Indigenous Film Festival Overview
- Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th
- Missoula Children’s Theatre 200 N Adams St, Missoula, MT 59802
- $5 a day or bring canned goods to donate to the Food Bank for admission
The objective of this event is to acknowledge and honor the presence of our American Indian community within Missoula and Indigenous peoples across the world and to be witness to their resilience as a people as displayed through a contemporary medium of storytelling.
This film festival highlights positive messages about identity and connection to culture and seeks to honor the resilience, perseverance, and transcendence that defines what it means to be an AI in 2018 from a foundation of historical and compounding intergenerational trauma. Our festival bears the name En-th-a-eye “Place of the Little Bull Trout” (Salish word for Missoula) Indigenous Film Festival to include the vast diversity of Indigenous experience yet have likewise tie the event to this specific area, this valley, and to honor the people who’s land on which we now live. We will offer a multitude of stories that speak to inter-connection, a sense of cultural validation, and hope. Ultimately, this event is based on story and the human connection from which it is from through the universal language of film.
Secondly, we hope to provide a healing opportunity for our local community to come together to discuss and reflect on contemporary themes that impact Indigenous communities within a safe environment through our open discussions following each film. This event holds potential to bring together and build a bridge between our Native community and our greater Missoula community.
Especially now, in our current socio-political climate, it is inherently important to share these stories with the community to both counter-act the predominantly negative message depicted in mainstream media of what it means to be an AI person and to open the space for dialogue, understanding, and healing cross-culturally. These films become the catalyst to those opportunities and carefully selected panel members will serve to guide and promote a healing process.
How films are selected:
We are careful in our process of identifying appropriate films and screen potential features for the following criteria: cultural relevance and sensitivity, directed and acted primarily by Indigenous people, portray an authentic view of what it means to be a Native person, not mainstream, and recent. Each film will highlight Indigenous resiliency and be told from an Indigenous perspective. Our locally-made films are the products of therapeutic intervention and share the intimate stories that honor the process of change growth and change within the lives of our community members.
Each film has been selected for its ability to illustrate characters who exhibit person growth and resilience and connection to a cultural identity within a cultural and ethnic context while acknowledging and honoring the presence of historical and inter-generational trauma. The focus of each film comes from a foundation of connection to the emotion and human interconnection that define all our lives, regardless of ethnic or racial background. Each film, while it acknowledges the often profound and compounding presence of trauma, more closely looks at what makes us ever-dynamic and reflective in our humanity and highlights a narrative of tenacity, self-empowerment and resilience versus a message of despair. Having the opportunity to share the personal stories of our AI community members, especially in contrast to those of their Aboriginal counterparts and highlighting the meaningful and healing interaction between two communities across the globe will be especially exciting and powerful to share.
Events Prior to Indigenous Film Festival: