Thank you for a warm and positive reception at the American Indian Film Festival! It was a great experience for everyone present to share a film years in the making featuring my grandmother and our family. I especially enjoyed being able to talk to the Native community here in San Francisco and others who were genuinely interested and curious about the Navajo issues of land, identity, culture, and language.
The crowd asked great questions and were a lively bunch who were very diverse in background and culture. There was a bunch of kids who were asking great questions, fearless as ever, and getting to participate as part of a field trip from a local school. They were my favorite and probably asked the most interesting questions of every presenter that day.
I want to thank the American Indian Film Festival and the community of San Francisco for their support and great words of respect and warmth. The film festival staff, judges, and supporters are wonderful and gracious hosts. I also want to thank my collaborator, Nadine Zacharias and the crew, as well as my family who worked tirelessly to bring this film to the screen. I also want to thank the Navajo Nation and my home community for their additional support and their participation of which it would not have been possible to make this film and bring it to the people of the world to see.
I made some great connections there and hope that we can show this film at other film festivals. I’ll also give an update of the many other wonderful new Native films out there at the film festival that I saw for an unofficial review here. They are impressive and I wish I could see every single one! The sheer talent and ability of our Native storytellers is inspiring and motivates me to keep doing this work, not only for me, but for all our relations. Thank you.
SYNOPSIS: This documentary follows the First Nations of the University of Washington student group of 2006. It tells the story of their obstacles, trials, and triumphs of being able to put on the annual Spring University of Washington Powwow. Usually held in April every year, this was the first time that the event was threatened to be discontinued and documented on film. It is a critical and honest look at the politics, bureaucracy, and interactions with student groups and the university. A story at once moving and educational that speaks to the challenges of putting on a cultural event for the whole community and lifting our Native youth up to become leaders and teachers of the future.
Angelo Baca, who is in the film with his grandmother, Helen Yellowman, will be at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, California at the premiere of the November 5, 2013 screening at noon at the Delancey Street Theatre. He will be present to talk about the film, Question and Answer session about the film, and talk about the issues relevant to the film, and the process of the film’s development over the last few years.
We thank the American Indian Film Festival, the nation’s longest running and most prestigious Native American film institution, and all those involved for making this film screening possible and for the opportunity to be present and interact with the audience and the film festival programmers, hopefully even to some distributors! It is truly a unique and wonderful film festival for American Indians with a fantastic selection of indigenous stories and storytellers. Thank you!