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Don’t Miss the Sundance Institute Indigenous Shorts Tour This Weekend

By Stephanie Ornelas

There’s no doubt that Indigenous cinema has blossomed over the years, with award-winning films like The Wild Indian, The Territory, and The Headhunter’s Daughter captivating viewers everywhere. Now, audience members who want to relive the Indigenous cinematic experience within the 2022 Sundance shorts program can, by visiting one of seven independent theaters across seven states.   

“It was important for us to make this film with a community that we have in our hometown, as well as people who share the same identity as me,” says director Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan during his 2022 Meet The Artist video. His film, The Headhunter’s Daughter, will be one of seven shorts screening during the tour.  

“In this film, we see [the main character] traverse a post-colonial world. And we see that through the eyes and perspective of an Indigenous person in the Philippines,” Eblahan explains.  

The 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour consists of six short films directed by Indigenous filmmakers and selected from recent editions of the Sundance Film Festival. The program includes fiction, documentary, animation, and experimental works from around the world, giving new audiences a taste of what the Festival’s Indigenous filmmakers have to offer.

This year’s tour will be available to watch in person at various venues June 3–17. Find a venue near your city, and register for the events on the partner websites:

Poeh Cultural Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Vibes With the Tribes, Detroit, Michigan
Strand Theater, Vicksburg, Mississippi
The Autry- LA, Los Angeles, California
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Clewiston, Florida
Cahokia: SocialTech + ArtSpace, Phoenix, Arizona
First Americans Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Featured Shorts

The Headhunter’s Daughter — Leaving her family behind, Lynn traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer. 

Kicking the Clouds — This experimental documentary centers around a 50-year-old cassette tape of a Pechanga language lesson between the director’s grandmother and great-grandmother, and contextualized by an interview with his mother in his Pacific Northwest hometown.

Long Line of Ladies — A girl and her community prepare for her Ihuk, the once-dormant coming-of-age ceremony of the Karuk and Yurok tribes of Northern California. 

Maidenhood — Catalina submits to the tradition of her people to demonstrate her purity and worth as a woman to her beloved, but her body betrays her and she fails to demonstrate her chastity.  

The Original Shareholder Experience — An Indigenous telepresenter nearing the top of her class must contend with her career prospects and her moral credibility as she’s asked to sell a genocidal product on live television. 

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (Udeyonv) (What They’ve Been Taught) — This film explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. Documentary.

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Three women in blue waitress uniforms with white collars sitting side-by-side at a table or counter and in front of a window, showing daytime light through blinds. From left, a slightly smiling woman with dark-framed eyeglasses, with blond hair swept up in what appears to be a high ponytail and the nametag "Dawn"; another blond woman apparently speaking to the third woman, smiling and animated, nametag "Becky"; a woman with long, light brown hair, chin up as she listens to Becky, nametag is blocked by a metal water pitcher.

Who Was… Adrienne Shelly?

Waitresses, from left, Dawn (Adrienne Shelly), Becky (Cheryl Hines), and Jenna (Keri Russell) share a conversation at the diner. By Vanessa Zimmer Adrienne Shelly was

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