A new collaboration between Art House Convergence and Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program, was announced by Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program Director N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Toronto International Film Festival. The collaboration will bring six Indigenous short films from Sundance Institute Fellows to select art house theaters in North America during November’s annual celebration of National Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. EclairPlay will be offering all e-deliveries to any EclairPlay-equipped cinema that orders the series free of charge. Program is approximately 1 hour.

Birds in the Earth

Examining the deeper questions of the ownership of the Sami land through the ballet performances of two young dancers. Dir. Marja Helander, 2018, 11 min.

Marja Helander (Sámi) is a Finnish photographic and video artist. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. The focus of her work is on the postcolonial topics in the Sámi area, particularly the global mining industry. Her recent short film Birds in the Earth won the Risto Jarva Prize and the main prize at the 2018 Tampere Film Festival.

Fainting Spells

Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Indian pipe plant used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted. Dir. Sky Hopinka, 2018, 11 min.

Sky Hopinka is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians. His work centers around personal positions of Indigneous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. He is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019.

Jáaji Approx.

Against landscapes that the artist and his father traversed, audio of the father in the Ho-Chunk language is transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which tapers off, narrowing the distance between recorder and recordings, new and traditional, memory and song. Dir. Sky Hopinka, 2015, 8 min.

Sky Hopinka is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians. His work centers around personal positions of Indigneous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. He is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019.

My Father’s Tools

Stephen continues producing traditional baskets to honor his father and thus finds peace in his studio as he connects with the man who taught him the craft. Dir. Heather Condo, 2016, 7 min.

Heather Condo (Mi’gmaq) was born in Maria, Quebec, on October 14, 1971. She likes hunting, fishing, painting, and traveling. She was adopted and grew up in Massachusetts, but in 2005, Condo moved back to Gesgapegiag, where a lot of her family resides. Condo has talked about making this film for quite some time and was encouraged by her son to make it with Wapikoni

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk

Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in the small village of Kangirsuk, in their native Arctic land. Interspliced with footage of the four seasons of Kangirsuk by Johnny Nassak. Dirs. Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland, 2018, 4 min.

Eva Kaukai (Inuit) was born in Nunavik and grew up in Kangirsuk. With Wapikoni, she was able to use sound and video to express her reality, her culture, and her attachment to the land through throat singing.

Manon Chamberland (Inuit) was born in Nunavik, and she grew up in Kangirsuk. With Wapikoni, she was able to use sound and video to express her reality, her culture and her attachment to the land through throat singing.

Shinaab, Part II

A look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process as a young man strives to honor his late father. Dir. Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., 2018, 6 min.

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians) is a filmmaker whose short film Shinaab played at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and AFI Fest. His follow-up short, Shinaab, Part II, premiered in 2018 at the Toronto International Film Festival. He was supported at the 2017 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and 2018 Sundance Institute Directors Lab, and he has been awarded grants and fellowships from Cinereach, the McKnight Foundation, and Time Warner Foundation.

About Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program
The Indigenous Program champions Indigenous independent storytelling artists through residency Labs, Fellowships, public programming, and a year-round continuum of creative, financial, and tactical support. The Program conducts outreach and education to identify a new generation of Indigenous voices, connecting them with opportunities to develop their storytelling projects, and bringing them and their work back to Indigenous lands. At its core, the Program seeks to inspire self-determination among Indigenous filmmakers and communities by centering Indigenous people in telling their own stories. The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program is supported by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oneida Indian Nation, Surdna Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, SAGindie, New Zealand Film Commission, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Felix Culpa, Sarah Luther, Pacific Islanders in Communications, and Susan Shilliday. http://www.sundance.org/programs/indigenous-progra…

Land Acknowledgement
As part of public programming and events, many organizations acknowledge the Indigenous inhabitants of the land. Land acknowledgement can be a gesture of respect, a recognition of Indigenous people, Nations, land, and culture, and a disruption of  historical narratives that conceal Indigenous history and the ramifications of settler-colonialism.

Acknowledgements can take many forms and are often articulated in simple terms such as “We acknowledge this event takes places on the traditional lands of …” We recommend you do research on your community and consult with local Indigenous Nations and organizations when authoring your land acknowledgement.

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