Event: Kin Theory DocShop Panel at Big Sky - Caring for Story by Caring for Community
Partner: Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Date & Time: Thursday, February 23, 2023, 11:30AM MT
Location of the Event: Missoula Public Library
Documentary film has a long history of inequitable extractive practices often made by outsiders to communities for their personal gain. In this session, hear from experienced Indigenous creators about community-focused and accountable filmmaking practices that center care and reciprocity, leading to respectful collaboration (making films 'with' instead of 'about'), authentic storytelling, and narrative sovereignty that honors the creatives, the subjects, and the audience. Moderated by Tracy Rector of Nia Tero, with panelists including: filmmaker Victoria Cheyenne (Tsitsistas/Aymara), whose film Learning I’m Home is screening at the festival; Ramona Emerson, filmmaker, author, and photographer Ramona Emerson, whose novel Shutter was published in 2022; filmmaker David Hernández Palmar (Wayuu, IIPUANA Clan) from If Not Us Then Who? and Reciprocity Project; Ivan MacDonald (Blackfeet), whose film Snqʷeyłmistn: the place where you do your best is screening at the festival; and more. All of our panelists are members of the Kin Theory community, which you can learn about and join here.
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Meet the Panelists:
Victoria Cheyenne | Instagram
Victoria Cheyenne (Tsitsistas/Aymara) is an Indigenous Bolivian-American documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She is driven by stories of female identity, family dynamics, and cultural heritage. She also works producing, directing, and editing digital original series at Comedy Central. Cheyenne is a 2022 NeXt Doc Fellow and a proud member of the Chicana Directors Initiative. Her activism focuses on sovereign issues such as #LandBack and MMIP. Her documentary short film “Learning I’m Home” premieres at the 2023 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.
Ramona Emerson | Instagram
Ramona Emerson is a Diné writer and filmmaker originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico. She received her degree in Media Arts in 1997 from the University of New Mexico and her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) in 2015 from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She has worked as a professional cinematographer, writer, and editor for over twenty-five years and is currently working on her 8th film project, Crossing the Line. She is an Emmy nominee, a Sundance Native Lab Fellow, a Time-Warner Storyteller Fellow, a Tribeca All-Access Grantee and a WGBH Producer Fellow. In 2020, Ramona was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries for the State of New Mexico. Ramona just released her first novel, Shutter the first of a trilogy, which was published with SOHO Books in 2022 and recently longlisted for the National Book Award and the PEN/Open Book and PEN/Hemingway Award. Through her storytelling, Emerson looks at contemporary stories about her people and aims to question and redefine the expectations of Native cultural identity, highlighting stories that are not a part of mainstream media. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she and her husband/producer, Kelly Byars run their production company Reel Indian Pictures.
David Hernández Palmar | Instagram
David Hernández Palmar (Wayuu, IIPUANA Clan) is a journalist, photographer, filmmaker / Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Film specializing in Indigenous Film / Member of the Wayuu People Communications Network / Director of the Indigenous Audiovisual Foundation Wayaakua / Curator and Programmer of the Wayuu Film and Video Showcase / Curator and Programmer of the International Indigenous Film Showcase of Venezuela MICIV / Political Advisor for Latin American Coordinator of Cinema and Communication of Indigenous Peoples CLACPI / Guest Curator for Daupará – Indigenous Film and Video Showcase in Colombia / Former Advisor for special selection NATIVE of the Berlinale International Film Festival / Consultant for the Prince Claus Foundation / Member of The Indigenous Media and Communication Caucus / Member of the Programmers of Color Collective POC².
Ivan MacDonald | Instagram
Ivan MacDonald is an Emmy award winning filmmaker who is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe. His most recent project Murder In Big Horn premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and will air nationally on Showtime. He is currently an inaugural fellow of the Illuminative and Netflix Producers Fellowship and is alumni of the Firelight Media Lab with his sister Ivy. His directorial debut When They Were Here is currently in production and has been supported by ITVS, Chicken and Egg Pictures and Vision Maker Media.
Tracy Rector (MODERATOR) | Instagram
Tracy Rector is a filmmaker, curator, community organizer, and programmer. She is the Managing Director, Storytelling, for Nia Tero, a non-profit supporting Indigenous land guardianship. She has directed and produced over 400 films, including Nia Tero’s Reciprocity Project, Outta the Muck and Sweetheart Deal, all currently on the film festival circuit. Tracy served as impact producer for the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary Dawnland. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Sundance. Tracy is a board member of Mize Foundation and Working Films and a proud mother to two young adults.