Indigenous Film Festival celebrates culture and community
Native stories from around the world will be featured at the Alaska Native Heritage Center’s Indigenous World Film Festival in Anchorage.
“It’s a unique festival in that we have only native people,” said organizer Steven Blanchett. “People from Maori, Hawaii, Sami, First Nations in Canada, Greenland so we really focus on those indigenous films, filmmakers and actors.”
Inc’d is a New Zealand story of a Maori businessman who struggles between his corporate and cultural worlds.
In Uvanga, a city boy from Montreal travels to the Canadian arctic to learn more about his heritage.
“He’s finding his identity as a young Inuk man and so that’s a story that people will understand, especially here in Alaska,” said Blanchett.
Set in Southeast, Kusah Hakwaan tells of two brothers who run into a mythical creature. Actor Paul Asicksik said the festival is about bringing these Alaskan legends to life.
“It’s important because a lot of people don’t know a lot about Alaska itself and the culture and the background. What this does is it helps to create a conversation about the people of Alaska,” said Asicksik.
Blanchett said Anchorage is the perfect place to host a festival of Native films.
“It has a very rich tradition of storytelling. Thousands and thousands of years of storytelling. Now it’s in a different medium,” said Blanchett.
The Indigenous World Film Festival is Thursday, February 11 and Friday, February 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Admission is free. Blanchett encourages people to bring traditional food to share with everyone.
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