The SundanceInstitute announced details of the 9th Native Forum programme for the 2003Sundance Film Festival today (Dec 17). The Native Forum highlights films madeby Native Americans and indigenous peoples and opens on Jan 17 with the USpremiere of Alanis Obomsawin's new documentary Is The Crown At WarWith Us' The rest of theprogramme features four world premieres and three more US premieres from RandyRedroad, Shirley Cheechoo, Ivan Sen, Darlene Naponse and Shane Hannigan, PukaMoeau, and Nicholas Boseley. The Sundance Film festival runs from Jan 16-26,2003.

In addition tothe 11 films screening in the Native Forum programme there will also be twoseminars. Indigenous Documentary Film-making will explore the specificchallenges faced by indigenous film-makers and their responsibility to theircommunities and the story and will be hosted by the acclaimed documentarianAlanis Obomsawin. In the other, renowned New Zealand filmmaker and screenwriterMerata Mita will lead Screenwriting From The Indigenous Perspective, focusingon the unique forms of storytelling used by indigenous film-makers.

'Thisyear's Native Forum features an impressive cross-section of the differentfacets of Native cinema,' Bird Runningwater, Native American Initiativesprogrammer at the Sundance Institute, said. 'With bold uses of dramatic anddocumentary film-making that include themes of music, dance, kinship,cosmology, lamentations and hope, these film are the product of an emphasis onIndigenous creative control in writing and directing. Offering poignantcontributions to cinema, the Native Forum filmmakers represent a largercommunity that extends globally. '

Selections forthe 2003 Sundance Film Festival Native Forum are:

Programme I

Mocassin Flats

Dir: RandyRedroad (Western Cherokee), USA

Short film aboutNative youth who experience the love and harshness of modern inner city life.


Dir: Shane LeeEagle Hannigan (Yakama Nation), USA

Short drama withspoken word narrations over images of a young man falling in love with a girland realising he has choices in life.

Sailing The Master Home

Dir: GilbertSalas (Tarahumara), USA

Shortdocumentary that takes viewers on a sailing journey through the South Pacific,navigating by the stars.


Dir: Dax Thomas(Laguna Pueblo), USA

A visual flurryof images representing sex, identity and ongoing conflicts as seen through theeyes of a young Laguna Pueblo man.

Program II

Is The Crown At War With Us'

Dir: by AlanisObomsawin (Abenaki Nation), Canada

Featuredocumentary offering a gripping portrait of the Esgenoopetitj Mi'gmaq FirstNation during the summer of 2000 as the Canadian government appears to wage waron the community for exercising its inherent and court-affirmed fishing rights.

Program III

Pikutiskwaau(Mother Earth)

Dir: ShirleyCheechoo (James Bay Cree), Canada

Feature-lengthdocumentary tracing the Cree philosophy of Mother Earth and theresponsibilities of the Cree people to honour her and those who continue togive life to the Cree people.

Bundle In Good Standing

Dir: GabrielWhiteturkey (Eastern Delaware), USA

Shortdocumentary about the filmmakerís grandmother and her ceremonialresponsibilities within Lenape society.

Program IV


Dir: DarleneNaponse (Whitefish Lake Ojibway), Canada

Musically-drivenfeature with original songs that create a journey through the consequences andrealities of a rural Native community leading up to one character's moment ofmadness.


Dir: Puka Moeau(Rongowhakaata/Mahaki), New Zealand

Shortdocumentary about kapa haka (the traditional Maori dance) champions Rangimarie,their philosophy and their messages of peace to the world.

Program V

Beneath Clouds

Dir: Ivan Sen(Gamilaroi), Australia

The story of twoyouth who meet while hitchhiking on the road to Sydney. Both are indigenousAborigine, though Lena is blonde and blue-eyed; Vaughn is 'black' byAustralian standards. Their brief journey leads to changed perceptions abouttheir own lives and destinations.

Shit Skin

Dir: NicholasBoseley (Arrernta), Australia

Short dramaabout a grandson who guides his grandmother back to the land and the people shewas stolen from as a child.