Film Festival Features Native-Made Documentaries

By: 1011 news Email
By: 1011 news Email

The third biennial VisionMaker Film Festival, titled “Elder Voices, Youth Choices,” will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2009, with screenings at UNL, the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and Sheldon Art Museum. The Nebraska State Penitentiary will also host a screening. The VisionMaker Film Festival showcases Native-produced audio, film and video projects that often don’t get the spotlight they deserve in a crowded entertainment market.

The theme “Elder Voices, Youth Choices” reflects Natives’ tradition of respect for elders, who pass on cultural knowledge to the youth in their communities. Today, however, youth have more tools to tell their own stories—tools such as cell phones and inexpensive video cameras. The VisionMaker Film Festival features a range of generations, including the story of young Navajo activists bringing renewable energy to their reservations and the story of Native Alaskans fighting for their civil rights in the 1940s. NAPT is also hosting a new short-form video competition for high school students and young adults. The winning videos will be featured online at

At the Nebraska State Penitentiary, inmates and visitors will be invited to view Video Letters From Prison, which follows three young Lakota girls from the Pine Ridge Reservation as they form a tentative relationship with their incarcerated father through the exchange of video letters. Producer Milt Lee (Cheyenne River Sioux) will speak about the film with viewers at the prison.

Films screening at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center include For The Rights Of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska, Jim Thorpe: The Word's Greatest Athlete, Mohawk Journey, River of Renewal and Power Paths. The Sheldon Art Museum will feature The Last Conquistador. On the NAPT website, viewers can watch Reel Native films, made by Native filmmakers in conjunction with the PBS series We Shall Remain. For more information on these films, go to

Show times are available by consulting your newspaper, or by calling the MRRMAC film information line at 402.472.5353.

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