As spring makes it way to the Twin Cities, so will some new films promoting cultural understanding of people across the globe. This is the primary mission of the Beyond Borders Film Festival, which features films and cultural performances with a strong emphasis on cultural heritage. The festival will become a permanent fixture in the Twin Cities’ arts scene, appearing annually.
“My hope for the festival is to use film to bring together people from different communities and cultures, people who would not ordinarily be sitting in the same room together,” says festival founder Cortland Dahl, who divides his time between Minneapolis; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Bodhgaya, India.
“Our aim is to show
artistically significant films that also have the power to inform
people about the world’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage, about
the important issues that are confronting our world, and to inspire
them to get involved at a grassroots level.”
March 25 through March 29, the Beyond Borders Film Festival will
showcase a variety of films at the Parkway Theater in South
Minneapolis. Beyond Borders Film Festival, presented by the Rimé
Foundation, features films and cultural performances to raise awareness
of the need for more international cross-cultural understanding, to get
the general public involved in cross-cultural exchanges, and to promote
local cultural and social organizations.
five-day festival will open with two days of films and performances by
and about Native Americans. The White Earth Urban Community Council
will host a drum group, and dancers. Speakers include Ojibwe advocate
and writer Winona LaDuke, local film producer Sydney Beane,
award-winning Mohawk writer/director Tracey Deer, and Minneapolis
filmmaker Missy Whiteman.
line-up of films include “Native Nations: Standing Together for Civil
Rights” in its Twin Cities premiere, by Beane; “Mohawk Girls” and “Club
Native,” award-winning documentaries by Deer; and “Older Than America,”
a feature-length film by Georgina Lightning.
Than America”, shot in Cloquet, MN, and on the Fond du Lac Reservation,
examines the often-traumatic experience of Native American children in
boarding schools at the turn of the 20th Century.
Tomorrow” will be kicking off the Beyond Borders Film Festival and has
won the best Canadian first feature award at the Toronto International
Film Festival, Best Feature Film award at imagineNATIVE 2008, Best
Feature Film award at the 33rd Annual American Indian Film Festival in
San Francisco, Best Feature Film award at Winnipeg Aboriginal Film
Festival, and Canada’s Best Top Ten from the Toronto International Film
27 will feature films spotlighting Buddhist wisdom. These films examine
how the ancient wisdom of Buddhism is being applied in an increasingly
diverse range of settings.
festival will continue on March 28 and March 29 with the screening of
new, A-list independent films from emerging American directors, as well
as new world cinema from countries including India, China, Canada, and
the festival, there will be special programming for children to
encourage them to learn about different people and cultures. The
children’s film program will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
mornings and will include a variety of animated film shorts. Thursday
and Friday’s kids’ program will include a performance by an Ojibwe
The festival runs from March 25-29. Tickets: $10
per screening for adults; $5 per screening for children. For info, see:
www.beyondbordersfilmfestival.com. Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave.,
Native Films Schedule:
• 6:30 pm: Native American drum group and dancers.
• 7:00 pm: Ojibwe activist and writer Winona LaDuke.
• 7:30 pm: Screening of “Before Tomorrow” which depicts the physical and spiritual struggles of an Inuit woman and her grandson.
9:15 pm: Introduction by filmmaker Sydney Beane and screening of
“Native Nations: Standing Together for Civil Rights” which chronicles
American Indian struggles for civil rights and the creation of the
National Indian Lutheran Board to raise funds and awareness.
5 pm: Screening of “Mohawk Girls” (directed by Tracey Deer) which
presents an insider’s look at life on the Kahnawake Reservation.
7 pm: Screening of “Club Native” (directed by Tracey Deer) which
investigates both sides of the controversial blood-quantum issue
through stories of people from the Kahnawake Reservation.
pm: Screening of “Older Than America” (directed by Georgina Lightning)
which delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide and loss
of identity that occurred at Native American institutions across the
U.S. and Canada.