RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the Historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA will host the inaugural Pocahontas Reframed: Native American Storytellers Film Festival on November 17-19. The festival aims to provide a premier Native American and First Nations film festival for the East Coast, and foster an increased awareness of, and exposure to, indigenous languages, cultures, and cinematic contributions. The festival is a collaboration between Virginia Indian tribes; local universities; the Virginia Film Office; and the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™.
The festival will bring together filmmakers, artists, and comedians, with representatives from the featured films on hand for the duration of the festival to facilitate discussion between festival-goers and the artistic community. Featured screenings include recently-released films that have been official selections of world-renowned festivals, as well as various distinguished classics from Native American voices that speak to pertinent issues today.
“This one-of-a-kind festival will celebrate Virginia’s rich history and culture, honor the at-times difficult journey that has brought us where we are today, and help mold the discussion about what we want for the future,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia has become a leading destination for the arts community, and we are thrilled to have what will be the premier Native American film festival on the East Coast here in the Commonwealth.”
This year’s festival features 13 films and three live performances written, directed and/or produced by Native American artists. The curated line-up includes the buzzed-about documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World from Catherine Bainbridge and Stevie Salas, which shines a spotlight on the Native American musicians who contributed to the formation and evolution of rock n’ roll music. Also on the itinerary is the critically acclaimed film Kissed by Lightning, accompanied by celebrated producer, director and artist Shelley Niro. The full schedule is available for viewing on the festival website, www.pocahontasreframed.org.
Featured guests include celebrated Native American comedy troupe the 1491s; musical artists Nataanii Means and ElizaBeth Hill; directors Neil Diamond, Darlene Naponse, Sheldon Wolfchild, and Steven Lewis Simpson; writer Jeannie Barbour; and actor George Aguilar. Also in attendance will be award-winning French cinematographer and Cannes Film Festival board member Pierre William Glenn, as well as France’s celebrated actress Josiane Balasko, the recipient of seven César Award nominations.
Festival Director Brad Brown said, “Our goal with Pocahontas Reframed is to provide an opportunity for all to celebrate and explore the variety and depth of Native American experiences and culture from an indigenous perspective. The festival has already brought together representatives from across the commonwealth and varied backgrounds and communities, all in the shared dream of creating a festival for both Native and non-Native audiences to celebrate and gain a deeper, authentic understanding of American Indian histories and cultures. I am honored to help bring this vision to life.”
The festival’s primary sponsor is Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™. The 2019 Commemoration examines the continued impact from the 1619 collision of three cultures in Virginia – Virginia Indian, English and African – and explores the untold stories that have had an enduring impact on 400 years of Virginia and United States’ history. Additional sponsors and partners include Virginia Tribes; the Byrd Theatre and Foundation; Froehling and Robertson, Inc.; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Berkeley Hotel; the Virginia Film Office; the French Film Festival; and director Francis Ford Coppola.
Kathy Spangler, Executive Director of the 2019 Commemoration added, “We are proud to be sponsors of this important festival. This film festival offers inspiring and important stories to the American Evolution narrative. Learning about our past is crucial to understanding where we are today and where we are headed as a society and culture.”
A press conference with special guests from the festival will take place Friday, November 17 at 11 AM at Virginia Commonwealth University. In attendance will be comedy troupe the 1491s, musician Nataanii Means, and filmmakers and artists Neil Diamond, Sheldon Wolfchild, Darlene Naponse, Shelley Niro, ElizaBeth Hill, George Aguilar, and Pierre William Glenn.
For more information on Pocahontas Reframed visit www.pocahontasreframed.org. The festival is free to attend. Guests should register in advance on the festival website.
For more information on the 2019 Commemoration visit www.americanevolution2019.com.