SAN FRANCISCO—This year’s American Indian Film Festival will be held beginning Friday, November 4 until Friday, November 11 at the AMC Van Ness 14 in San Francisco. With a well-curated mix of both short films and full-length features, the American Indian Film Institute’s schedule for the week-long event includes over 60 original works.
The first annual film festival took place 41 years ago in 1975 in Seattle, before the event moved to San Francisco in 1977. It is considered to be the world’s longest-running and best known film festival devoted to the American Indian culture. AIFI is the major Native American media and cultural art presenter in California and the annual festival is the world’s oldest and best known exposition dedicated to Native Americans in cinema.
According to their website, the American Indian Film Institute recognizes cinema as a powerful tool to convey accurate portrayals of misunderstood cultures. One of their goals is to dispel false myths and stereotypes, and reinforce the positive and impacting contributions American Indians have made to society.
The AIFI caters toward the next generation of American Indians, noting that :“The challenges facing Indian youth, especially on reservations, are staggering, with linguistic and cultural isolation, poverty and other stressors placing them at high risk for truancy, delinquency and gang activity.”
The festival’s organizers incorporate awards ceremonies, panel discussions, and workshops during the annual event.