Tracy Rector moderates a frank and iterative discussion with two of the Sundance Indigenous Program leaders around the work of the Sundance Institute and how to expand kin relationships to the film industry. Indigenous creatives are on the rise, and SIFF and Sundance have been industry leaders in carving out space for them for almost two decades. Now the rest of the industry just needs to catch up, with BIPOC creatives and communities at the table. In this conversation, Managing Director of Nia Tero and multicultural industry leader Tracy Rector (she/her) will moderate a frank and iterative discussion with two of the Sundance Indigenous Program leaders: Japanese/Portuguese/Samoan creative Ianeta Le’i (she/her) and Kiowa/Mohawk filmmaker Adam Piron (he/him). Topics will include the work of the Sundance Institute and how to expand kin relationships to the film industry. What will the future of solidarity connections look like for safe, radically supportive, and innovative Indigenous filmmaking? As with all Kin Theory events, this one will be unapologetically rooted in community, solidarity, and reciprocity. Join us as we indigenize the film industry.
- Ianeta Le’i (Panelist): As Senior Manager for Sundance Institute's Indigenous Program, Ianeta's focus is to identify and support emerging Indigenous filmmakers and their stories from across the U.S. and globally. She manages the implementation of all Labs, Fellowships, and Intensives, as well as facilitates outreach and engagement efforts. Raised in Waialua, Hawai'i, she previously worked at Pacific Islanders in Communications, managing non-fiction programs and content for public broadcast. Ianeta is a graduate of Brigham Young University (BYU) with a degree in Sociology, minor in communications, and received a Master of Public Administration degree from the BYU Marriott School of Management.
- Adam Piron (Panelist): Adam Piron is currently the Associate Director of Sundance Institute's Indigenous Program where he oversees the organization's investment in Indigenous filmmakers globally and a member of the Sundance Film Festival’s Short Film Programming Team. He was previously the Film Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He has also been a Programmer for AFI DOCS, AFI FEST, the imagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival, as well as the LA Film Festival. He is also a filmmaker and co-founder of COUSIN: a film collective dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of the moving image.
- Tracy Rector (Moderator): Tracy Rector brings a passion for amplifying and empowering Indigenous voices to her work as the Managing Director of Storytelling at Nia Tero. She brings two decades of experience as a community organizer, educator, filmmaker, film programmer, and arts curator, all infused with her deep roots in plant medicine. For the last 18 years she has directed and produced over 400 films including shorts, features, music videos, and virtual reality projects. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, ImagineNative, National Geographic, and the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, as well as at international film festivals including Cannes and Toronto. Tracy is in her second term as a Seattle Arts Commissioner, sits on the board of the Mize Foundation, and is the co-founder of Longhouse Media.