Native Filmmakers Encouraged to Submit Films to Indian Market’s Classification X: Moving Images

Santa Fe FilmPublished April 30, 2016

SANTA FE — Six years ago “Class X” was added as a juried category to the 95-year-old Santa Fe Indian Market, and SWAIA has seen a substantial increase in the quantity and quality of submissions in that time period. Native filmmakers can submit films in the following categories: Narrative Short (fiction), Animation Short, Music Video, Full length Feature, Documentary Short (nonfiction), Youth Short (in three age groups), and Experimental Short (new creative uses of film/video; techniques, and form). The Sundance Institute, under its Native American and Indigenous Initiative, will return as the award’s sponsor for all three age groups in the Youth Shorts competition.

A panel of esteemed film professionals decides winners in each category who are then eligible for ‘Best of Classification,’ as well as ‘Best of Show’ awards. The awards recognize an artist’s dedication and skill while retaining a commitment to traditional narratives and techniques. This year’s “Class X” applications are available online at]. Submission deadline is June 3, 2016.

Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfeet) is the Class X Film Manager for SWAIA. “Last year we had a record number of entries (48), and we are gearing up to break that record in 2016! We are proud to have the opportunity to show award-winning films from Indian Country to national and international audiences during Santa Fe Indian Market,” says Ms. Myers.

The public can view the winning films on Friday, August 19, at the Native Cinema Showcase. The Native Cinema Showcase is a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and SWAIA. The Showcase presents roughly 5-10 full-length films, plus 50+ shorts (including SWAIA’s Class X winners). The majority of the screenings will be held at the New Mexico History Museum, located in downtown Santa Fe. Films will screen beginning Tuesday, August 16, through Sunday, August 21, 2016. All screenings are free to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Many Class X winners have gone on to make notable contributions, including the following alumni from 2015:

  • “Isabelle’s Garden” by Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) (winner of Best Narrative Short): Winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Short Film Challenge on World Poverty and Hunger at Sundance Film Festival. Jeffrey is directing an upcoming “American Masters” segment on PBS about N. Scott Momaday
  • Jonathan Thunder (Chippewa/Ojibwe), winner of the Animation Short and Experimental Short categories, was recently awarded an IAIA residency
  • Matthew Martinez (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) “A Thousand Voices” (winner in the Youth Short Feature category) was nominated for an Emmy, and has recently been screened on PBS
  • Echota Cheyenne Killsnight (Northern Cheyenne/Keetoowah), who won the Music Video category for “True Pride Reality,” was recently awarded the American Indian College Fund 2016 Henry Luce Scholarship to direct a documentary on Native college enrollment

This year’s Indian Market takes place August 20-21, 2016 in downtown Santa Fe.



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