property…
Directed by Troy Fyhn (Metis Nation of Alberta)

Ramaj tzijonïk – Talk Time (17:45)
Time to talk is about the story of an indigenous girl from Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala, who finds the solution to her grandmother’s problems, but is far from making her see reason.
Directed by Julio Armando Apopa (población kaqchikel)

Will Flowers? (1:24)
Directed by Kay Chan (Red River Métis (Duck Lake/The Pas))

STEM’d From My Ancestors (18:12)
Follow Dr. Cherie DeVore into the Sandia Mountains as she returns samples taken for her environmental research and discusses the importance of creating space for traditional, indigenous knowledge in academia and scientific research.
Directed by Maliaq Kairaiuak (Kenaitze Indian Tribe)

Quiet on Set (8:25)
Cailan, a production assistant, experiences a traumatic event while at basecamp.
Directed by Mykel Salazar (Pueblo of Laguna)

We were not Queens because we will be Goddesses (45:00)
The vigilantes are a group of women in mourning, timeless, faceless, a kind of urban witch who act from the community looking for the bodies of women brutally murdered in the hands of misogyny. When they find them, through performative rites they resignify deathbeds and collect the bodies of deceased women, carrying them through the streets of Arica until they are taken to a square where they are cleaned, caressed, pampered and dressed as Goddesses of the four elements to be installed on an altar on a human scale, inspired by indigenous rituals where the relationship with death exists in balance with life. The rite of the justicieras seeks to cleanse the world of brutal gender violence and dignify the lives of women killed by femicides, along with honoring the recent struggle that feminism has led worldwide, demanding no more impunity in the face of patriarchal violence and fighting from the motto that ‘none is forgotten’.
Directed by Gabriela Espinosa Hormazábal (Aymara)

Total Program Time: 1:49:02


Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202


Whispers In The Wind (22:50)
Jessica Blue Sky is missing and her older sister, Star Blue Sky, sets off to find her. She heads off-Reservation, into unknown dangers to track her sister down. But when she discovers the truth of her sister’s disappearance, she may already be in too deep. A riveting story about the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic in America.
Directed by Ricky Lee (Creek / Lakota)

Saging the World (20:43)
“Saging” has gone mainstream. This viral trend is now common in movies, TV shows, social media, and cleansing rituals—people burning sage bundles in the hope of purifying space and clearing bad energy. Instead of healing, the appropriated use of saging in popular culture is having a devastating impact. White sage (Salvia apiana) is the key ingredient in the now ubiquitous sage bundles. This ecologically vital and culturally sacred plant only occurs in southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico. Indigenous communities have tended a relationship with white sage for thousands of generations. Today, poachers are stealing metric tons of this plant from the wild to supply international demand. Saging the World spotlights the ecological and cultural issues intertwined with white sage, centering the voices of Native advocates who have long protected and cherished this plant. The short documentary was produced by Rose Ramirez, Deborah Small, and the California Native Plant Society to foster awareness and inspire action for white sage. For more information on the film and ways to support white sage, visit
Directed by Rose Ramirez, Deborah Small, David Bryant (Chumash and Yaqui)

Savage / Future (3:22)
Editing to the soundscape of shaking Iroquois white corn and tapping, Seneca filmmaker Terry Jones uses personal and historic still images to link his family and the American Indian Boarding School experience.
Directed by Terry Jones (Seneca Nation of Indians)

Life on the move (11:30)
In his first heartfelt documentary, Jack Belhumeur takes the viewer along for the ride as he navigates the trials and tribulations of life as an essential worker far from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Directed by Jack Belhumeur (Metis from Edmonton)

Northern Comfort: A Drive Around Town (7:47)
Short documentary on life in Northern Quebec and the differences in living conditions between local Crees and non-Natives. A story of how being biracial and trilingual in Northern communities brings certain questions on the social dynamics between Crees and non-Natives living in Chisasibi. This film talks about encounters and discussions with non-Natives about the 3Ms of the North (misfits, missionaries, and money-makers) and how the subject of white fragility, white space and white saviour complex came into play.
Directed by Mélanie Lameboy (Eeyou (Crie-Cree) from Chisasibi)

Odehimin (2:45)
Odehimin is reconnecting with oneself and relearning to love oneself.
Directed by Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo (Anicinape from Val d’Or)

Daydreams (5:38)
Rêveries (Daydreams) is a poetic film where the filmmaker navigates between a plurality of contradictory emotions that echo a personal healing process. Introspective and humble, this production highlights the love and compassion that we develop for ourselves over the years and through the trials we face.
Directed by Véronique Picard (Huron-Wendat from Wendake)

Tsontiajakatl – The Last Wind (18:28)
In the Nahua community of Zoquitipa in Huasteca Potosina, José González, an elderly musician, fights to preserve the Dance of the Wands together with a group of women from the town while they fight against ethnic discrimination inside and outside the municipality of Tamazunchale, and the loss of the Nahuatl language and traditions by the new generations who teach them to prefer to speak Spanish.
Directed by David Marcelino Cayetano, Darío Duarte (Nahua)

ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) Dugout Canoe (10:37)
After working as a clearcut logger in what is now known as the Clayoquot Sound, master carver and land defender Joe Martin reconciles his past by revitalizing the ancestral knowledge and artistic practice of the traditional Tla-o-qui-aht dugout canoe.
Directed by Steven Davies (Snuneymuxw)

Total Program Time: 1:43:40


Journey (1:30:00)
This film exists as an artifact. The intent is to produce a jazz art film that is based entirely on singing from the Bible while walking through a woods. Somehow, as my camera moved through the nature area, the camera lens focused on many natural cruciform shapes in the trees, sky and water.

Directed by Liz Kennedy (Tling [recovering from memory loss])

Liz Kenndey’s “Journey” will also be featured at an exhibit running October through November at the Harold Washington Library!

Total Program Time: 1:30:00


6000 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660


Urubá (5:00)
Synopsis The spirit world around you takes place much more through the third eye than through the physical ones. To Luiz’s eyes, that which is invisible is not invisible thanks to his spiritual sensitivity.
Directed by Rodrigo Sena (Potiguara Brasil)

Pukem (26:07)
In the midst of Forrowe community’s pondering processes about Mapuche self-determination, and without a helping midwife, Camila (32) takes back an ancestral way of giving birth.
Directed by Matias Riquelme (Mapuche)

Tibi (13:20)
A tipi wonders about its purpose in modern life, and shows that as a home, it is the heart of its community. This short story demonstrates the process of teaching Îethka culture through the making of a tipi under the supervision of knowledge keepers. The Elders describe knowledge that is in the tipi, and also what was lost when people moved into homes. Today people in Mînîthnî face complex challenges related to housing, such as mold and toxicity, overcrowding, and inescapable domestic violence. Could some of these problems be fixed by reconnecting to Îethka traditions and culture? Is creator still watching over us? The tipi and the teachings are still with us, we just need the chance to learn from them.
Directed by Twoyoungmen Jarret (Stoney Nakoda)

In the Wake of the Cedar Tree (24:00)
Past traumas of Old Massett, economic, cultural & environmental depression explored by Haida poet & videographer Towustasin.
Directed by Towustasin (Haida)

House with Flag (25:08)
After years of waiting, without being able to access housing and maintaining a condition of relatives in the houses of their relatives, a group of residents of the Pichicautín sector (Temuco), decide to plant a flag and take a public land to build their homes. In a city marked by the real estate boom that exposes the inequality and neglect of thousands of families waiting for their home. This own solution will allow them to build a neighborhood for a better quality of life. A desire for which they are determined to fight for the right to decent housing, overcoming the indolence of the institutions and police violence, making their reasons and capacities prevail.
Directed by Carlos Valverde Ortega, Rodrigo Hiriarte Llanos (Mapuche)

We are not speaking the same language (8:17)
Thinking back on her only phone call with her maternal grandmother, Danika explains her connection to her Indigenous identity (and her grandmother) through beadwork.
Directed by Danika St-Laurent (Ojibwe-Cree)

Total Program Time: 1:51:52



The island of memory (21:56)
In San Antonio de los Baños, 30 kilometers from Havana in Cuba, a group of young theater fans will do their best to connect through art with the people of their town.
Directed by Obrero (Mapuche)

Yxayotl: Music of Ancient Mexico (1:05:32)
Traveling back in time to the golden age of Ancient America; the late Maestro Xavier Quijas Yxayotl – a direct descendant of the Huichol Indians of Jalisco Mexico – demonstrated the power contained in the ancient musical instruments that our ancestors played for more than 2,000 years. In 2008, Maestro Yxayotl performed and opened at Yanni Voices, in Acapulco airing on PBS. “When you are in contact with your inner self, when it’s time to respect the creator of the universe, the Mother Earth, the soul, the sacred cycle of life and death, the Ancestral Spirit and the cosmic race, this is when the magical and divine ritual arrives with ancestral sounds, that speak a spiritual language, that only the soul will recognize. All that I do comes from a spirit within me, music is a live representation of nature. Our goal is to resurrect this cultural identity through the preservation of ancient instruments, music, and dance demonstrating the diversity of our ancestry in Ancient America.” ~ Xavier Quijas Yxayotl ~
Directed by Alberto A. Cuauhtlequezqui Lopez (Mexhica/Azteca Purepecha/Tarascan Indian)

Total Program Time: 1:27:28


2579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Once upon a time in Huasco Alto (1:41:19)
In a place in northern Chile where oral tradition, myths and history are mixed in a single mysterious universe, four stories take place surrounded by emotion, music and local identity.
Directed by Polo Cortés, José Guerrero Urzua (Kolla)

Total Program Time: 1:41:19

You can get your tickets to each event by FOLLOWING THIS LINK.

We hope to see you at the festival this year.

You can support FNFVF INC here.



The Spring 2022 FNFVF concludes with a closing online film program. Tonight’s films are:

Runs Through Their Blood: A Life Impacted, directed by Helen DJ Pyette & Angela Lewis (M’Chigeeng First Nation, Sheshegwaning First Nation, Serpent River First Nation, Ontario Canada)
RUNS THROUGH THEIR BLOOD: A Life Impacted documents the effects of intergenerational trauma through the history of residential schools and how it is a part of the everyday lives of the community and how a community is moving forward to change.

Holy Mother Earth, directed by Benjamín Romero (Hñähñú Nation, México)
Mäkä Hmu Hai (Holy Mother Earth) is a portrait about the veneration of the Holy Land guided by the elders of the Otomí people of Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo. The search to rescue the traditions of the people and keep the culture alive is carried out by Don Braulio and Doña Claudia and the butlers Don Beto and Doña Elvira, who have the function of organizing and making known to their people the roots of their culture and how these fade with the current economic demands in Mexico.

Our closing feature will be:
Seven Ridges directed by Antonio Coello (Chiapanecan-Spanish)
In a desert by the sea, a culture survives modernity. A grandmother and her granddaughter intertwine in estrangement over memory. The myth sheds controversy; time falls in dreams of sand, old songs and rock music.


Join us once more time tonight in viewing these films. You can GET YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE. For those who got their tickets for prior programs, you can still use those to view tonight’s program with us

That is it for the Spring 2022 FNFVF. We wish to thank every one of the filmmakers for trusting us with their voice and work and in getting their films to audiences. We thank everyone who attended the in-person or the online events. We are glad that even though we are in a weird spot in dealing with the current pandemic, that you made time to see the films. You are a necessary part of that storytelling circle.

Thanks to Raul at the Comfort Station and Angela with Chicago Public Library in helping us set up two great venues. Look for more info on our next program in the “Fine, We’ll Do It Ourselves: Online Panel Discussion Series – “What We Must Never Do is Steal from Ourselves”: Natives Appropriating Natives”. Stay tuned.

Thanks again and we hope to see you again soon.




The Spring 2022 FNFVF continues with another in-person program at the Bezazian Library in Uptown. The program begins at 2:30pm. Daylight program includes another new feature film:

Something Inside Is Broken
Directed by Jack Kohler (Hoopa Tribal Member)
This Native American Music Award winning pre-gold rush era rock opera, based on actual historical events, focuses on the untold story of how Natives were slaves under Johann Sutter’s Mexican reign. Slave hunters scoured Northern California to supply Sutter with young native girls and boys. Captain Fremont and Kit Carson massacred hundreds of natives prior to the Bear Flag Revolt and the Mexican American war. With relevant modern themes and dehumanizing media practices, this conflict is cleverly woven into our dark American history. The crazed ambition for gold, the objectification of women, the disregard for minority groups, the inhumane treatment of vulnerable populations and the constant destruction of our planet’s resources are all alluded to. The musical aspect makes the story easier to digest through catchy, witty songs and often inappropriate phrases. There’s plenty of room for elbow poking laughs. The story speaks from a human level, and is told with just the right balance of truth and honesty, hilarity, satire, and optimism for an improved world. “Sticking it to the man” is an age-old rock opera mantra, but this show doesn’t hold back any punches delivering a Muhammed Ali punch to the soul. The orchestration is underscored by electric guitar riffs, hip hop beats, and bold genre-mixing innovations. The native Nisenan language is present in over half of the 28 songs and arrangements. This musical is described as a “transformational experience” a “ceremony’ . . . a ‘Native American Hamilton .’

The second program of the day is an online program that begins at 7:00pm with the following film:

Ñuu Kanda
Directed by Nicolás Rojas Sánchez (Mixtec)
We are Nivi Savi, People of the Rain, Mixtecs; a people that disperses like the clouds and returns to our lands to cherish the memory of our ancestors.

Directed by Jaime Bernardo Diaz Diaz (Mapuche)
Ngen is a documentary that, through a contemplative and dreamlike journey, shows us the world of Rosa, a Mapuche machi from the town of Fin Fin Boroa, Araucanía Region. Through her story and the observation of her environment, she brings us closer to the deep relationship that exists between her, medicine and non-human beings called Ngen, owners of nature. The short film addresses the life-destruction dichotomy, a constant in the capital-life conflict, showing us another side of the consequences of the impact of the forestry industry in the territory of the wallmapu and that affects the Mapuche communities not only in the ecological dimension but also cultural and ontological.

CANCHIRA, la huella del Comechingón
Directed by Diego Julio Ludueña & Diego Julio (Comechingón)
Canchira, the footprint of the Comechingón is a documentary that tells the current situation of the original peoples of Córdoba and their historical claims, based on testimonies from members of some Comechingona communities of the Province. In Canchira, the footprint of Comechingón, the camera accompanies the protagonists in talks and community spaces in which the history of this town is reconstructed and its existence is continuously claimed from ancient times to the present. The landscape of the city and the mountain landscape become the scene of a story that opposes the official memory of these communities that, organized and struggling, dispute their place in today’s society. In the first person, members of the Comechingona communities of La Toma –from the city of Córdoba–, Timoteo Reyna and Chavascate –both from Villa Cerro Azul–, and Las Palmas –from the Paraje Santa Teresita Sierra de Pocho– put into words the marks that the policy of invisibility of the State left in their family histories and in the possibility of assuming their identity as natives without stigma. The documentary also portrays the current debates based on the struggle for territory and accompanies the protagonists in different instances where the sense of identity and land is disputed.


Join us tonight in viewing these films. You can GET YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE. For those who got their tickets for prior programs, you can still use those to view with us.

Our final program is also an online program that take places Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00pm.

We look forward to seeing you there!