Indigenous Film Festival Continues to Bring Original Stories to Pine Ridge

PINE RIDGE, South Dakota, July 28, 2017 — The 2017 Indigenous Film Festival screens on August 5th, 2017 during the 32st Annual Oglala Lakota Nation Wacipi, Rodeo and Fair.  The Film Festival focuses on engaging the community with Indigenous cinema by celebrating, elevating and empowering Native films, filmmakers, and creators.  The Festival provides an opportunity to explore a diverse spectrum of Native storytelling, and strives to strengthen heritage and cultural identity in the community through the enrichment of motion picture arts.  It is the Festival’s vision to inspire the next generation of Lakota filmmakers by fostering creative, educational, and networking opportunities—while providing the platform to showcase and support Native-made films.

Organized by local volunteer Oglala Sioux Tribal members and filmmakers the Indigenous Film Festival is an initiative by Indigene Entertainment on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  The Company has produced several music videos and short films that screened at festivals and educational institutions around the country. 

“This festival is all about encouraging and strengthening our cultural identity as Indigenous peoples,” said Willi White, the film festival’s lead coordinator.  “By using film as the catalyst for our young people, they get a chance to see the resilience Indigenous people have around the country today.  It is our hope that this festival continues the conversation about the importance film plays in shaping how others see us and how it is up to us to tell our own stories.” 

“This event is really about bringing dynamic and unique opportunities to the community. We are humbled by the support of organizations like First Peoples Fund and the South Dakota Film Office whose partnership allows us to bring this event to Pine Ridge.”

"We piloted the film festival a few years ago during the powwow to create space for this event, which was received well by community members.  It's really important to create our own platforms for Indigenous and Native cinema, ” said Angel Two Bulls, submissions and education coordinator for the festival. 

The film line-up features over 12 films by Indigenous filmmakers. To see the full line-up and schedule, visit: www.indigenousfilmfestival.org/2017lineup.