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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Festival highlights American Indians

    Mohawk Girls, directed by Tracey Deer, will be featured Wednesday at the Native Eyes Film Showcase. The film provides a look at the lives of teenage Kahnawake girls near Montreal.
    ‘Mohawk Girls,’ directed by Tracey Deer, will be featured Wednesday at the Native Eyes Film Showcase. The film provides a look at the lives of teenage Kahnawake girls near Montreal.

    The Arizona State Museum and the Hanson Film Institute will pay homage to American Indian culture through film Wednesday as they present the Native Eyes Film Showcase.

    The presentation, which is in its fourth installment, is a collaboration with the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution. It showcases the work of American Indian directors, producers, writers and actors from the United States and Canada, said Vicky Westover, program director for the Hanson Film Institute.

    “”It is a first-rate program,”” she said. “”It’s not just the best coming out of current Native American work but the best American work.””

    Each year, the presentation is given a theme. This year’s is women and their impact on American Indian and American culture, Westover said.

    “”We don’t have a set idea when we begin planning these events,”” she said. “”It all just seems to come together.””

    The presentation will feature two short films, “”Memory of Bones”” by Gail Maurice and “”By the Rapids”” by Joseph Lazare.

    The feature film of the night is the documentary “”Mohawk Girls,”” directed by Tracey Deer. It provides an insider’s look into the life of teenage girls who live on the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal.

    The film has won numerous awards, including the Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Film Award at the 2005 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.

    The presentation is not just for people interested in American Indian culture or women’s culture, Westover said. It’s for everyone.

    “”The films represent four different styles of filmmaking,”” she said. “”If you weren’t interested in the theme, it is OK, because there are other aspects that could interest you. The films are made by men and women, and the styles are very different.””

    Besides hosting the films, the showcase will also house other private events, including a media literacy workshop for teens on the Tohono O’odham reservation with Tracey Deer and UA alumna Sierra Ornelas.

    “”Tracey will talk about what inspired her to become a filmmaker,”” Westover said. “”She will use film clips from her childhood to show her inspirations.””

    If attending the presentation on Wednesday is not an option, the showcase will also host another presentation the next day featuring the short film “”Conversion”” by Courtney Schmidt and the documentary “”Miss Navajo”” by William Luther.

    “”Miss Navajo”” follows a contestant through the Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant and also interviews past winners. It was recently showcased at the Sundance Film Festival.

    The Native Eyes Film Showcase begins at 7 p.m. both days at Grand Cinemas: Crossroads 6, 4811 E. Grant Road. Admission is free.

    For more information, visit the Arizona State Museum’s Web site, www.statemuseum.arizona.edu, or call 621-6302.

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