San Marcos,
09:12 AM

CSUSM Presents Second Annual San Diego American Indian Film Festival, Nov. 20-22, 2014 “Seeing Ourselves Through Our Own Lens”

Media Advisory by Margaret Chantung

The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is pleased to host the Second Annual San Diego American Indian Film Festival (SDAIFF). Screenings will take place at CSUSM and at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Nov. 20-22.

Kiowa/Choctaw artist and activist Steven Paul Judd eloquently expressed the 2014 SDAIF Festival them on canvas and in words as “Seeing Ourselves Through Our Own Lens.” SDAIFF is a grassroots community event organized by the CICSC in collaboration with it tribal and university partners. The SDAIFF was developed with the aim to bring high quality, culturally relevant and inspiring films about American Indian life and culture to San Diego.

Located in the heart of southern California’s Indian country, the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos is the nexus for innovating partnerships between American Indians, academics and the regional community. The SDAIFF is a product of this innovation and it is rapidly becoming a “don’t miss” event. Screenings are scheduled each year both at CSUSM’s arts theaters and on a local Indian Reservation to literally bring the movies and moviegoers “home” to American Indian communities.

SDAIFF has an eclectic lineup of over 20 films, documentaries, shorts and music videos for the audience’s viewing pleasure and cinematic education over a three-day period. The SDAIFF is delighted to strengthen tribal cultural sovereignty in film, media and the arts by providing an accessible, fun, engaging and unique platform to showcase American Indian life, culture, history and stories about the lived realities Native Americans face both past and present.

Notable guests and screenings will include director/writer Jeff Barnaby ("Rhymes for Young Ghouls"), a special tribute to the late Charlie Hill with a comedy showcase, actress Shay Eyre ("Empire of Dirt), and a special presentation of "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101" with special guest LaDonna Harris. Tribal leaders and professionals from the region will also serve as moderators at many of our Q&A sessions.

Opportunities for youth will include a Saturday “shorts” program facilitated by artist, filmmaker and humanitarian Steven Paul Judd as well as student films selected from surrounding tribal communities.

All SDAIFF events are all open to the general public, with prices ranging from $5 to $7 per ticket. Tickets may be purchased online. One hundred CSUSM students will be admitted free (tickets available at the CICSC office). See schedule below for specific program details.

Thursday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. – “Rhymes for Young Ghouls”

CSUSM—Arts Building, room 111

Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 18 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna's, a residential boarding school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. She sells dope to pay her "truancy tax". When Aila's drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, the precarious balance of Aila's world is destroyed. Her only options are to run or fight...and Mi'gMaq don't run.

Following the screening there will be a Q&A session with Director/Writer Jeff Barnabymoderated by Tishmall Turner (Luiseño) and Dr. Joely Proudfit (Luiseño).

Friday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. – “Friday Night Funnies: A Tribute to Charlie Hill”

CSUSM— Arts Building, room 111

A special tribute to Charlie Hill with comedy showcase and screening of On & Off the Res' with Charlie Hill. The documentary documents the art of stand-up comedy and Indian humor through the experiences of comedian Charlie Hill.

Mr. Abel Silvas (Juaneño), Mr. Jim Ruel (Ojibwe), and Shishonia Livingston (Navajo)—three Native comedians/actors—will participate in a panel discussion about Charlie Hill’s influence on their journeys.

Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m. –“Sycuan: Our People. Our Culture. Our History.”

Pechanga Resort & Casino—Hummingbird Hall

The 48-minute Emmy-award winning program tells the story of Sycuan and the Kumeyaay nation through the words of its people—Tribal elders, Council leaders, family members and the next generation. Augmented by incisive observations from Native American historians and a range of subject matter experts, this documentary follows the incredible 12,500 year journey of a People who has survived against overwhelming odds to become a sovereign, prosperous nation who continues to honor its past while building its future and positively impacting their community.

Saturday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. – Youth Track

Pechanga Resort & Casino—Mountain Lion and Turtle rooms

Opportunities for youth, 12 to 18 years old, include a Saturday afternoon shorts program, hosted by Artist, Filmmaker and Humanitarian Steven Paul Judd, featuring student films selected from the surrounding tribal community.

Saturday, Nov. 22 at 2:30 p.m. – “LaDonna Harris: Indian 101”

Pechanga Resort & Casino—Hummingbird room

A documentary film about Comanche activist LaDonna Harris, who led an extensive life of Native political and social activism, and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders.

A Q&A session will follow the screening with LaDonna Harris moderated by the Mr. Denis Turner (Luiseñ0) the Executive Director of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association.

Saturday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. – “Once We Had a River”

Pechanga Resort & Casino – Hummingbird Hall

A documentary about the San Luis Rey Indian Water Settlement Act, and one of California Indian Legal Services very first cases.

Attorney General for the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, Denise Turner-Walsh (Luiseño), will moderate a Q&A following the film alongside Chairwoman LaVonne Peck, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians and Chairman Bo Mazzetti, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.

Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. – “Empire of Dirt”

Pechanga Resort & Casino – Hummingbird Hall

Going home was never an option for single mother Lena Mahikan. But when her 13-year-old, Peeka overdoses in the streets of Toronto, she is forced to return home to her estranged mother and face a life-long legacy of shame and resentment. Empire of Dirt is a story about second chances and summoning the power of family to soothe pain of cyclical damage.

Q&A with Director Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) and Shahela Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) moderated by Dr. Joely Proudfit (Luiseño) and Tishmall Turner (Luiseño).

For more information contact:

Joely Proudfit, CSUSM, 760-750-3535,

Who: The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), and American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors and actors working throughout Indian Country

What: The Second Annual San Diego American Indian Film Festival (SDAIFF)

Why: To showcase the finest work in current American Indian film and media, and spotlight American Indian lives, interests and issues.

When: Thursday, Nov. 20 through Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Tickets: Purchase tickets online. Prices range from $5 to $7 per screening. One hundred tickets are available for free to CSUSM students at the CICSC office.

Where: Festival screenings and activities will take place Thursday, Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 21 at CSUSM, located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos. For more information including driving directions, campus map and parking fees, visit the CSUSM Parking Guide.

Festival screenings and activities will take place Saturday, Nov. 22 at Pechanga Resort & Casino, 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. Parking is free. For driving directions, please visit the Pechanga Resort & Casino website.


About the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center

The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center is a welcoming place for students, faculty, staff and members of all tribal communities. Beautifully located on the campus of California State University San Marcos in the San Elijo Hills, the Center is housed in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building. The CICSC fosters collaborative research and community service relationships between the faculty, staff and students at CSUSM and members of tribal communities for the purpose of developing and conducting research projects that support the maintenance of sovereignty and culture within those communities.