Native Documentary Shorts Screening


In Progress and the Sundance Institute will show a curated selection of Native short documentaries by Sundance Film Festival alumni. The films represent a diversity of tribal nations, with films exploring Native identity and cultural evolution in a rapidly changing world.

The Sundance Institute Native and Indigenous Program staff will also have a discussion with filmmaker Billy Luther about his work and the art of documentary filmmaking.

Films that will be Screened include:

• Nikamowin (Kevin Lee Burton, Swampy Cree). This experimental work plays with the human connection to language to make a statement about the loss of Native languages.

• Mobilize (Caroline Monnet, Algonquin). Guided expertly by those who live on the land and driven by the pulse of the natural world, Mobilize takes veiwers on an exhilarating journey from the far north to the urban south. Hands swiftly thread sinew through snowshoes. Axes expertly peel birch bark to make a canoe. A master paddler navigates icy white waters. In the city, Mohawk ironworkers stroll across steel girders, almost touching the sky, and a young woman asserts her place among the towers. The fearless polar punk rhythms of Tanya Tagaq’s Uja underscore the perpetual negotiation between the modern and traditional by a people always moving forward.

• Jáaji Approx (Sky Hopinka, Ho-Chunk and Pechanga). Against images of landscapes that he and his father once traversed, filmmaker Sky Hopinka overlays audio recordings of his father speaking in the Ho-Chunk language which is then transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet, narrowing the distance between recorder and recordings, new and traditional, memory and song.

• Natchiliagniaqtuguk Aapagulu/Seal Hunting With Dad (Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, Iñupiaq). An Iñupiaq father teaches his son to hunt seals on the frozen Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska.

• Red Lake (Billy Luther, Diné/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo). In 2005 the Red Lake Indian Reservation was at the center of national media attention after a devastating mass school shooting. Ten years later, survivors continue to heal long after the national spotlight has faded.

For more information about Sundance Institute Native and Indigenous Program and In Progress:;

The event will take place on July 15, from 6-8 p.m and includes a reception following the program.

Free and open to the public, at In Progress, 213 Front Avenue, in Saint Paul. RSVP by July 11 at: