National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase 2016 to Open in Santa Fe

"What was Ours" is one of featured films chosen to be shown.

“What was Ours” is one of featured films chosen to be shown.

Weeklong Event Also Features “State of the Art” Symposium and Classification X Winning Films

Published August 6, 2016

SANTA FE —The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will present the 16th annual Native Cinema Showcase, the museum’s premier film event, during the week of Aug. 16–21 in Santa Fe, N.M. The showcase runs in conjunction with the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest juried show of Native fine art in the world. Held at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, the showcase will screen more than 40 feature-length and short films, including the winners of SWAIA’s moving-image category, Classification X. A special outdoor screening will take place Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Santa Fe Railyard. Admission to all events is free.

Featured films include What Was Ours (2015, 75 min.), Fractured Land (2015, 75 min.), Mekko (2015, 87 min.), Born to Dance (2015, 96 min.) and Fire Song (2015, 85 min.). For scheduled show times and full event schedules, including post-screening discussions with filmmakers and actors, visit the Native Cinema Showcase website at

The museum will also host a “State of the Art” symposium Friday, Aug. 19, at 3 p.m. at the New Mexico History Museum. Many art museums across the United States are reconsidering their collections of American Indian art given new developments in Native American studies and art history. Moderated by David W. Penney, associate director for scholarship of the National Museum of the American Indian, the symposium features an accomplished panel of art museum directors who will discuss how their organizations are helping audiences see American Indian art in new ways.

“Throughout the past few decades, Native film has seen exponential, noteworthy growth,” said Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “Since 2001, the showcase has presented nearly a thousand films—an impressive number but still only a small fraction of the works being produced. The films we choose to screen are not only among the best, but culturally significant and representative of many diverse viewpoints.”


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