September 28, 2022

Indigenous Forms | Beyond Resilience x IDA's Getting Real '22

On Wednesday, September 28 at 2pm PT/5pm ET, Firelight Media presented a special Beyond Resilience panel at the Getting Real '22 conference hosted by the International Documentary Association (IDA). The event took place online over Zoom via the Getting Real conference platform.

In the past few years, Indigenous filmmakers from around the world have received attention for elaborating new forms of storytelling to reflect the richness and complexity of their living histories. What visual vocabularies and narrative techniques are these filmmakers employing, and what can all filmmakers learn from them about blending traditional forms of storytelling with emergent ones? In this session, we listen to Indigenous filmmakers from across the Americas who share concrete examples via their films-in-progress. We will also consider the development of their practices, the particulars of Indigenous representation across geographic distances, and how Indigenous cinemas have historically challenged individualist, auteurist conceptions of filmmaking.

Accessibility notice: This event includes CART captions and ASL interpretation in addition to live translation in English and Spanish.


Michelle Hurtubise, Researcher & Strategist, Kin Theory/Nia Tero


Julianna Brannum, filmmaker, LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 and William Greaves Research & Development Fund grantee

Graciela Pereira de Souza, filmmaker, My Blood is Red and William Greaves Research & Development Fund grantee

María Sojob, filmmaker, Tote_Abuelo and William Greaves Research & Development Fund grantee

Participant bios:

Michelle Y. Hurtubise is a Visual Anthropology Ph.D. candidate at Temple University and Nia Tero strategist researching narrative sovereignty, diverse festival networks, and BIPOC creator support systems through the development of Kin Theory, a global Indigenous media makers database, the 4th World Indigenous Media Lab, and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (where she will be a Fulbright Fellow in 2022-2023).

Julianna Brannum is a documentary filmmaker based in Austin, TX. Her first film, The Creek Runs Red, was selected to air in Fall 2007 on PBS’s national prime-time series, Independent Lens. In early 2008, she co-produced a feature-length documentary with Emmy Award-winning producer, Stanley Nelson for PBS’s We Shall Remain – a 5-part series on Native American history. The episode, “Wounded Knee”, chronicled the siege of Wounded Knee, SD in 1973 led by the American Indian Movement. Ms. Brannum also spent 8 years working as a film programmer for AFI FEST, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent (formerly IFP/Los Angeles) before producing programs for Discovery Channel, A&E, Bravo and PBS. Ms. Brannum is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Quahada band of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma.

Belonging to the Guarani Kaiowá nation, Graciela Pereira de Souza is a cultural producer, communicator, filmmaker, film curator, and audiovisual trainer. One of the pioneer indigenous women in audiovisual original productions in the Brazilian scene, she has a resumé that includes directing and scripting 8 short films, a series of video letters “Nhemongueta Cunha Mbaraete” (IMS/RJ); co-directing the feature My Blood is Red (Needs Must Film); serving as a trainer at the Indigenous Women and New Social Media Course and as a Facilitator Filmmaker at the Cinema Workshop (RJ 2019), and as an invited debater at the International Roundtable of Women in Media and Cinema at the 70th Berlinale/Berlin International Film Festival in 2020. She is also the co-author of the television special “Falas da Terra” by Globo network.

María Sojob, a Tsotsil woman from Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico, is the mother of two girls. She studied in the Master's in Documentary Film program at the University of Chile with the support of the Ford Foundation. She has produced videos and short films with girls and boys from her community. In 2014, she directed Bankilal / El padre mayor, which in 2015 won the award for Best Documentary at the Morelia Indigenous Film and Video Festival in Mexico, and was selected at festivals such as Berlinale Native, Edinburgh Film Festival, Ficvaldivia, among others. In 2019, Tote_Abuelo premiered at the 17th Morelia International Film Festival, where it won the La Musa Award for Best Documentary Made by a Woman and the Ambulante Award for Best Documentary.Currently, María is in the editing stage of the documentary Por la vida, filmed in Honduras and which tells the stories of struggle and resistance of Lenca women in defense of their territories. She is co-founder of Cine Bolomchon, a space for training, exhibiting and exchanging experiences in her hometown of Chenalhó.

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