Chickasaw Cultural Center to Host Two-day Native Film Festival

Anoli Theater

Anoli Theater

Published August 11, 2016

SULPHUR, OKLAHOMA – Native films and filmmakers will be showcased Aug. 12-13 during the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Holba’ Pisachi’ Native Film Festival.

The festival will feature a wide variety of Native films as well as shine a light on indigenous filmmakers and the creative process of these modern-day storytellers.

Films and filmmakers from across the U.S. will be presented at the cultural center’s Anoli’ Theater on its 40-foot tall large-format screen.

Activities begin at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 12, with a screening of the documentary “Behind The Scenes,” followed by a sneak preview of the documentary “Shash Jaa’:  Bears Ears” and films by Angelo Baca’s students. Baca, a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology, teaches Native American Literature and Film courses at New York University.

The comedy short “Other,” directed by Rod Pocowatchit, plays at 11:30 a.m. The paranormal documentary “Our Church” will be screened at 12:45 p.m. followed by a question and answer session with Choctaw filmmaker Mark Williams at 2 p.m.

The film “DreamKeeper,” starring actor Eddie Spears, shows at 2:30 p.m. A panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. titled “Actions of the Storyteller On-screen:  the Traditional Connections of Myths and Reality” features Spears and filmmaker Chris Eyre.

The award-winning film “The Revenant” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer forum with a film representative at 9:10 p.m.

“The Revenant” is based on a true story about trapper Hugh Glass who must fight to survive after being attacked by a bear and left for dead.

Saturday’s events open at 10:30 a.m. with films by Baca’s students. Beginning at 11 a.m., “First Contact” will be shown, followed by two of Steven P. Judd’s films, “Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco” and “Ronnie BoDean,” starring Wes Studi.

A question-and-answer session with director Chris Eyre, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, will begin at 11:30 a.m. “Empire of Dirt,” directed by Peter Stebbings, screens at 1 p.m., followed by an episode of Eyre’s “We Shall Remain” titled “Trail of Tears” at 3 p.m.

“We Are Still Here:  Sharing Respective Cultures,” a panel discussion featuring Williams, Eyre and Spears, will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by a red carpet meet and greet at 5 p.m.

The film “Black Cloud” will be shown at 6:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session with actor Eddie Spears. The film is about a young Navajo boxer with dreams of winning a place on the USA Olympic team.

The Holba’ Pisachi’ Native Film Festival is open to the public at no charge. A complete schedule and film descriptions are listed below. Schedule is subject to change.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center, located at 867 Cooper Memorial Drive in Sulphur, is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, call (580) 622-7130 or visit

Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Holbaꞌ Pisachiꞌ Native Film Festival Featured Films

“Behind The Scenes”

A short Chickasaw film about the building of the Chickasaw Cultural Center and what it offers.

“Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears”

This short film follows Director, Angelo Baca and his grandmother, and the tribes’ efforts to convince the Obama administration to designate Bears Ears as a protected national monument, which would keep all 1.9 million wilderness acres safe from being developed.


A comedy short where a native man is interviewing for a job, but finds issue with having to mark his race as “other” on his application.

“Our Church”

The Native American Paranormal Project (N.A.P.P.) investigates reports of paranormal activity at a church in Sasakwa, Oklahoma


An old storyteller takes his grandson to “The Great Pow-wow” and shares his ancient stories along the way.

“The Revenant”

Based on a true story, trapper Hugh Glass is left for dead after being attacked by a bear, and must fight to survive against all odds in order to get justice for the ones he loves.

“First Contact”

A comedy short about two native men debating whether or not to welcome their new European neighbors.

“Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco”

An elder shares a story with a young boy, a story about a man’s quest for true love.

“Ronnie BoDean”

Ronnie BoDean (Wes Studi) wakes up to see his neighbor being arrested. When her children arrive home from school, he takes it upon himself to teach them his “warrior” ways.

“Empire of Dirt”

Three generations of native women struggle to connect due to their generation gap.

“We Shall Remain”

This episode of “We Shall Remain” tells how the Cherokee people resisted removal from their land in every way they knew. Titled “Trail of Tears,” more than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way.

“Black Cloud”

The story of a young Navajo boxer with hopes of making his way onto the USA Olympic team.

Holbaꞌ Pisachiꞌ Native Film Festival Schedule

10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, 2016
10:30 a.m. “Behind The Scenes”
Sneak Preview of “Shash Jaa’:  Bears Ears”
Films by students of Angelo Baca
11:30 a.m. “Other”
12:45 p.m. “Our Church”
2 p.m. Mark Williams Q&A
2:30 p.m. “DreamKeeper”
5:30 p.m. panel: “Actions of the Storyteller On-screen:  the Traditional Connections of Myths and Reality” With Eddie Spears, Lower Brule’ Sioux; Chris Eyre, Cheyenne-Arapaho
6:30 p.m. “The Revenant”
9:10 p.m. Q&A
10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016
10:30 a.m. Films by students of Angelo Baca
11 a.m. “First Contact”
“Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco”
“Ronnie BoDean”
11:30 a.m. Chris Eyre Q&A
1 p.m. “Empire of Dirt”
3 p.m. “We Shall Remain”
4:30 p.m. panel: “We Are Still Here:  Sharing Respective Cultures” with Mark Williams, Choctaw; Chris Eyre, Cheyenne-Arapaho; Eddie Spears, Lower Brule’ Sioux
5 p.m. Red Carpet Meet & Greet
6:30 p.m. “Black Cloud”
8:10 p.m. Eddie Spears Q&A

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