2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour Kicks Off, Sterlin Harjo included in the line-up

Sundance Institute announced the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour, an 83-minute short film program that will include eight short films from Indigenous filmmakers, including director Sterlin Harjo

The non-profit Sundance Institute announced on June 3 that the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour, an 83-minute short film program featuring 8 Indigenous filmmakers, including Reservation Dogs director Sterlin Harjo, kicks off beginning June 8 and will run throughout this month at venues in California, Michigan, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

The Indigenous film tour will also then expand into museums, festivals and theaters throughout the summer and fall of this year.

Director Sterlin Harjo: “You can see how borderless Indigenous culture and film really is.”

Director Sterlin Harjo, well-known for his award-winning popular series Reservation Dogs, told Native Viewpoint that he was “very excited” to be among the eight Indigenous filmmakers included in the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour. Harjo has included his film, Goodnight Irene, in the 2024 film tour.

Reservation Dogs director Sterlin Harjo: (Photo: Courtesy Sundance. By FX and Shane Brown)

“[I’m] very excited about the Sundance Indigenous film tour and happy that the Tulsa Film Collective was able to bring it to Tulsa in partnership with Sundance and the Philbrook Art Museum. It’s a great representation of artists from across Indian Country and abroad. When you watch all the short films together you can feel the conversation that has been happening between Indigenous artists throughout the years.”

“You can see how borderless Indigenous culture and film really is,” says Harjo.

See related story: Director Sterlin Harjo reflects on Reservation Dogs’ finale: ‘We told the truth, that was radical’

Adam Piron, Director of the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program, said, “These eight shorts include narrative and documentary projects, some from Native storytellers outside the U.S., and they’ve all resonated with Sundance Film Festival audiences in the past–it’s our pleasure to take such a diverse cross-section of Indigenous cinema on tour.”

The list of eight short films and Indigenous filmmakers in order of screening:

(All films are U.S.-based unless otherwise noted)

Bay of Herons: Director Jared James Lank

Calling on the strength of his ancestors, a young Mi’kmaq man reflects on the pain of bearing witness to the destruction of his homelands. Fiction.

Winding Path: Directors Alexandra Lazarowich, Ross Kauffman, Producer Robin Honan

Eastern Shoshone MD-PhD student Jenna Murray spent summers on the Wind River Indian Reservation helping her grandfather in any way she could. When he suddenly dies, she must find a way to heal before realizing her dream of a life in medicine. Nonfiction. (Directors Ross Kauffman and Alexandra Lazarowich in thumbnail images above.)

Headdress: Director, Screenwriter, Producer Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire, Producer David Spadora

When an act of casual racism confronts a Queer Native man, he retreats into his mind to find the perfect clap back from various versions of his own identity.

Ekbeh: Director Mariah Eli Hernandez-Fitch

While learning to make gumbo, the creator shares personal stories about their grandparents as a way to honor and preserve their Indigenous history and life. Nonfiction.

Baigal Nuur: Director, Screenwriter, Producer Alisi Telengut | (Lake Baikal / Canada, Germany)

The formation of Lake Baikal in Siberia is reimagined, featuring the voice of a Buryat woman who can still recall some words in her endangered Buryat language (a Mongolian dialect). Animation.

Hawaiki by Director and Screenwriter Nova Paul and Producer Tara Riddell | (New Zealand)

At the edge of the playground close to the forest, the children of Okiwi School made a refuge they call Hawaiki. Hawaiki has spiritual and metaphysical connections for Māori as the children create a space for their self-determination. Fiction. (Director Nova Paul in thumbnail image above.)

Sunflower Siege Engine: Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Sky Hopinka

Movements of resistance are collapsed and woven together, from reflections of one’s own body in the world today to documentation of Alcatraz, the reclamation of Cahokia, and the repatriation of the ancestors. Fiction.

Goodnight Irene: Director, Sterlin Harjo

Want to go to the 2024 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Tour?

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour, please visit https://www.sundance.org/programs/indigenous-program/.

From Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Institute Indigenous Program have a long history of supporting and launching talented Indigenous directors, including Erica Tremblay, Blackhorse Lowe, Sterlin Harjo, Sky Hopinka, Taika Waititi,  Caroline Monnet, Fox Maxy and Shaandiin Tome. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides support for screenings.

As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, occur throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally.

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