Native Spirit Film Festival 2013

• October 1, 2013 • Comments (0)

The Native Spirit Foundation announces its 7th Annual Film Festival: 12-19 October 2013 at SOAS, London

Native Spirit

This year’s festival will screen over 30 films celebrating Indigenous cultures, premiering award-winning films and contributions from across the globe, and hosting several Q&A panel discussions with international guests. The programme of films includes documentaries, feature films, shorts and animation from the Americas, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Kenya, Taiwan and China. The festival showcases Native filmmakers and provides a platform for Indigenous voices.

The opening weekend is dedicated to Mayan and Mexica peoples, commencing with a ceremony by the Atlachinolli Aztec Dancers. A delegation from Mexico will speak about their documentary, CHANANTSKUA followed by the UK premiere of the highly acclaimed, award-winning film HEART OF SKY HEART OF EARTH. Another UK premiere, 2012 THE MAYAN WORD, screens on Sunday evening with Q&A by a UK-based Mayan, Dr Genner Llanes-Ortiz.


Heart of Sky Heart of Earth Cave Ceremony

Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth. Cave Ceremony

HEART OF SKY HEART OF EARTH directed by Frauke Sandig and Eric Black. Winner of multiple awards and a number of Special Jury Mentions worldwide. Beautifully filmed over many years, the film follows the everyday and ceremonial life of six young Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment. The intimate accounts of the protagonists interweave with images of natures’ fragile beauty and the creation myth of the Popol Vuh.

2012 THE MAYAN WORD directed by Melissa Gunasena, is both a message of hope and a call to action. Featuring testimonies from contemporary Mayans throughout Mesoamerica, including spiritual guides, activists, community leaders, farmers, artists, teachers and children, this film is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Mayan struggle and spirituality. Followed by a Q&A with Dr Genner Llanes-Ortiz, Mayan Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of London.

Aluna The Movie

Aluna The Movie

Other films include: ALUNA directed by Alan Ereira, made by and with the Kogi, a genuine lost civilisation hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. It is the second film made by Alan who was first summoned by the Kogi over 20 years ago to film their urgent message to the world. That first film had a stunning global impact and is now probably the most celebrated film ever made about a tribal people. YOUNG LAKOTA, following three young people on the Pine Ridge Reservation trying to create a better future for Native women. WE CAN’T EAT GOLD, winner of the Triangle Award, is a documentary about an Alaskan native community sharing their way of life and defending the world’s largest salmon runs against the impacts of the world’s largest gold mine. Followed by a Q&A panel with Bobby Andrew (Nunamta Aulukestai Spokesman), Thomas Tilden and director Joshua Tucker. From Taiwan Indigenous TV: THE CRYING BAMBOO FOREST, one man’s journey learning from his father how to pass down Tayal traditions to the next generation. After losing his homeland, and living in hopelessness, he eventually hardens like a vine to live as a strong Tayal. DREAM OF THE FLYING TATALA is part documentary, part animation. THE MOSUO SISTERS, a tale of two sisters from one of the world’s last remaining matriarchal societies, forced to make hard choices among the vast cultural and economic divides that define contemporary China; Short films feature contributions from the Wapikoni Mobile autonomous project (delegates at this year’s UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues); UESHKAT INNIUM (In Days Gone By) an Innu portrait; WISH UPON A STAR a Canadian contribution by Russel Ratt.



For more information:

See the website for further details and updates:

Click here for the: 2013 PROGRAMME 


SOAS School of Oriental & African Studies
Thornhaugh St off Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Donation at Door £5-10




The Native Spirit Film Festival is part of the Native Spirit Foundation, a UK registered non-profit organisation promoting education and the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples. The Foundation aims to inspire new possibilities for understanding life, by celebrating the strength and potential of the human spirit.

Since 2007, the organisation has produced the Annual Native Spirit Festival celebrating Indigenous culture with film screenings, workshops and performances. Throughout the year, Native Spirit holds special events generating a permanent platform for dialogue between the Indigenous world and industrialised societies. Native Spirit events are non-commercial, non-competitive and run entirely by volunteers.


See here a film of messages bought to us from Maya, Kuna, Mapuche and Aymara Elders at the Native Spirit Festival in 2010.





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Category: Events, Spotlight

Amy Woodrow Arai

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Since graduating with a degree in politics and development, Amy has been working on issues concerned with Indigenous rights, biodiversity protection, alternative economics and action on global climate change. She worked with the Native Spirit Foundation, which provides a platform for dialogue between the Indigenous world and modern societies, coordinating an annual film festival and workshops, screenings and events through the year. She also worked at the Gaia Foundation, working with communities to revive Indigenous knowledge to secure land, seed, food and water sovereignty and to protect Sacred Natural Sites. She worked specifically on highlighting the devastating impact of the global extractive industries and supporting communities to strengthen resistance to mining in their territories. Concerning the challenges that face humanity today, she believes that there is much to learn (and re-learn) from Indigenous cultures and traditional knowledge. She is also excited by the many possibilities and social movements presenting alternatives to our unsustainable global economy.

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