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Monday, February 28, 2011 - 10:46am

A festival featuring Native American themes and performances by renowned Native Americans Gary Farmer and Kevin Locke will be featured during JCC's Native American Film Festival in March.

The festival, which features events on March 10 and 11 in the Lenna Teleconference Theatre on JCC's Jamestown Campus and on March 18 at the Fredonia Opera House, is sponsored by JCC's Faculty Student Association and College Program Committee.

Additional information on the festival can be obtained by calling Shannon Bessette, 716.338.1223.

“We're very excited this year to host a night of student films,” notes Ms. Bessette, associate professor of anthropology and festival organizer. “We have an unusual opportunity to showcase a film by one of our own students, and then we'll follow it with some short films created by Native students from different areas across the country.”

Following light refreshments at 6:30 p.m. on March 10, the festival opens with a showing of a documentary by JCC student and Seneca Nation member Caleb Abrams about the removal of Native American peoples as a consequence of the Kinzua Dam project.

Afterwards, Gary Farmer, a Cayuga, will present several youth films at 7:30 p.m. Farmer, an actor, musician, and filmmaker, won best actor awards for his roles in Powwow Highway, Smoke Signals, and Dead Man. He also mentors Native youth in foster care and has helped many students produce their own films, some of which will be shown in this festival.

On March 11, Dead Man will be shown at 7 p.m. The film focuses on accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) who, on the run after murdering a man, encounters a strange Indian named "Nobody" (Farmer) who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world. Farmer will discuss the film afterwards.

Hoop dancer Kevin Locke, who is Lakota Sioux and Anishinabe, performs at 7 p.m. on March 18 at the Fredonia Opera House. Hoop dance, which employs 28 hoops, is a physical metaphor for the process of regeneration. Locke's performances also include flute music and photo montages.

Locke, who has performed in over 80 countries, is considered a preeminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute and a renowned storyteller.

Locke's performance will be followed by a showing of Reel Injun, an entertaining and insightful look by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond on how the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world's understanding and misunderstanding of Natives. The film traces the evolution of cinema's depiction of Native people from the silent film era to present day.

 

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