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Gateway Screens Films from Sundance Indigenous Institute Fellows

Hope Madden Hope Madden Gateway Screens Films from Sundance Indigenous Institute FellowsStill from Birds in the Earth - photo via IMDb
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November is National Native American and Alaskan Native Heritage Month. It’s safe to say that this may go under-celebrated in Central Ohio, but Gateway Film Center is giving you the chance to rectify that situation.

Thanks to the Sundance Film Festival and Arthouse Convergence, GFC is able to bring in a program of six short films, each of which made by a Sundance Indigenous Institute Fellow.

“The Sundance Institute is an organization in our industry we often look to as a benchmark for success in supporting storytellers with a distinct voice,” says Chris Hamel, president and programmer at GFC. 

He explains the fellowship.

“The Sundance Institute’s artist programs provide year-round support for filmmakers,” Hamel says. “The artists who are screening as part of this program participated in The Sundance Institute’s Native Lab Fellowship. This fellowship provides direct support to emerging Native American, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S. The fellowship supports first-time filmmakers through the process of shooting a short film under the guidance of a supervising producer and mentoring director.” 

Hamel thinks it’s important to make these films as widely available as possible.

“These artists want their films to be seen,” he says. “We play a crucial role in supporting storytellers: providing space, generating awareness, driving attendance. Seeing these films, attending, helps build the case for future support, both in the careers of these specific artists and fostering a community of support for programs like this in our city.” 

Hamel believes that creating public access to contemporary works by Indigenous filmmakers is directly aligned with GFC’s mission of strengthening the local community through curated film exhibition.

“The work of the film center will never be done,” he says. “We look for opportunities to challenge and inspire our community through our programming. This partnership and collaboration is in that same spirit. We respect and appreciate these artists. Our work is in amplifying their stories and providing a space for thoughtful presentation and discussion.” 

The films and filmmakers showcased in the program:

  • Birds in the Earth (11 minutes), Marja Helander (Sámi) 
  • Fainting Spells (10 minutes), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)
  • Jaaji Approx. (8 minutes), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)
  • My Father’s Tools (7 minutes), Heather Condo (Mi’gmaq) 
  • Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (4 minutes), Eva Kaukai (Inuit) and Manon Chamberland (Inuit)
  • Shinaab Part II (8 minutes), Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians).

The six films will screen together as a single program from Friday, November 15 through Wednesday, November 20. Normal ticket prices apply.

For tickets and showtimes, visit gatewayfilmcenter.org.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly movie review podcast, THE SCREENING ROOM.

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