Indigenous Short Films from the Sundance Festival

June 18, 2012 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Presented by Tom Huff to benefit Sculpture/Culture and the ArtRage Gallery.

Choke (2010) (6min) Directed by Michelle Latimer

When Jimmy leaves his reservation for the lures of city life, he finds himself confronted with a future he could never have imagined. Inspired by the contemporary art of First Nation’s youth, Choke employs stop-motion animation to explore the themes of urban isolation and the search for identity within modern society. Canadian actress and producer Michelle Latimer has added another epithet to her list of accomplishments: winner of honorable mention for indigenous shorts at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Latimer also worked as an adjunct director on the 2009 documentary Reel Injun, Premiered at Sundance, also screened at Cannes Short Film Corner, CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Fest, Cinéfest Sudbury.

Ebony Society (2010) (15min) Directed by Tammy Davis

One night out stealing, two boys learn a lesson. Tammy Davis (Ngāti Rangi, Atihaunui a Paparangi) grew up in Raetihi, and studied acting at Northland Polytechnic. Awards: 2011 Aotearoa Film and Television Awards.
Best Screenplay for a Short Film: Ebony Society

?E?ANX [The Cave] (2009) (12min) Directed by Helen Haig-Brown

A hunter on horseback accidentally discovers a portal to the afterlife in this fantastical version of a true Tsilhqot’in story. Director Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot’in) grew up between the Stone Reserve, British Columbia, and her current home of Vancouver. Her film Su Naa (My Big Brother) won Best Experimental at imagineNATIVE 2005. She sits on the board of directors of Redwire magazine, and has conducted media training for youth in Big Island Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. Helen recently got back into the creative process as cinematographer for Writing the Land and Nikamowin, the latter of which screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. She is a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Production Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC.

The Rocket Boy (2010) (15min) Directed by Donavan Seschillie

Calvin is a young boy who has lost his father, his dream is to find him. In order to do so he builds a makeshift space rocket that he hopes to use and find his father against his mother’s advice. Donavan Seschillie (Navajo) has directed short films, PSAs and music videos, often collaborating with childhood friends Deidra Peaches and Jake Hoyungowa. He and his collaborators premiered their most recent film, The Rocket Boy, at the 2010 Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe. The work was selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, one of only 81 short films to be shown out of more than 6,000 entries. In 2011 Seschillie is the featured filmmaker at the Arizona State Museum’s Native Eyes Showcase.

Stones (2009) (20min) Directed by Ty Sanga – Hawaiian with English subtitles

Inspired by a traditional Hawaiian legend, Adapted from a Native Hawaiian legend, this is the story of the last family inhabiting the islands after the arrival of the humans. Should they preserve their way of life or embrace the newcomers? Director Ty Sanga uses stunning cinematography and captivating performances to craft an elegant love story that withstands the test of time. Ty Sanga (Hawaiian) was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He graduated from the University of Hawai‘i and received a MFA from Chapman University with an emphasis in directing. Previous short films include Plastic Leis and Follow the Leader. Stones was recently awarded Best Hawaiian Short at the Maui Film Festival.

Redemption (2010) (17min) Directed by Katie Wolfe

Two older Maoris teenagers sit on a couch. They are in a dark run-down room. Outside the windows, in bright light, we see a rural community that also looks run-down. The “Redemption” in the title refers to a whole troubled community here, somewhere in New Zealand. A story of rituals, the teenagers speak intimately with each other. New Plymouth born Katie Wolfe has made the transition from actor to director. After leading roles in Marlin Bay, Cover Story, and Mercy Peak she stepped behind the camera in 2002, directing on Shortland Street. In 2008 she made her debut as a short film director with This Is Her, which was selected for Sundance. Her adaptation of Witi Ihimaera’s Nights in the Garden of Spain screened on TV in January 2011.

Wapawekka (2010) (16min) Directed by Danis Goulet, Canada – Cree and English with English subtitles

In this gorgeously shot, powerful story of intergenerational conflict, hip-hop loving Josh is dragged to their family’s remote cabin for one last visit by his traditional Cree dad. ‘Wapawekka’ is the Cree word for ‘white beach’. It also refers to a remote lake in northern Saskatchewan where a father and son are out canoeing. Josh, a young hip hop musician, would much rather be doing something else but he has been forced to accompany his father on this trip to a lonesome hut. As their trip progresses, the generational conflict between the hip young man and his traditional father becomes increasingly apparent. At first their clash is verbal, but it later turns into a drama.Métis filmmaker and curator Danis Goulet was born in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and currently resides in Toronto. Her films have screened at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival.

$5 Suggested Donation