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Indigenous Visions: Cross-Border Films by Native American Filmmakers

May 31, 2010

Above: Angelo Baca at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana with Chris Eyre, Director of Smoke Signals. Photo by Bob McGowan.

This past February, Native American filmmakers converged on Missoula, Montana to attend the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Angelo Baca, a graduate of the UW Native Voices Program, was there to discuss the cross-border film projects that have been undertaken at the UW in Native Voices during a panel discussion on issues facing Native American and First Nations filmmakers. The panel was hosted by Angelica Lawson, Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana.

“It’s really difficult to get Natives as filmmakers and actors to break into the mainstream,” Angelo pointed out, “We have to create our own opportunities, and it’s definitely hard.”

Angelo traveled to Missoula to present fellow Native Voices alum Rosemary Gibbons’s film, A Century of Genocide: The Residential School Experience, which looks at attempts to assimilate First Nations children at the turn of the twentieth century, resulting in families being split up, children losing their language and heritage, and widespread sexual abuse.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education and Graduate Program Services.