Native Forum

The Sundance Film Festival hosts the annual Native Forum--a hub for the International Indigenous film community, including a program of panel discussions, filmmaker discussions, and networking events that provide opportunities for Indigenous filmmakers to share their expertise and knowledge with each other and the larger independent film community. Sundance Institute Native Lab Fellows also participate in the Native Forum and in networking and pitching sessions hosted at Sundance Industry Meetings (SIM).


Monday January 23rd
Native Forum Brunch
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ticket or RSVP required

Thursday January 26th
Native Forum Reception
10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Ticket or RSVP required



Encompasses a selection of pure, bold works by promising filmmakers distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling. Presented by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Each is a world premiere.

Mosquita y Mari / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Aurora Guerrero) - A friendship between two 15-year-old Latinas becomes complex as they struggle to recognize the sexual undercurrent in their relationship. Cast: Fenessa Pineda, Venecia Troncoso, Joaquín Garrido, Laura Patalano, Dulce Maria Solis.


Regardless of where these films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.

The Orator (O le Tulafale) / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Tusi Tamasese) - A Samoan villager must defend his land and family when they are threatened by powerful adversaries. Cast: Fa'afiaula Sagote, Tausili Pushparaj, Salamasina Mataia, Ioata Tanielu.


This year's 32 U.S. short films were selected from 4,083 submissions.

OK BREATHE AURALEE (Director and screenwriter: Brooke Swaney) -Auralee wants a baby and will go to great lengths to get what she wants.

Sundance Institute's commitment to supporting Native American artists is woven throughout the history of the Institute. Since the beginning, Native American filmmakers have been involved in the founding of the Institute, including Larry LittleBird (Taos Pueblo) and Chris SpottedEagle (Houmas Nation). Following President and Founder Robert Redford's mandate, the Institute has been committed to supporting Native American artists. This support has created tremendous growth in the Native American media field and put Indigenous Film on the cultural map. From Sundance Institute's first support of Greg Sarris' (Coast Miwok) Grand Avenue at the June Screenwriters Lab in 1992 to Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq) winning the 2008 Sundance Short Filmmaking Jury Prize for his film Sikumi, the Institute has established a rich legacy of work.

From 1994-2004, the Festival presented Native films as part of a dedicated screening category. In 2004, the Native Forum was officially retired as an official section of the Sundance Film Festival with an achieved result of having placed Native Cinema on the cultural map. In recognition of the evolution of Native filmmaking and as a way of introducing a broader audience to Native Cinema, the Festival began incorporating Native and Indigenous films into its official film program in 2005.

Over the course of its history, the Sundance Film Festival has showcased a range of work by Native and Indigenous filmmakers including dramatic films like Sterlin Harjo's Four Sheets to the Wind and Barking Water, Sherman Alexie's The Business of Fancydancing, Chris Eyre's Smoke Signals, and Rachel Perkins' One Night the Moon; documentaries like Heather Rae's Trudell, Billy Luther's Miss Navajo, and Merata Mita's Hotere; and short films like Andrew Okpeaha MacLean's Sikumi and Taika Waititis' Two Cars One Night.