PALM SPRINGS—Celebrating its fourteenth season, Native FilmFest will be presented March 3-8, 2015 by Agua Caliente Cultural Museum at Camelot Theatres located at 2300 East Baristo Road in Palm Springs. One of the most highly regarded events of its kind, the festival features the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples from around the world.
Guest Programmer of Native FilmFest is Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Opening the festival on Tuesday evening is Views on Native Film – a free panel discussion that will take a look at the impact of the Sundance Institute on the development of Native film. Panelists include N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache), Filmmaker, Director of the Sundance Native Film Lab Program, Programmer of Native Initiate of Sundance Institute; Sydney Freeland (Navajo), Writer, Director of the opening night film; and Elizabeth Weatherford who will serve as panel moderator.
Themes of the 2015 festival focus on art and the power of image in film, ambiguity about personal identity experienced by Indians today, and global challenges to Indigenous land rights.
The Opening Night film on Wednesday, March 3 presents “Drunktown’s Finest” – an award-winning film written and directed by Native American Sydney Freeland. Robert Redford was Executive Producer. A compelling snapshot of contemporary Navajo life in Gallup, New Mexico, “Drunktown’s Finest” premiered at the 2014 Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program. This screening is presented in association with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
There will be tented public receptions daily between the 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. screenings. Filmgoers may purchase tasty meals and beverages at the Camelot Internationale Café and visit with other filmgoers, as well as filmmakers, directors, and actors in attendance.
Tickets to the festival are affordably priced at $10 for Adults and $7 for Senior Adults (60+), Youth (16 and under), Students, and Active Military Personnel. All Access Passes are $50.
A primary role of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of and involvement with Native culture through exhibitions, educational programs, special events, collections, and research. Native FilmFest provides a venue and dynamic forum to help fulfill this role by bringing together diverse communities of people and offering them a cultural and educational cinematic experience that informs and enlightens, as well as entertains.
Native FilmFest provides a public forum for Native American and other Indigenous filmmakers, directors, and actors whose work fosters increased awareness, understanding, and appreciation of universal issues common to Indigenous peoples around the globe. The wide variety of carefully selected film presentations and related festival activities foster stimulating and illuminating inquiry, dialogue, and learning.
This year’s festival promises to be an entertaining and illuminating week of Indigenous documentary, feature, and short films. Film synopses and trailers are available on the Museum Web site at www.accmuseum.org. Tickets can be purchase at the Camelot Theatres Box Office (760.325.6505) or online at www.camelottheatres.com.