Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program as Corroboree Sydney 2014 presents a major retrospective of Indigenous film. The program has been developed through Sundance Institute’s artist labs or screened at the Sundance Film Festival over the last 20 years. The week long program consists of dramatic features, documentaries and shorts by some of the most influential Native American and Indigenous filmmakers from around the world. Open air night screenings will be staged at the pop up 'Boat Shed’ cinema at Circular Quay and repeated indoors during the day at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s cinema. The program is hosted by Bird Runningwater, the director of Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous program.
The program is presented in partnership with Blackfella Films, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Black Screen at the National Film and Sound Archive and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
10.30am This May Be The Last Time Dir: Sterlin Harjo (Creek/Seminole) (2014) 95mins
In 1962, Sterlin Harjo’s grandfather disappeared mysteriously, and as the Seminole community searched for him, they sang ancient songs of faith and hope. Tracing the creation of those songs, we find that they commemorate a great time of forced removal of the Seminole people from their homeland. Along the way, we learn that this tribe’s singing style is tied to traditions that originated in Scotland, Appalachia, and the experiences of enslaved African Americans.
12.10pm Gesture Down Dir: Cedar Sherbert (Kumeyaay) (2006) 10 mins
An adaptation of the poem, “Gesture Down to Guatemala” by James Welch
12.25pm Shimasani Dir: Blackhorse Lowe (Diné) (2009) 15 mins
Mary Jane must choose to either stay at home on the reservation or leave to go to boarding school.
12.45pm Two Cars, One Night Dir: Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui) (2004) 11mins
Sometimes first love is found in the most unlikely of places, like in the carpark outside the Te Kaha pub.
1.00pm Miss Navajo Dir: Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna) (2007) 58 mins
The role of women and tradition in Dine (Navajo) culture is explored through a young girl’s quest for the Miss Navajo Nation crown. In this sensitive documentary, the door to a surprising world is opened where contestants are challenged to answer tough historical questions in the Navajo language and showcase their knowledge of practices like governance, traditional singing, or butchering a sheep. The film subtly illustrates the sacred dimension of Miss Navajo as well – how to participation places the young women on a timeless matriarchal continuum that goes back to creation and the first Diné life giving ancestor: Changing Woman.
2.00pm Smoke Signals Dir: Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) (1998) 89 mins
The chronicle of athletic and charming Victor Joseph from the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation really begins when he learns of his father’s premature and sudden death. With no money, he accepts the offer of his quirky and garrulous childhood buddy, Thomas-Builds-the-Fire, to pay for the trip, but only if he goes along. Their ensuing odyssey becomes an exploration of social and personal being. Winner of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Prize and Filmmakers Trophy.
3.30pm Nikamowin Dir: Kevin Lee Burton (God’s Lake Narrows Cree) (2008) 12 mins
Deconstructing and reconstructing Cree narrative, this film experiments with language to create a linguistic soundscape.
Image:Nikamowin Dir: Kevin Lee Burton (God’s Lake Narrows Cree) (2008) 12 mins Courtesy of Kevin Lee Burton and Sundance Institute