Bird Runningwater, Director, Native and Indigenous Program
This year marks 20 years of the formal existence of the Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program and the Native Forum at Sundance Film Festival. Throughout 2014 the Native Program will celebrate this milestone with partnerships and screenings across the country including Park City, New York, Los Angeles and Santa Fe.
At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Native American and Indigenous artists will be represented in several program categories including Documentary Premieres, NEXT >=>, Park City at Midnight, and the Shorts Competition. Each of these artists contributes to the global tapestry of Sundance Film Festival by representing three countries and nine indigenous tribes.
Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi, Chad Burris, and Danis Goulet have all screened films at the previous year’s Festivals, and they have all served as Creative Advisors at the Native American and Indigenous Program’s NativeLab.
Check out this year’s Indigenous films at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival:
This May Be the Last Time / U.S.A. – Director: Sterlin Harjo (Creek & Seminole Nations), producer Christina D. King (Creek & Seminole Nations).
Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s Grandfather disappeared mysteriously in 1962. The community searching for him sang songs of encouragement that were passed down for generations. Harjo explores the origins of these songs as well as the violent history of his people.
Drunktown’s Finest / U.S.A. – Director and screenwriter: Sydney Freeland (Navajo), Producer: Chad Burris (Chickasaw Nation).
Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian reservation. Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis. World Premiere
Park City at Midnight
What We Do in the Shadows / New Zealand, U.S.A. – Co-Directors and screenwriters: Taika Waititi (Te Whanau Apanui), Jemaine Clement (Ngāti Kahungunu), producer: Chelsea Winstanley (Ngati Ranginui).
This mockumentary follows the struggles of a group of New Zealand–based vampires to understand modern society and adapt to the ever-changing world around them. Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stu Rutherford.
Wakening / Canada – Director: Danis Goulet (Cree/Metis)
In the near future, the environment has been destroyed, and society suffocates under a brutal military occupation. A lone Cree wanderer, Weesakechak, searches an urban war zone to find the ancient and dangerous Weetigo to help fight the occupiers.