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OUR FIRES STILL BURN - The Native Experience - documentary
2016 - 60 min.
This exciting and compelling one hour documentary invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native role models. It dispels the myth that First Nations have disappeared from the horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make significant contributions to society. (149.00)
NANABOZHUNG - We Are the Solution - documentary
2016 - 80 min.
After being 'rounded up' into reserves, after the imposition of the Indian Act and their forced re-education in the residential schools, can these First Nations people continue to survive in this urban environment? Can we afford to allow their culture to die when it puts the preservation of the environment above all else? From an emotional and Intellectual point of view we come to realize that 'First Nations are not the problem. They are the solution to the problem'. Directed by Lia Williams, Produced by Guy Hibbert (149.00)
JOURNEY OF HOPE - Life Altering Experiences - documentary
back to the land - 2015 - 60 min.
The amazing story of transformation in the lives of several aboriginal youth at risk who have struggled through alcoholism, drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse, attempted suicide, and lives of crime. 12 young people were "taken back to the land" in the wilderness of Northern Quebec to re-connect with their roots and regain their identity as young Cree men and women who have a hope and a future. (149.00)
THE DUGOUT - Working together - documentary
a community can heal itself - 2011 - 80 min.
19 young people, off the grid on an island in the Yukon River, must carve a sea-going canoe true to an ancient design that will carry them off the island. In the process they will live together bonded by creative work, and transform themselves. This film is about the redemptive power of art and about the power of community to heal community. (149.00)
RISE OF THE SALMON PEOPLE - Environment - documentary
2016 - 25 min.
Five thousand people gathered to demand the removal of Salmon fish farms. This gathering galvanized the movement of the "Salmon People" to create change. This film explores the highly controversial salmon fish farms and the people that stand against them. (99.00)
LACROSSE - The Creator's Game - documentary
one of the oldest team sports - 25 min.
An entertaining documentary about the oldest organized team sport in North America. Explores: The history of lacrosse and its spiritual significance to natives; their generosity in sharing lacrosse with non natives, and the period during which they were excluded from playing lacrosse on the professional circuit. Interviews with modern lacrosse players and native leaders are interwoven with archival footage and photographs of the native teams that played before Queen Victoria. (99.00)
GOSHEN - The Running People! - documentary
how one native band stays healthy - 2015 - 85 min.
A powerful documentary depicting the diet and daily lifestyle of the Tarahumara, a light-footed running tribe, who are striving to maintain their ancient culture against all odds. They are skilled subsistence farmers, renowned for their incredible long distance running endurance and prevention of modern chronic diseases. GOSHEN will inspire you to take part in preserving the native seeds and running traditions of the Tarahumara. Awards: International Independent Films Awards, Prestige Films Awards, Golden Palm Award, IndiePest Film Awards, Accolade Film Competition (149.00)
NATIVE YOUNG! - documentary
legacy - the Residential Schools - 2012 - 28 min.
Raunchy and upbeat and really reaching a youth audience - Native Young! is told through the eyes of a native punk rock band and explores the lingering and damaging effects that the residential schools still have on generations of First Nations communities. It challenges difficult and confusing Canadian political views and highlights other challenges faced by many native people in Canada. The band's experience of growing up, working and living on reserve is featured while the band's music - unapologetic and ferocious - provides musical landscapes for the film. An unfiltered lens for First Nations youth to share their stories. (99.00)
LIFE ON THE RESERVE - documentary - BEST SELLER
an inside look at what it's really like - 2011 - 24 min.
A new documentary that highlights the significant challenges that people living on reserves have to deal with, as well as the hope they have for their community, as told by the residents themselves. Graham Shonfield, the 19-year old documentary filmmaker, had volunteered for development work in Africa, but nothing prepared him for the impoverished conditions that he experienced first hand in Northern Ontario at Gull Bay First Nation reserve. Although Gull Bay is only one reserve in this great country, it has similarities to them all. (149.00)
THE MEDICINE WHEEL - documentary
a secret look into Native spirituality! - 2005 - 24 min.
An emotional story of First Nations spirituality told in the first person by a Cree woman. Visually moving segments highlight the Sweat Lodge and Pipe Ceremonies as she explores the timelessness and the meaning of the Wheel that may be at the center of native spirituality. The viewer learns, as our host learns, the significance of one's own personal spiritual journey through life and the "teachings" within the Medicine Wheel. A must see for all audiences. Broadcast: CTV Television - AWARD - CANPRO Silver Medal, Best Documentary - N.A.J.A. - ($99.00)
WHOSE LAND IS THIS? - documentary
truthful history of land ownership - 2005 - 43 min.
Who owns our land? This exciting, fast paced one hour documentary about First Nations' historical and contemporary relationship to Canadian governments in settling the land question in Canada. As historical reenacted segments document the "truth" of settlement and treaties in Canada, modern candid moments with the Provincial and Federal governments and many prominent First Nations highlight emotional and political perspectives on the land question in Canada. Upbeat and emotionally moving and informative - for all audiences. Broadcast: Global TV. - AWARD - American Indian Film Festival. ($149.00)
MAKING TREATIES - documentary
truthful history of treaty making - 2005 - 43 min.
On the making of our modern Indian treaties - presenting an emotional and personal approach to the outcomes of the modern treaty process in Canada. Profiles on First Nations blend with input from resource developers and governments as the program weaves our tale of land ownership and forecasts our economic future. By presenting a balanced perspective, native and non-native alike, and by educating a concerned public, we may begin to build the very needed bridges and the dialogue that must exist for all societies to coexist in Canada. The program is a must-see for all audiences. Broadcast: Global Television. ($149.00)
NATIVE WOMEN: POLITICS - documentary
truthful history of aboriginal women - 2003 - 25 min.
An emotionally moving and upbeat program that gives voice to Aboriginal women. Historical segments in the program contrast the traditional equality of power, male to female within native communities, versus the regression in the roles and power of First Nations women in Canada under European dominance. Strong women "leaders" emphasize how they view the rebuilding of balanced self-government within their community in the future. The Indian Act and Bill C31 are examined to highlight their effect on First Nations women. Broadcast: Global Television - AWARD - Best Documentary, Native American Journalists Assoc. ($99.00)
FIRST NATIONS ROLE MODELS - documentary
profiling four success stories - 2001 - 24 min.
Profiling four inspirational native leaders. A publisher, an educator, a Metis political leader and a fisher woman / filmmaker are profiled in this unique examination of prominent First Nations people. As we travel from community to community we discover a variety of First Nations "communication" of philosophy and ideals and we discover Role Models for First Nations everywhere. A great and inspirational program for young and old. Broadcast: CTV Television - AWARD - Certificate of Honor, American Indian Film Festival. ($99.00)
LIVING IN TWO WORLDS - documentary
native people seeing themselves - 2004 - 24 min.
A Richard Hersley Production - This is perhaps one of the best documentaries available on how native people see themselves - their past, present and their future. Young native people explore the meaning of being a native in a modern world while traditional elders highlight the past and the meaning of being managers of the land. This very moving and likeable film is a must see for all who want to catch a candid glimpse of native people as they really see themselves and as they struggle to maintain their identity as they live in two worlds - the old and the new. Broadcast on Knowledge Network. ($99.00)
BEAT OF THE DRUM - documentary
inside native music - traditional to modern. 2004 - 24 min.
Profiling four upbeat native musicians. A Richard Hersley production. The drum is the heartbeat of the Mother Earth. To beat the drum is to match the heartbeat. As we sing our songs to the drum we "talk to the spirits". From rock-and-roll to electronic to traditional music - a very upbeat, fast-paced program as four high profile First Nations musical performers and songwriters are profiled. A great fast moving program for all audiences. Broadcast: CTV Television - AWARD - Official Entry, Native American Journalists Association (99.00)
RECLAIMING OUR CHILDREN - documentary
getting our children back! - 2006 - 24 min. Written and Created by the Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord - 24 min. - About 45% of the children in care are First Nations - why is this and what are we doing about it? A tremendous amount of positive energy has been generated around this issue as we are really talking about the future generations and the importance of working together to make sure children have better lives. The program explores the truth about First Nations children in care and suggests new ways of seeing the difficulties that we face. An inspirational and moving program for all audiences - from 12 and up. ($99.00)
THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS - documentary
native stories on the schools - 2004 - 24 min.
This inspiration and very emotionally moving program looks at the other side of the Residential Schools experience. As many First Nations survivors share their stories we come face to face with the fear, confusion and sometimes hurtful experience that were the Residential Schools. Seen from a First Nations perspective we come to realize just what effect these schools have really had on First Nations people then and now and we start to realize some of the healing that has begun as a result of finally facing the truth about these schools. A must see for all audiences! ($99.00)
WATCHERS - action documentary series!
6 part series! - 2013 - 28 min.
This very exciting and entertaining documentary action series follows the training, patrols and search & rescue missions of the largely Inuit Canadian Rangers. Stunning pictures of the north of Canada mix with wonderful and funny personalities to create an exciting mix of entertainment and lessons about the north and about First Nations philosophies. Join these young Inuits in their exciting adventures in two remote High Arctic communities. 6-Part series.
(Sold as series or separately - Series 594.00 or 99.00 per show).
IN SEARCH OF HAMAT'SA - documentary
a tale of dance and headhunting! - 2004 - 33 min.
The Hamat'sa (or "Cannibal Dance") is the most important-and highly represented ceremony of the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) people of British Columbia. This exciting and dramatic film dives into the history of the dance and presents some of the ways in which diverse attitudes toward this history create current dramatic and colorful performances of the Hamat'sa. The film also explores the relationship between First Nations history and the people that have told it. - (195.00)
MAKING A DRUM - documentary
an inside look at making First Nations art - 2013 - 30 min.
MAKING A DRUM - Jorge Lewis, First Nations Artist, shows a step-by-step process on how to build a drum and shares stories and teachings. Jorge is a descendant of powerful Shamans, mask dancers and chiefs. He was taught the craft of drum making by Bill Garton, a Lakota sun dancer, pipe carrier and spiritual leader. (99.00)
VANISHING LINK - documentary
retracing her roots! - 2007 - 60 min.
A very personal and emotionally moving program about one woman's "return" to her spiritual roots and native identity. As this exciting story unfolds through the woman's direct experiences the viewer follows her journey and so travels deeper into her "return". Woven together with riveting stories from Elders brought to life through stirring traditional art, dances, songs, and crafts. Vanishing Link explores native spirituality through the oral traditions of tribal elders while following a unique spiritual quest. A must-see for all audiences. ($149.00)
CEDAR HAT WEAVING - documentary
an inside look at making First Nations art - 2013 - 24 min.
CEDAR HAT WEAVING - The video explores the story of Cedarman and outlines the step-by-step process of cedar hat weaving. It looks as well at the process of cedar bark pulling and discusses the art and philosophy of cedar hat weaving . (99.00)
SUICIDE - IS NOT THE FIRST NATIONS WAY - documentary
problems explored and solutions offered - 2013 - 28 min.
Emotional and hard-hitting this documentary/drama explores the dark reaches of suicide in our First Nations communities. Suicide has become a real threat to some of our young people, families and the very substance of our communities. What can we do? This program explores the depths of the problem and offers the very needed solutions that we all need. Suitable for all audiences. (129.00)
HIV - IF THERE'S A WILL - documentary
solutions on natives and HIV - 2004 - 24 min.
Written and created by Nak'azdli Health Center-
Many First Nation Communities will come face to face with HIV in the very near future. In Northern BC, 74% of newly infected people are First Nations. Many of them will not return home because of the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS.
Why are our people so at risk? The message needs to be heard by all; young, old and everyone in between. We can't ignore the numbers. A finely produced program and a must see for educators, students and community members. ($99.00)
THE STORYTELLERS - documentary
exciting stories of real native people - 2004 - 39 min.
NATIVE PEOPLE saw the history of their land differently than the White man. The early European settlers brought many new things to this land - like horses and guns. They also brought mumps, measles and small pox which destroyed entire Indian Nations. The Indians in return taught the settlers the principles of democracy as well as how to survive on the land and preserve the natural environment. Join us as we tell some of the real stories as they happened to the Native peoples. A wonderful journey thru time and patience and a must see for anyone interested in First Nations. ($149.00)
THE PIPEMAKERS - documentary
the making of the sacred pipe! - 2004 - 38 min. The award-winning true story of the few remaining native people who create the sacred stone Peace Pipes. Digging thru 12 feet of solid rock with hand tools they mine the sacred red pipestone. With clean hearts they fashion the stone into shapes of bears, eagles and other effigies. They come from many different tribes and nations but are recognized by none. They are the vanishing breed called the "Pipemakers".
Shot on location in Pipestone, Minnesota, this beautiful and memorable documentary is the story of a craft that is 1200 years old! ($149.00)
DECEPTION OF FREEDOM - documentary
are we being treated fairly? - 2011 - 24 min.
Told through the eyes and words of native people, this moving and yet brutal story explains some hard truths about our justice system today. A man is in prison, convicted and sentenced to crimes that some say he did not commit. Is he guilty? Did he actually commit a crime or are we being deceived? Deception of Freedom is a must-see for native and non-native alike, concerned with the truth in justice and government today. (149.00)
THE MEDICINE PEOPLE - documentary
First Nations secret ceremonies - 2000 - 38 min.
Exploring and understand First Nations ceremonies! Dive deep into Indian Spirituality ... This exciting and fast-paced film features exclusive and private commentary by powerful medicine people and never-before-filmed spiritual places and ceremonies. From the preparation of the Sweat lodge to the the actual location of the Sundance Ceremony the program offers rare insights into native sacred belief and thought and how they relate to the spiritual world. ($149.00)
SACRED BUFFALO PEOPLE - documentary
our lives depend on the buffalo - 2002 - 36 min.
Engaging, heartbreaking, inspiring - this extraordinary documentary teaches us about our dependence on nature and nature's dependence upon us. A dramatic search into the relationship of the buffalo to the native people of America. This emotional and very moving film explores the powerful bond between Indian people of the Northern Plains and the buffalo. Once revered as a spiritual and cultural icon, today the buffalo serves as a living symbol of native survival. ($149.00)
ECHOES OF THE SISTERS
cancer and emotional inspiration!- 2003 - 27 min. Breast cancer exists and is growing at an alarming rate in North America and breast cancer in First Nations communities is no different. First Nations women are not getting examined regularly by doctors because they either do not trust the process or it is not available to them. There is new hope though, that through education, all women will replace feelings of confusion with knowledge of modern breast cancer awareness and procedures. This video acts as a emotional resource in this important fight against breast cancer and may help to save lives for all our sisters for generations to come and is suitable for audiences 13 and up. AWARD - Best Public Service Documentary, American Indian Film Festival. (available from the First Nations Breast Cancer Society)
UNBOWED - drama
persistence and truth - 2003 - 90 min.
Produced by Filmanthropic, this provocative, Award winning feature film dramatizes the historic attempt to force assimilation of American Indians and African Americans at Southern Negro Colleges in the late 1800s. The little-known period provides a dramatic backdrop for a compelling interracial love story. At its heart, "UnBowed" is a story about courage — the courage to love, even when it's forbidden; the courage to endure when the social, economic or cultural environment changes; and the courage to be different and forge a singular path in a society that demands conformity. AWARDS - Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (179.00)
DANCING ON THE MOON - drama
finding ourselves! - 2010 - 58 min.
The funny, sad and sometimes scary story of Dean, Joey and Mark, three Native American friends who are more like brothers. They're on the road to a powwow, but each is on his own personal journey. Unable to overcome grief since the death of his mother, Dean won't participate in the traditional dances he once loved. Tired of being the screw-up with a big heart, Joey learns that he must rely on his own strengths. And always the hothead, Mark learns to overcome his prejudices and face his own identity. When tragedy strikes, Dean is forced to confront his fears and follow his heart home -- to the powwow world. (149.00)
SLEEPDANCER - drama
the mysteries of death - 2005 - 90 min.
DRAMA - INDEPENDENT - Written by Rodrick Pocowatchat - Sleepdancer follows Derek Smith (Mark Wells), a half-Native American coroner's investigator, as he stumbles upon the mysterious Tommy Jordan (Rodrick Pocowatchit), a Native man whose father has just passed away. Tommy is vulnerable and doesn't speak. Through a series of letters, Derek unravels Tommy's story, and becomes infatuated with helping him while his own relationship crumbles. Sleepdancer is about love, loss and fractured family. Great for all audiences. ($149.00)
SELECT AWARDS - OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee, 2006 First Nations Film & VIdeo Festival, Chicago, 2006 Sami Intl. Film Festival, Norway, 2006 Comanche Nation Film Festival, OK, 2006 Native Voice Film Festival.
SO FAR FROM HOME - (in production)
Two First Nations homeless youth search for the meaning of their home.
THE CIRCLES OF LIFE - The Medicine Wheel 2 – (in production)
Exciting personal insight into the ancient stone circles in Canada and beyond!
TOTEM POLES - (in production)
An exciting, visually beautiful film on the depth and meaning of the
totem poles of the west coast - then and now.
BOUNDARIES – (in production)
Analyzing the Indian "business" in Canada
WE MAKE FILMS TOO!
First Nations Films is first a production
company - contact us to discuss bringing
film ideas to life. firstname.lastname@example.org
LIST OF OUR FILMS
for Streaming and on DVD
Spirit of the People(the people)
Rise of the Salmon People(the land)
Reclaiming(rights and responsibilities)
Our Fires Still Burn(experience)
Nanabozhung(First Nations solutions)
The Dugout(working together)
Journey of Hope (transformation)
Life on the Reserve (real stories)
Making a Drum (ancient arts)
Native Young! (on native youth)
Reclaiming Our Children (wellness)
Residential Schools (other side)
First Nations Suicide (answers)
Living in Two Worlds (old and new)
The Medicine Wheel (spirituality)
Whose Land is This? (settlement)
Making Treaties (land settlement)
Role Models (inspiration)
Beat of the Drum (native music)
Native Women: Politics (history)
UnBowed (courage and truth)
In Search of the Hamat'sa (dance)
Dancing on the Moon (drama)
Deception of Freedom (law)
Sacred Buffalo People (culture)
Sleep Dancer (a dramatic journey)
Vanishing Links (returning)
HIV - If There's a Will ..(hiv) Echoes of the Sisters (cancer)
The Storytellers (truth and honor)
The Pipe Makers (making the pipe)
Medicine People (ceremonies)
(all films distributed with Public Performance Rights)