PRESS RELEASE
September 26th, 2008

WOMEN IN FILM INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES FILMMAKER SELECTION FOR

The Second Annual

Focus on International Short Films:

A Night to Celebrate Indigenous Filmmakers of the Americas

 

When: The Evening of Saturday, October 25th of 2008      6:00pm - 10:00pm

Where: Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

             4800 Hollywood Blvd

             Hollywood, CA 90027

 

 

Women In Film International Committee is hosting a reprise of their successful International Short Films Screening, this time with the focus on Indigenous filmmakers of the Americas.  This event, hosted by Comic Mitch Factor, brings together for the first time Indigenous artists from North, Central and South American communities in Los Angeles.

 

 

SELECTED FILMMAKERS:

 

For the Next Seven Generations

Director: Carol Hart

13 Indigenous women elders, shamans and medicine women from around the world, have united as one to share their sacred wisdom and practices.  As they travel the globe together, they are  shining a bright light on the path to a sustainable world for the next seven generations.
 

Native American Night Before Christmas

Director: Gary Robinson

An adaptation of the Christmas Classic illustrated by one of America’s foremost Native American artists.

 

Telephone Warriors: The Story of the Choctaw Code Talkers

Director: Valerie Redhorse

In 1918, not yet citizens of the U.S., Choctaw members of the U.S. American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I, setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America’s original Code Talkers.

 

Rojo Red

Director:  Juan Manuel Betancourt

A young boy’s fascination with his shoe string leads him to unravel the meaning of life.

 

Lagrimas Del Café

Director: Claudia Mercado

Meaning tears like coffee, that honors the director’s ancestors, specifically her grandmother.

 

Xani Xepica

Director: Alejandro Diaz

What it takes to become a man.  A young Indian boy tries to prove worthy of his bride.
 

Conversion

Director: Nanobah Becker

In  the early 1950’s, Christian missionaries make a catastrophic visit to a family in the remote, Navajo desert, with unforeseen results.

 

  

More than just a screening, this event includes live performances by Danza Azteca Cuauhtemoc, Vox Femina, Miss Canadian Blackfoot 2008 and Happy Frejo and an art exhibit that showcases three talented indigenous artists with three very different and very strong visions: 

 

 

 

Bernie Granados, Jr.

is a multi-talented artist who works in a wide variety of mediums, including embossed acrylic paintings, watercolor, Prismacolor pencil, pen and ink drawings, wood carvings, ceramic, and bronze. Drawing from his Apache and Zacatec roots, Mr. Granados produces paintings, sculptures, masks, prints, and miniatures featuring beautiful images of horses, buffalo, and ancient ancestral figures inspired by by visions and cave art throughout America. He finds inspiration in Nature’s force and beauty, his smarter-than-human quarter horses, his fellow artists, and his love and respect for the Creator.

 

David Mata

Chumash, Yokut, Karuk Indian Nations,  is a Native American Indian artist/illustrator specializing in mixed media, including acrylics, oils, pen and ink, pencils, scratchboards, charcoals and pastels.  He is the owner of David Mata Arts and Entertainment studio in San Diego, providing commercial Native American artist’s services to private, educational and commercial art buyers.  

 

           

Maritza Alavarez

Maritza Alvarez is a Xicana Indigenous photographer and cinematographer that grew up in Boyle Heights, California.  In 2000, she married her social political activism work with the world of filmmaking committing herself to the organic love between these two mediums of expression and representation. Honoring Cihuatlan (Place of the Woman) :  a series of original  black and white 35mm photographs depicting the portraits of Indigenous women in action.  From the urban streets of Los Angeles to the arid deserts of Mexico, into the dense jungles El Salvador,   Honoring Cihuatlan is a photo-journalistic portrayal of the current active leadership and participation of  inter-generational Indigenous women.   Fierce women, who never surrendered to the colonial rule by the Spanish invasion of Anahuac.  Perseveringly taking action against the continued perpetuation of irresponsible and inhumane treatment  of our precious and sacred Tonantzin (mother earth) and all of her caretakers by current neo-colonial government officials, corporations and policy makers.   We thank these Cihuatl's for their strength,wisdom and resilient spirits. 
Ometeotl
,  To All My Relations.  She started out self-taught and later acquired some formal training at L.A. City college and the Los Angeles Film Schoo.   13 Visions is a self run business committed to the re-creation and documentation of stories too often overlooked.   
http://web.mac.com/m13visions

 

 

Additional performances by:

 

Mitch Factor

Master of Ceremonies.  Began his journey at "Bricktown's Comedy Warehouse" and "Jokers Comedy Club" in Oklahoma City. The next eight years would bring three titles to Mitch's comedy tours, "Mitch Factor Takin' It to the Edge" and the "Wake Me Up and Laugh tour". The third tour is titled, "Don't Get Me Started". Mitch reminds us that it is okay to laugh at the harsh realities of life. Mitch's comedy covers subjects such as family, work, children, Native American way of life and simply being human.

 

 

Vox Femina Los Angeles

is a women's choral ensemble dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature with an emphasis on music by women composers. Vox Femina LA is one of the premier women’s choruses in the United States with a demonstrated ability to perform highly eclectic repertoire. It has an aggressive schedule of performances, touring and educational outreach and has demonstrated its support and encouragement of living composers through commissioning new works.

Happy Frejo

Happy Frejo is a member of the Seminole and Pawnee tribes of Oklahoma and Xicana. She is an Actress, Singer/Songwriter, Dance Instructor and Independant Filmmaker. She travels to native youth conferences & conventions promoting hope, self-awareness and positive living in today’s youth. Using her original music, teaching Hip Hop dance and Journaling/Spoken Word and Youth Theatre Workshops. Happy performs with SPIRIT the Seventh Fire and Yellow house, which are native dance troupes that travel across the U.S.  Happy sings with a Phoenix based band known as ‘Straight Up’ and has her own original band called “Happy Soul Project’ www.myspace.com/happysoulproject. She is part of a native non-profit organization known as NVISION  www.nvisionit.org

who was recently featured in an 8-part Documentary Series airing on MTV/Canada and National Geographic in February of 2008. One of Happys songs was also featured in this  4 REAL Episode. She currently resides in Los Angeles pursuing a career in acting and has been promoting an Independent Short Film titled “My Darkest Hour” based on suicide prevention and substance abuse, which she wrote and directed. Her upcoming projects are finishing her first c.d., publishing a book of her original poetry, and shooting her second Independent film. For more information please visit: www.myspace.com/happysoulproject and www.happyfrejo.com

 

 

ANDREA TRUE JOY FOX

Miss Blackfoot Canada 2008-2009

Choreographer, Dancer, Model, Playwright, Singer, Teacher, Visual Artist

 

Andrea is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainai, Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta where she grew up. She is an exceptional dancer with an extensive performance and training background in contemporary (modern) dance, and traditional First Nations dance as a fancy dancer and hoop dancer.  Andrea is also a choreographer, singer, playwright, and published poet. Andrea has established her own professional performance group: Red Star Women & Whirlwind Warriors, which has performed this year for the Dene First Nations community in the Northwest Territories and the 2008 Calgary Stampede Indian Village, as well as represent the Kainai Tribe in the 2008 Calgary Stampede Parade. 

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Women In Film

Dare 2 Dream

TjierLily Co: A Native American Arts & Entertainment Company

This event is produced by WIF International Committee Members, Producer Tessa Bell & Producer Aba Ngissah

WIF International Committee: Co-Chairs Ruby Lopez & Arati Misro, Advisory Chairs Tobie Loomis & Gabrielle Kelly

Barnsdall Gallery Theatre is a facility of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles.

 

[Note WIF(Women in Film) is an international organization of women directors, writers, camera people, and other women working in all categories of filmmaking.]
  It’s a film and television organization advocating for women within the industry, and offering  them educational programs and  community support.

http://www.wif.org/