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Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Graffiti, December 6th, Sunday, 8:35 p.m.

SANTA FE INDEPENDENT 2009 FILM FESTIVAL

Santa Fe Independent Film Fest will show the most provocative independent films from all over the globe. Underground cinema, art films, innovative and experimental work, guerilla projects and politically controversial films are welcomed with open arms. We do not host lavish parties, stroke movie stars, or charge outrageous ticket prices. It is the belief of the Santa Fe IFF that art is for the people and going to the movies should cost $6 or less.

Our objective is to put film in New Mexico back into the hands of the community through a grass roots movement of filmmakers. By doing so we mean to create a model for the democratization of film all over the world.

This year’s fest will showcase over twenty films, including eight features.

Along with the many up and coming filmmakers that will be shown at this year’s fest, we will premier a teaser for Norman Patrick Brown’s newest picture, The Rainbow Boy and we will also show the Canadian feature Heater starring Gary Farmer.

Check out our new website at santafeindependentfilmfestival.com for a schedule of films and up-to-date info. Below is a copy of the 2009 film schedule.

Schedule of Films Santa Fe IFF 2009:

Friday, December 4th  5pm to 10 pm at Warehouse 21

5pm The Devil’s Bullets            Stephen McKissin

5:10pm Fools Gold                      Matt Page

5:30pm Assimilation                  Shelene Bridge

6:00pm Poison Wind                   Norman Patrick Brown

7:00pm Beauty 24                         Steve Gatlin

8: 25pm  Dead Air                          Morgana Lesley Morgan

Saturday, December 5th 3:30pm to 6:30pm at Warehouse21

3:30pm Bread & Circus                 Tim Gregoire

3:50pm Rez Hope                           Norman Patrick Brown

4:20pm el Matador            Joe Ray Sandoval

4:25pm PowerBall                 Gary Farmer

4:30pm Used Parts

4:40pm For Her                                Antonio Weiss

5:10pm But Jenny you’re from Vegas     Jerome Leyba

7:00pm  World Premiere Teaser/ Trailer for Norman Patrick Brown’s The Rainbow Boy  with cast present at the Station Coffeehouse award ceremony

Sunday, December 6th 4pm- 11:20pm at the SF Complex

4:00pm-6pm            Wine and Meet and Greet with Actors

6:00pm Heater                                       Starring Gary Farmer

7:25pm Goodnight my Zombies         Wes Studi

7:30pm Dear John                 Lisa Hill

7:40pm Horse Song             Norman Patrick Brown

8:35pm  The Graffiti        Arlene Bowman

9:05pm Wastewater                       Melissa J White

9:15pm The Last Pill                 Stephen “Jules” Rubin

9:20pm Indian Rezervation Blues                    Guy Fay

10:15pm Rejection                        Jacques Paisner, Starring David Moore

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November annually holds in the United States Native American Heritage Month; also on November 5, 09 Indigenous people in the United States had a meeting with Obama, but I did not view much mainstream media coverage of these topics, except for PBS which aired documentaries about Native people. These are typical examples among millions of examples of how information about Indigenous people is censored on purpose.  So I view what really goes on from Censored, an online alternative press that publishes news about Indigenous people through out North America; also, I have created a blog to promote myself/disperse the Indigenous female Dine’ filmmaker/still photographer/writer and other news about Indigenous people.  Therefore, since the mainstream media does not cover us, we have to disperse the information ourselves through internet blogs and web sites, learn fully how to use it to our advantage because stereotypes live on at present heavy duty with the public.  The Fresh Media Conference of new media on October 24 said television networks/film studios were slow to use the internet to air film/video works and spread news. I accept their consensus that the internet is a dominant dispersion. Indigenous people have many issues to address/resolve.  It would be great if I was conservative, commercialistic in film and video, owned a television/cable network, was a Caucasian man, I might be more successful, but I am the opposite. Change has to happen somehow. With a blog, my voice is heard/seen.

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A young First Nations from BC wrote and asked me questions about the Navajo Talking Picture.  Here are some excerpts.

“I think it’s good for you to go to the U. I liked it. I’m considering to go back to obtain my phd.  Some of my best experiences stem from attending the U, to make friends and make film/video projects.  I just viewed this docu last night on PBS about Vilmos Zigmond and Lazlo Kovacs, d.p.’s in US.  Canada calls the same cinematography work, d.o.p.  I remember Zigmond gave a presentation, question/answer at UCLA Melnitz Hall. Interesting.  I always liked the way he shot feature films. At the same time it made me think about the women in film/tv industry.  I do not hear much about women dp’s at all.  It’s a very male oriented world, a man’s world really.  Second comes the people of color who participate in it.  Leaving direct from Hungary to come to US, Hollywood to shoot films, low budget features at first and then they made their way up to shoot like Easy Rider.  They made it more because they’re male and Caucasian. Also, because of their dp good quality and persistent hard work.   Do we hear about Native American dp’s? Easy rider—Hey I saw scenes of Flagstaff, AZ and that huge mountain there, scenes east of Flag where there are ponderosa pines and the Interstate 40—where I come from. I know that country.  That was great to see.  It’s a really hard profession, film/video, but I like it.  I must be nuts to be in it.  I don’t know anything else that I do very well.  Only still photography comes second.  Third, comes music and singing.  Sure things like that get me down. I shot my own Graffiti and I shot half of Navajo Talking Picture.  Deep down I wanted to make a living as a dp.

There’s not anything else to say about the NTP.  Maybe it was not understood.  That’s the way it goes.  Some of the public understood it.  It’s not something I like to go over and over again because I finished the new experimental drama called The Graffiti which I want to promote and show now.  The Graffiti was not as well liked in film festivals.  It has shown in some.  I feel like a rock and roll musician in that the public only remembers the group’s most famous songs, which leaves the musician locked in.  She/he gets type cast and although the musician wants to move on, the musician cannot move on.  I guess it’s apart of the business.  The musician has to accept it.  I worked just as hard on The Graffiti.  I like it.  An American professor in the US interviewed me in detail in an article he wrote, which will get published in a book. I don’t know when.”

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I viewed on Tuesday, November 16th on PBS a documentary about Jim Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Native American from Oklahoma. Among the Indigenous people, he is one of few who has won medals in the Olympics.  He excelled at many sports.  This documentary, JIM THORPE, WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE  was a classical style documentary which used archival still photography shots, archival motion picture and interviews from family members, sons and daughters and people who knew him to portray and illustrate Jim Thorpe’s life.  Myself, I did know he was an actor in feature films.  Different sources on the internet say he is mixed, White and Sac and Fox.  I do not notice many Indigenous athletes in the Olympics in contemporary times.  Certain sports such as lacrosse originate from Indigenous people, an East Nation.  I liked the documentary.

Joe Bruchac with another producer was one of the directors, writers and producers of the project.  I am familiar with Mr. Bruchac.  I remember his sister attended NYU film school.  I liked the documentary better than the feature film shot in the late 80’s about Jim Thorpe because it was more authentic. In the late 80’s feature film and the 51 feature film, I felt the leads should have been Native Americans and not non Natives, which is a huge criticism of both films. I surfed on the internet to search out the late 80’s feature film about Jim Thorpe.  I remember viewing it, but I could not find it.  For the second time, I checked for this 80’s feature film.  The feature film was not about Jim Thorpe.  The feature was about Billy Mills,  a Lakota athlete.  A non Native actor called Robby Benson played Billy Mills.  First Nations Ermineskin Band of the Cree Indians from Alberta funded and released the feature in 1983. I knew a feature film was made, but I mixed up the Indian runners who won gold medals in the Olympics.

I never saw the 51 feature film where Burt Lancaster played Jim Thorpe.  When will producers and casting directors cast Native people as Native actors if the story is about Native people?  Some do, but it has to be a WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN IT IS NOW in the entertainment business.  Some strides have been made, but….

Right afterwards was SOY ANDINA. Cynthia attends college in New York in the dance department. She is a modern dancer, but she is also Peruvian. The documentary or I might have missed it, did not say if she was Indigenous or not, but the documentary seem to hint at that. Cynthia wonders about her  heritage in Peru. She also meets another woman from Peru who immigrated to New York. This woman dances traditional dances of Indigenous people. The documentary seem to indicate that she was Indigenous. Cynthia is awarded a Full Bright grant and she travels to Peru to find out about dance. Lima does not offer what she seeks so she travels and learns from people in small towns. This is what she seeks. She meets people from different locations such as African people and learns/observes their dances. She really likes it. At the same time, Cynthia experiences an identity conflict such as when people from Peru think she is not apart of them. They reject her in a way because she is from the outside.  She feels like an outsider, although technically she is half Peruvian. I like dance a lot: modern, jazz, Afro-jazz, Latin dance, Indigenous dances of North America, hip hop and all kinds of social dance. I luv to watch it as well.  I luv dance from around the world.  I participate in dance classes such as Afro-jazz. This documentary expressed how a person  experiences an identity conflict and at the same time depicts dances from different regions of Peru. Great. It reminded me of myself and the Navajo Talking Picture, my identity conflict, which I experienced like Cynthia.




[rockyou id=154599954&w=450&h=338] Leaves in a park near by, Ninja Pants, our cat I shot on the $2 pumpkin we bought at a store last week. I was surprised by her good behavior as a model on the pumpkin.  The people in the Halloween costumes walked down E. Hastings Street.

Aftermath of Halloween 09-The screening of The Graffiti at the Carnegie Community Theatre on October 31 09 went well.  There was a crowd of more than 10 people which was great.  I’ve been to open mics where there were less people than that.  I am grateful.  The Heart of the City Festival improves every year.  I like the festival myself. In previous years I have participated in some of their events such as the two day theatre workshop. 

Before I drove into Vancouver from Surrey, I drew a picture of our cat Ninja Pants with a pumpkin in a computer drawing   I inserted the picture into my profile Facebook picture.  I liked the way it came out. 

I arrived around 6 p.m. well ahead of my 8:55 p.m. screening. I was kind of late because I was suppose to meet my friend Ann, a person I have come to know, one of the only few women to know as a friend in Vancouver than most people.  She’s about my age and Chinese.  When I walked right through the door at the Carnegie Centre, she stood there to my left.  Could not believe it!  This happened when she invited me to the Chinese New Year’s Parade 09.  In the beginning when I arrived at the parade, there were a lot of people who came to view the parade. I searched for her in the crowds and couldn’t find her.  I gave up to find her.  I went to the Carnegie to eat dinner because they serve very good low cost meals.  I saw her there!   It just seems it was meant to be to find her among the millions of people.  Amazing! 

I wanted to view the other documentaries there.  I really got into all the documentaries. Very good.  Mine was one of the few documentary dramas.  Could classify it as that, too.  I liked all of them.  I learned a lot about Vancouver’s and BC’s history in regards to the Chinese, Japanese, the downtown East Side area/residents and  the Coast Salish, the First Nations people who lived here before Vancouver BC was built upon their land/culture similar as the rest of the Americas.  

Also, the screening looked good of The Graffiti.  The colors and focus of the video were right on.  I had a short question/answer period but that was okay.  One woman complimented Mark J. McLeod’s songs.  Other people have asked about the songs before.  For me it is a sign that if the public is interested in the songs from this video, therefore, when Mark J. McLeod creates and promotes his cd demo of songs written and sung, it will create an interest from the public.  Another audience member made a very insightful response to the Graffiti screening.  She said I portrayed the racism in an honest way.  Because of this open portrayal of racism of this First Nations/Indigenous women, people do not want to face the racism they have towards First Nations/Indigenous people.  Once a Dine’ woman expressed it just like that about the Navajo Talking Picture.  She said it was like the heart was open.For some people it’s hard to look at and experience it.  It’s true that people do not want to deal with true heavy issues.  When people view the video, the feelings and issues are brought out of the closet to the surface.  People have to face it or shun it or however a person deals with it.  I kind of thought it might be that way, but didn’t know for sure.  It created an understanding about the public I knew existed, but in a way I couldn’t confirm it.  When she said that, my feelings were clarified.  Over all I had a good response. 

Ann said she’d give me a ride to where my VW bus was parked near Jackson and Prior Streets.  As I sat in her car, I saw some people dressed in costumes walk down the Hastings street sidewalk.  I could tell the people really worked on them, put some time and effort to create them.  I said to Ann.  Look at them.  I said, I have a camera.  Do mind if I went out to see if I can get a picture of them.  She said okay. I ran to catch up with the two people in costume I saw.  They weren’t far away.  I asked as I caught up to them, Can I take your picture?  I took a picture quickly.  It looked good. IMG_6157_1Do you want me to e mail this pic?  Both nodded no. They were both very gracious about it.  Very.  Usually I can’t really tell how the pic looks until I view the still photo on the computer screen, a test for me.  Can view every flaw.  The small Canon camera has a small lcd screen.  Sometimes the focus is way off.  I am suppose go by the green light that appears to okay if the shot is in focus or not. I am not use to automatic cameras.  I usually focus shots manually. 

Glad she gave me a ride to my car because it is a little lonely to walk on the streets 10:30 p.m. or so, especially where I parked my car.  Have to look out and check to note if someone may jump me. I’ve been jumped before in LA.  Since that incident, I always look  around as I insert the key into my driver’s handle to open the car door.  She waited for me as I opened the door and wiped the windows so I could see when I drove. That took a minute. 

I drove home on the Canada 1.  Made it over a bridge, one of 3 bridges to cross over to Surrey because the Fraser River runs through.  Have to cross over the river.  Exited off the 152 St.  Ended up getting lost.  Completely lost.  A little worried about the low gas in the car at the same time.  I had to stop at a convenience store and ask:  I’m lost.   A customer from India dressed contemporarily walked in. He went out of his way to show me how to get to my apartment in Surrey.  He drew a map of the route on a piece of paper.

When I stepped out of my VW and walked to my apartment, I saw the moon glow overhead among the clouds on Halloween night. It looked like the moon provided enough available light to take a picture.  I took some moon shots.  That’s how it went on October 31st,  the aftermath of Halloween night as I write this.