READ - 12 OCTOBER 2020 - BY MAYA ROSE DITTLOFF & FTW STAFF
MUST-KNOW INDIGENOUS CREATOR COLLECTIVES & PLATFORMS
Get to know some Indigenous collectives, organizations, film festivals, and more, not only to build community, but also discover some incredible talent.
Cover and header photo courtesy of Sundance Institute Indigenous Program
This list is constantly updated. If you have any global recommendations for us to consider and include, please contact email@example.com.
COLLECTIVES & NETWORKS
About: Adam Piron, Sky Hopinka, Alexandra Lazarowich, and Adam Khalil are the founders of COUSIN. Together they are dedicated to building an Indigenous-led film movement and expand the definition of the moving image.
About: The Mitakuye Foundation is dedicated to combatting the suicide epidemic on the Pine Ridge Reservation through arts education, sports programs, as well as cultural programming. Their programs include an immersive film and video workshop for Native youth.
About: Headquartered on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the temporarily occupied settler state of South Dakota, Indigene Entertainment is an Indigenous-owned entertainment company for film, photography, and multimedia.
About: Specializing in graphic design, photography, as well as video services, Buffalo Nickel was created by Ryan Red Corn and Joseph Brown Thunder in 2006.
About: Creative Indigenous Collective is a artist collective comprised of Robert Martinez, John Isaiah Pepion, Holly Young, Lauren Monroe Jr., Louis Still Smoking, Gina Still Smoking, and Ben Pease who utilize various visual arts mediums to tell unique Native stories that counter stereotypes.
About: The iNdigital Youth Collective is a group of emerging digital and interactive Indigenous artists based in Toronto and was formed out of a collaboration between imagineNATIVE and ENAGB-IYA (which stands for Eshkiniigjik Naandwechigegamig, Aabiish Gaa Binjibaaying, meaning A Place for Healing Our Youth/ Where Did We Come From? In Ojibwe). The goal of this initiative is to support Indigenous youth in learning creation skills for the Digital and Interactive sector. Skill-building takes place through practical learning and making, professional development activities, and networking opportunities.
About: Mobility is an integral part of the Wapikoni approach: they "travel to" youth living in Aboriginal communities and offer practical workshops tailored to their reality and their culture. With this approach, they work to bring Indigenous youth together to foster self-esteem, skills, and resilience. Their mission is to combat isolation and suicide among First Nations youth while developing artistic, technical, social, and professional skills. They also host and broadcast films as part of their outreach and education.
About: Providing access to Regina, SK, Sâkêwêwak provides support across artistic disciplines. In addition, they host a yearly Storytellers Festival throughout the month of February.
About: A collective of emerging and established indigenous filmmakers, actors, writers and industry people, Toronto Indigenous Filmmakers Collective network at monthly events. Presented by Sun Raven Arts, Trans Pride Toronto at Trinity Square video.
About: Starting as a Facebook page, the Winnipeg Indigenous Filmmakers Collective is a place for Manitoba filmmakers to come together, discuss projects, and work as a community towards making films and sharing stories.
About: The Shine Network is a free, subscriber-based media platform created to empower and celebrate Indigenous women content creators, coming in 2021.
About: Karrabing Film Collective (est. 2013) is an award-winning group of filmmakers and artists, most of whom are Indigenous to the lands and coasts along northwestern Australia. They approach filmmaking as a mode of self-organization and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. Through the collective’s inventive artistic language, their work challenges historical and contemporary structures of settler power. The films represent their lives and through the process create bonds with their land while intervening in global images of Indigeneity.
About: Changing womxn collective is an Indigenous-founded and community-powered digital space for womxn, especially womxn of color, and their allies.
PROGRAMS AND FILM FESTIVALS
About: The Sundance Indigenous Program helps to support emerging Indigenous filmmakers from around the world. Run by Bird Runningwater, they operate a Native Filmmakers Lab which provides direct support for two US-based Indigenous artists and one Canadian First Nations every year.
About: Based in Canada, imagineNATIVE is the world's largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The organization is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and as the global centre for Indigenous media arts. imagineNATIVE is also a registered charity committed to creating a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures through the presentation of contemporary Indigenous-made media art including film, video, audio and digital media. The organization is Indigenous-run, and located on the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat Nations.
About: Founded in collaboration with APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), Telefilm, The Canadian Media Fund, NFB (National Film Board of Canada) and CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association), The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is tasked with supporting the development, production and marketing of Indigenous content, thus contributing to a vibrant Canadian Indigenous screen-based industry. They offer development grants, as well as co-host an apprenticeship program with Netflix.
About: Based in what is now San Francisco (Muwekma Ohlone land), the Institute holds a yearly film festival and has a standing collaboration with Alaska Airlines entitled “Across Tribal Skies,” which brings Indigenous-created short content to their flights.
About: LA Skins Fest hosts a yearly film festival in the heart of Hollywood yearly. In addition, they host both Feature and TV writing labs for Indigenous writers. Most recently they launched a Showrunner Program, an Animation Lab, as well as a youth workshop on the Ute Mountain Reservation.
About: Red Nation International Film Festival & Awards is an American Indian and Indigenous film festival that takes place every year as part of American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles.
About: Vision Maker Media empowers and engages Native people to share stories. They have professional development programs and grants, bring Native content to local PBS stations for distribution as well as operate a film festival and Native youth workshops.
About: For the past five summers, the Indigenous Film Festival has showcased more than 65 Indigenous-made films and celebrated over 50 Indigenous filmmakers representing more than 25 tribal and Indigenous nations. They represent Indigenous and Native filmmakers, storytellers, and creators from North American, New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
About: The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) collaborates to offer audiences in Southern California the finest work in American Indian film and media on an annual basis.
About: Organized annually, HIFF focuses on the works and contributions to film, TV, and digital content by Asian and Pacific Islanders. They work to recognize new talent and promote career development through their education programs, which include youth contests, showcases, and a portion of the programming dedicated to “Made in Hawai’i”.
About: The lab supports a select few Hawai’ian filmmakers as they develop shorts (which are in turn debuted at HIFF). Mentees learn under established industry professionals, and in the past mentors have included Joe Robert Cole (co-screenwriter of Black Panther), Eric Pearson (co-screenwriter of Thor: Ragnarok), and Dana Ledoux-Miller (co-screenwriter, Narcos, Newsroom).
#WGASolidarityChallenge - Native Writers (Staffing level or higher, WGA Members) / Pre WGA Native Screenwriters/Assistants/Script Coordinator
About: Self-submitted via Twitter, the documents are a non-exhaustive list of the writers currently working in the United States. Availability and specs available upon request.
About: Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts is dedicated to educating new and emerging filmmakers and writers. They have an undergrad concentration in Cinematic Arts, and their Creative Writing MFA has birthed Pulitzer nominated authors and has a laudable screenwriting program.
About: Outlast Film Camp is dedicated to teaching Black and/or Indigenous youth. Their mission is to build community and create film art that represents their experiences and world views beyond a Western/Eurocentric lens. For the past five years, Outlast has hosted a youth film workshop on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Maya Rose Dittloff (ǔkkayǔ”kwīyinnimǎakii) is a Blackfeet, Mandan and Hidatsa writer and director from the mountains of Montana. Maya received her education from the screenwriting program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and was chosen in 2019 as a fellow with the LA Skins Fest Feature Writing Lab. Today she lives in Los Angeles and continues to develop new narrative and documentary features.
Maya has been involved on a national scale serving her Native community, serving as an Ambassador to the American Indian College Fund and American Indian Business Leaders. In January 2019, she was formally recognized as Emerging Leader with the Sovereign Bodies Institute, an organization dedicated to MMIW. You can reach out at mayarosedittloff.com
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