Six Indigenous Filmmakers Set to Premiere Their Films at the Sundance Film Festival

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Published January 13, 2016

PARK CITY, UTAH—Sundance Institute’s commitment to supporting Native artists is woven throughout the organization’s history, as the Native American and Indigenous Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle throughout the 22 years of its formal existence within the Institute. Through sustained and continuous support of filmmakers with grants, Labs, mentorships and the platform of the Sundance Film Festival, great strides have been made in nurturing an Indigenous-created body of cinema.

In the spirit of supporting Indigenous filmmakers, we’re highlighting the titles of the Indigenous-made films that will be premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival later this month. These films competed against a pool of 12,793 submissions, to be selected among the 122 feature films and 72 short films playing at the Festival.


Hunt for the Wilderpeople / New Zealand, Director: Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui)

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

The Land / U.S.A., Producer: Blake Pickens (Chickasaw Nation)

The brotherhood of four friends is tested when they try to escape the shackles of Cleveland by becoming drug dealers for a summer.

Tallulah / U.S.A., Producer: Heather Rae (Cherokee)

The story of a rootless young woman, who takes a toddler from her wealthy, negligent mother and passes the baby off as her own in an effort to protect her. This decision connects and transforms the lives of three very different women.


Jaaji Approx. / U.S.A., Director: Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga)

Against landscapes that the artist and his father traversed, audio of the father in the Ho-Chunk language is transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which tapers off, narrowing the distance between recorder and recordings, new and traditional, memory and song.

The Grandfather Drum / Canada, Director: Michelle Derosier (Anishinaabe)

As the balance of the world turns upside down for the Anishinabek people, the elder Naamowin builds a healing drum to save his grandson and his people.

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