Sundance Institute Indigenous Program Shorts

Birit Haarla and Katja Haarla appear in <i>Birds in the Earth</i>  by Marja Helander, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Marja Helander.

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Art House Convergence, a North American coalition of community-based, mission-driven movie theaters, and the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program have partnered to provide a slate of six Indigenous short films to screen during National Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month in November.

Birds in the Earth (11 minutes), Marja Helander (Sámi)
Examining the deeper questions of the ownership of the Sami land through the ballet performances of two young dancers. (Playing before Scared of Revolution and Falls Around Her)

Fainting Spells (10 minutes), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)
Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Indian pipe plant used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted. (Playing before The Mystery of Picasso and Dawnland)

Jáaji Approx. (8 minutes), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)
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. (Playing before I Miss you When I See You and Falls Around Her)

My Father’s Tools (7 minutes), Heather Condo (Mi’gmaq)
Stephen continues producing traditional baskets to honor his father and thus finds peace in his studio as he connects with the man who taught him the craft. (Playing before Yardie and Falls Around Her)

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (4 minutes), Eva Kaukai (Inuit) and Manon Chamberland (Inuit)
Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in the small village of Kangirsuk, in their native Arctic land. Interspliced with footage of the four seasons of Kangirsuk by Johnny Nassak. (Playing before Kids Flicks Two, The Last Waltz, and Dawnland)

Shiinaab Part II (8 minutes), Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
A look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process as a young man strives to honor his late father. (Playing before The Matrix and Dawnland)