Since 1975, American Indian communities and film buffs have banded together for the annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Held for 9 days in November, the festival showcases films by American Indians that... ... read more
Since 1975, American Indian communities and film buffs have banded together for the annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Held for 9 days in November, the festival showcases films by American Indians that explore the Native experience. Popular theaters throughout San Francisco participate in the festival, including places like the iconic Palace of Fine Arts and the Bay Theatre at Pier 39.
The American Indian Film Festival offers screenings of features, documentaries, and shorts. Documentaries and films featured at past festivals include titles like Path of Souls by Jeremey Torrie, Mesnak by Yves Sioui Durand, and Vanishing Point by Stephen A. Smith & Julia Szucs. Shorts highlighted at the festival have included “How I Am” by Koli Kohler, “We Now Have Zombies” by Patrick Morris, “Lumi Elder Speaks, Volume 1” by the Youth of the Lummi Nation, and “Rez Dogz” by the Youth of the Chehalis Tribe.
Every year, the American Indian Film Festival also honors the best in Native American film with the Award Show. Held on a Saturday in November, films receive awards in twelve categories including Best Film, Best Director, and the Eagle Spirits Award. The Award Show attracts some of the biggest names in film and is hosted by Native American celebrities like Tonanztin Carmelo, Crystal Shawanda, and Michael Horse. Past winners at the Awards Show have included Korinna Sehringer for Best Film, Andrew Okpeaha MacLean for Best Director, Chaske Spencer for Best Actor, and Michelle St. John for Best Actress.
Tickets to the American Indian Film Festival range from about $7 to $9 per screening, and most screenings are free. After the festival, reflect on the powerful films at the cafés and bars nearby in San Francisco.