Indigenous Showcase

Indigenous Showcase

Northwest Film Forum partners with Longhouse Media to present this ongoing series showcasing emerging talents in indigenous communities. This exciting program exemplifies how Native American and indigenous filmmakers are at the forefront of the industry, successfully establishing a dialogue and creating images that are challenging and changing long established cultural attitudes towards indigenous culture.

Indigenous Showcase is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Arts Commission.


Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock

Featuring a panel discussion with Seattle-area Indigenous women who traveled to Standing Rock

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Jun 18

(Josh Fox, James Spione & Myron Dewey, US, 2017, 84 min)

Awake tells the dramatic story of the #NODAPL resistance movement, a historic, peaceful, native-led opposition to the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.



In Football We Trust

Presented with Longhouse Media as part of Indigenous Showcase.

Feb 01

(Tony Vainuku & Erika Cohn, US/American Samoa, 2015, 82 min, in English)

Shot over four years with unprecedented access, this new take on the American immigrant story transports viewers deep inside the tightly-knit Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah. In Football We Trust is a stirring snapshot of the rise of the Pacific Islander presence in the NFL.



Indigenous Showcase at Children's Film Festival Seattle

Presented with Longhouse Media.

Jan 28 - Feb 04

This wide-ranging program tells the stories of Indigenous people throughout North America, including beautifully animated traditional tales, stirring experimental films by young Native filmmakers, an inspiring documentary about a Yup’ik village that comes together for basketball, and the unique history of Yavapai doctor and activist Carlos Montezuma.



Indigenous Showcase: The Seventh Fire

Seattle premiere!

Nov 12, 2016

(Jack Pettibone Riccobono, US, 2016, 78 min)

When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the White Earth Indian Reservation.



Indigenous Showcase: Nemo Hadeest'ii (Navajo Finding Nemo)

Oct 22, 2016

(Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, US, 2003, 100 min)

Over the past year, the Navajo Nation has been working with Pixar Animation Studios on dubbing a Navajo language version of Finding Nemo. The film, Nemo Hádéést'íí, is a unique partnership between one of the country’s most recognized animation studios and one of the country’s largest tribes. Nemo Hádéést'íí will be the first Pixar movie to be voiced entirely in a Native American language, Diné.



Following Kina

Apr 16, 2016

(Sonia Goldenberg, Peru/Bolivia/USA, 2015, DCP, 63 mins)

Inspired by the only Peruvian World Boxing Champion, two young women from some of the most forsaken places on earth fight against all odds to become the next champion.



Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Mar 25 - Mar 27, 2016

(Chloe Zhao, 2015, United States, 94 mins)

Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a compelling and complex portrait of modern day life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that explores the bond between a brother (John Reddy) and his younger sister (Jashaun St. John), who find themselves on separate paths to rediscovering the meaning of home. 



K2 and the Invisible Footmen

Skype Q&A following the screening with DP/Editor, Jawad Sharif!

Feb 27, 2016

(Iara Lee, 54 min)

Located on the border between Pakistan and China, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. For many climbers, it is an even greater prize than Everest, with limited routes, a steeper ascent, and a harder push to its summit. Nicknamed the 'Savage Mountain,' K2's peak juts unprotected into the atmosphere, regularly exposing climbers and porters to life-threatening weather conditions.




Sundance Native Lab Shorts

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

Jan 15, 2016

Now in its 22nd year, Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program maintains a strong commitment to supporting Native and Indigenous filmmakers. The Native program has built and sustained a unique support cycle for Indigenous artists through grants, labs, mentorships, a fellowship program at the Sundance Film Festival, and screenings for Native communities to inspire new generations of storytellers. In honor of the work produced by the Native American and Indigenous Program, Indigenous Showcase will feature a selection of shorts. Stay tuned for much more to come. 



Indigenous Showcase: Children of the Arctic

Filmmaker and 3 subjects in attendance!

Nov 07, 2015

(Nick Brandestini, 2014, United States, 94 min)

Children of the Arctic is a year-in-the-life portrait of five Native Alaskan teenagers striving to find balance between the modern world and their traditional way of life as they come of age in Barrow, Alaska.



Yakona: Journey Through the Eyes of a River

Live music!
Filmmaker and composers in attendance!
Free public reception at 6pm, both evenings!
Seattle premiere!

Apr 24 - Apr 25, 2015

(85 min)

Yako­na means "rising water" in the language of the indigenous people of the San Marcos River in Texas. This film is a visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and its headwaters at Spring Lake. The story takes the viewer from prehistoric times, through the modern era, on an impressionistic journey from the perspective of the river. 



Indigenous Showcase: Maria Tallchief

Filmmaker Sandy Osawa in attendance!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media!
Public reception at 6pm, Screening at 7pm

Apr 17, 2015

(Sandy Osawa, 2007, 57 min)

This documentary of ballerina Maria Tallchief's life and art captures the growth of ballet in America, as shown by Ms. Tallchief's own rise to fame, in original roles created for her by George Balanchine. Key archival clips include Swan Lake, Pas de Dix, Orpheus, Firebird, Black Swan and Les Sylphides



Indigenous Showcase: Princess Angeline

Filmmakers Sandy and Yasu Osawa in attendance!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media!
Public reception at 6pm
Please note the first screening (7:30pm) is now sold out!

Feb 28, 2015

(Sandy Osawa and Yasu Osawa, 2009, 53 min)

Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle and star of many Seattle postcards, lived alone towards the end of her life, refusing to leave her homeland. What historical events led her to be one of the few Duwamish people left in Seattle by the 1890s, only 35 years after the peace treaty guaranteeing that land would be reserved for the Duwamish (which never happened)? 



Young Lakota

Free screening!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media
Co-directors Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt, and women's advocate Cecelia Fire Thunder in attendance!

Nov 23, 2014

(Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt, United States, 60 min)

Young Lakota is a uniquely sensitive documentary portrayal of bright young people finding their way during a tumultuous political season on the Pine Ridge Reservation, that hinges on reproductive rights and tribal sovereignty. The film follows the surprising highs and lows of the statewide referendum on abortion, a divisive tribal election, and three youth who find themselves thrust into the political fight. 



Indigenous Showcase: Misty Upham Tribute Screenings

Nov 08, 2014

Join us for a free community screening this November of August: Osage County and Frozen River, part of our Indigenous Showcase collaboration with Longhouse Media. This event is presented in tribute to the life and work of Misty Upham, the talented local actress who passed away in October 2014. Join us to remember and celebrate Misty's life and work.



Miss Navajo

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

May 25, 2014

(Billy Luther, 53 min)

As winners of Miss Navajo Nation, women are challenged to take on the great responsibility of becoming community leaders who are fluent in the Navajo language and knowledgeable about their culture and history. Conceived as a "celebration of womanhood" by filmmaker Billy Luther—whose mother, Sarah Johnson Luther, was Miss Navajo Nation 1966—this documentary is a different take on what it means to be beautiful.


Image from Hoverboard by Sydney Freeland.

Navajo Paradisio

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

May 24, 2014

(85 min)

The Navajo Nation has produced some of the most exciting and successful Native filmmakers of the past decade. Join us for a program of short films, and talk with the artists who made them. 



Navajo Film Themselves

6pm Lobby Reception
7pm Screening
Co-presented with Longhouse Media

May 23, 2014

(Al Clah, Johnny Nelson, Susie Benally, Mike Anderson, Alta Kahn, Johnny Nelson, Maxine Tsosie, Mary Jane Tsosie, 1966, 144 min)

Sol Worth, John Adair and Richard Chalfen traveled to Pine Springs, Arizona in the summer of 1966, where they taught a group of Navajo students to use cameras in the production of documentary films. The resulting film project is known as Navajo Film Themselves (sometimes mistakenly called Through Navajo Eyes), which is the title of the book that Worth and Adair later wrote.



Navajo Star Wars

Free screening!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media

May 02 - May 24, 2014

Seventy voice actors speaking 5 Navajo dialects enact Star Wars: A New Hope, in the first major theatrical movie to be dubbed into a Native language.



Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

Join us for a conversation with actress Misty Upham after the screenings on Saturday!

Apr 11 - Apr 12, 2014

(Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2013, DCP, 117 min.)

Oscar winner Benicio del Toro gives a soulful performance as the title character, whose brain fracture (suffered in WWII) has led to intense physical and behavioral issues. Mathieu Amalric (who should have won an Oscar for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) is the progressive psychiatrist whom, through intensive therapy, unearths surprising revelations regarding his condition. Filled with breathtaking vistas from the American West, Jimmy P, a true story, offers a rare unsentimental glimpse into Native American culture.



Winter in the Blood

Presented in partnership with Longhouse Media

Seattle premiere!

Producer Sherman Alexie in attendance Thursday (Feb 27)!

Directors in attendance Thursday, Friday, Saturday (Feb 27 - Mar 1)!

Cast & crew, including Chaske Spencer (the Twilight Saga) in attendance Thursday & Friday (Feb 27 - 28)!

Feb 27 - Mar 06, 2014

(Alex and Andrew Smith, United States, 2013, 98 min)

Virgil First Raise wakes in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana, hungover and badly beaten. He sees a shocking vision: his father, ten years dead, lying frozen at his feet. Shaken, Virgil returns home to his ranch on the reservation, only to find that his wife, Agnes, has left him. Worse, she’s taken his beloved rifle. Virgil sets out to town find her— or perhaps just the gun— beginning a hi-line odyssey of inebriated and improbable intrigues with the mysterious Airplane Man, his beautiful accomplice, Malvina, and two dangerous Men in Suits. By embracing—and no longer fleeing—his memories, Virgil is finally able to thaw the ice in his veins.



Path Waves: An Indigenous Showcase

Co-presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Jan 26 - Jan 30, 2013

Learn about the lives of indigenous people in the United States, Canada and Australia. See how the exuberance of youth filmmakers meets the polished sheen of professionals in this collection of traditional tales, video poems about Native perspectives and stories of families and friendships.



My Louisiana Love: Indigenous Showcase

Director in attendance!

Dec 15 - Feb 16, 2013

(Sharon Linezo Hong, USA, 66 min)

Northwest Film Forum continues its partnership with Longhouse Media to present a monthly series showcasing emerging talents in indigenous communities. This exciting program exemplifies how Native American and indigenous filmmakers are at the forefront of the industry, successfully establishing a dialogue and creating images that are challenging and changing long-established cultural attitudes towards indigenous culture. Join us on February 16 for My Louisiana Love, which traces Monique Verdin's quest to find a place in her Native American community--the Houma Nation--as it reels from decades of environmental degradation. 



E Haku Inoa

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

Director in attendance!

Seattle premiere!

5:30pm reception with eats from Marination Station!


Nov 16 - Nov 17, 2013

(Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, 2013, United States, Digital, 57 min)

A young, multi-racial Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) woman, filmmaker Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, sets out to discover the meaning of her incredibly lengthy Hawaiian name from her estranged mother (whose diagnosis as schizophrenic in the 80′s caused their family separation). Christen discovers not only her self within the name, but gains a whole new perspective on the idea of sanity and how cultural differences can sometimes muddle its definition.



The Haumana

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

Seattle premiere!
ctor Saitia Faaifo in attendance!

Nov 16, 2013

(Keo Woolford 2013, United States, Digital, 90 min)

In the hula tradition, haumana is the Hawaiian term for students and a kumu is the master teacher. The haumana, Hawaiian-born artist Keo Woolford’s directorial debut chronicles the challenges of an unlikely candidate appointed as the new kumu of a high school boys’ hula class.


Image from the film "Games of the North."

Health and Resiliency: Indigenous Showcase

Q&A with special guest Bruce Harrell!

Mar 30, 2013

Northwest Film Forum continues its partnership with Longhouse Media to present a monthly series showcasing emerging talents in indigenous communities. Join us this March for two short films from the northern territories about health and cultural survival, featuring a dialogue with guest speaker Bruce Harrell (Choctaw) about his own personal road as a humble leader.



TLC Presents: Off The Rez

Co-presented by Longhouse Media

Feb 25, 2012

(Jonathan Hock, 2011, USA, DigiBeta, 86 min)

The story of a family that leaves the Umatilla Indian Reservation in pursuit of the American dream. Shoni is one of the best high school basketball players in the country and Ceci is her mother and coach. Together they struggle to break their people’s cycle of unfulfilled promise.