The Way We See the World:
Exploring Indigenous Representation in Film

Friday, July 22, 2022 | Mountainside Theatre | Cherokee, NC

Join the Museum of the Cherokee Indian for an evening celebrating Indigenous filmmakers and film. All proceeds directly support Community Learning and Educational Programming at MCI.

Limited general admission tickets are available to enrolled members of federally-recognized tribes at no charge. Learn more and request tickets here.


Panel Discussion with Indigenous Filmmakers

Special guests Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Nation, executive producer/showrunner of the Golden Globe-nominated FX series Reservation Dogs), Brit Hensel (Cherokee Nation, Director of Sundance-selected short film “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ [What They’ve Been Taught]”), Keli Gonzales (Cherokee Nation, Associate Producer of of Sundance-selected short film “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ [What They’ve Been Taught]),” Anthony Sneed (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, writer/director/editor/producer, “SWIPE” and “STRIPPER”), and Peshawn Bread (Comanche/Kiowa/Cherokee, writer/director, “The Daily Life of Mistress Red”) will discuss Indigenous representation in television and film. Q&A to follow.

The Films

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)

 ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught), 2022
Brit Hensel (Cherokee Nation), Director; Keli Gonzales (Cherokee Nation), Executive Producer

This film explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)” circles the intersection of tradition, language, land, and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

ᎡᏘᏴ ᏥᎾᎾᏛᏁᎮ ᎠᏰᎵᏐ ᎾᏛᏁᎰ (She Carries On)

ᎡᏘᏴ ᏥᎾᎾᏛᏁᎮ ᎠᏰᎵᏐ ᎾᏛᏁᎰ (She Carries On) (2020)
Natalie M. Welch (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Producer; Isaac Fowler, Director; Tim Morris, Director

Among the Cherokee people in North Carolina, the cultural tradition of stickball exemplifies “more than a game.” Cherokee women played the game at the turn of the 21st century for several years and reflect on their time playing and what the game means to the past, present, and future of Cherokee people.

SWIPE

SWIPE (2020)
Anthony Sneed (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Director, Writer, Producer, Editor; Doug Barden, Producer; Zane Kalnina, Producer; Aakash Raj, Director of Photography

A delinquent teenage boy learns a valuable lesson about growing up.

STRIPPER

STRIPPER, 2022
Anthony Sneed (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Director, Writer, Editor, Producer; Chris Thompson, Writer; Robert L. Hunter, Director of Photography; Thomas Hartman, Producer; Tiffany Conklin, Producer

When 13-year-old Cricket walks past the local strip club with his friends, nothing can prepare him for who they see walking into work: his mom. With rumors starting to spread, Cricket must take matters into his own hands to clear his mom’s name and prove that she isn’t a stripper.

The Daily Life of Mistress Red

The Daily Life of Mistress Red (unreleased)
Peshawn Bread (Comanche/Kiowa/Cherokee), Writer, Director; Jhane Myers, Producer; Sunrise Tippeconnie, Cinematographer; Michael D. Jones, Producer/Assistant Director; Jennifer Reeder, Supervising Producer; Rob Fatal, Editor

“The Daily Life of Mistress Red” is a mockumentary that explores the world of kink, Native women and defeating white supremacy. Marie Callingbird is a Native fashion boutique owner by day and Mistress Red by night. Mistress Red is a dominatrix for hire who takes the effects of racism, sexism and colonization into her own hands by educating white supremacists through pleasure. This project focuses on issues within the circle of Indigenous women, racism, and the acceptance of sexuality.


Meet the Panelists

Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Nation)

Sterlin Harjo is a member of the Seminole Nation, has Muskogee heritage and was raised in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute where his short film, “Goodnight, Irene,” premiered at the 2005 Festival and it also received a Special Jury Award at the Aspen Shortfest. Sterlin’s first feature film, Four Sheets to the Wind, premiered at Sundance in 2007 and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. His feature documentary, This May Be the Last Time, premiered at Sundance in 2014 and is based on the story of Harjo’s grandfather, who disappeared in 1962 in the Seminal County town of Sasakwa.

Sterlin co-created Reservation Dogs with Taika Waititi and directed the pilot for FX. The series recently won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Comedy Series of 2022, in addition to winning best Breakthrough Series under 40 minutes at the 2021 Gotham Awards. Season 2 is currently in production.

Sterlin is also co-writing Poster Girls with bestselling novelist Jonathan Lee for FX. Paramount+ recently bought his series Yellowbird, which he’s co-creating with Erica Tremblay based on the Sierra Crane Murdoch novel. In addition, LeBron James will be producing Rezball which Sterlin co-wrote with Sydney Freeland for Netflix. Amidst all this, he still makes time to be an active member of his indigenous comedy troupe THE 1491s.


Brit Hensel (Cherokee Nation)

Brit Hensel is an Oklahoma based writer and award-winning filmmaker. A citizen of Cherokee Nation, her work largely explores environment, language, and her peoples’ connection to land in Oklahoma (former Indian Territory) and in her ancestral homelands of North Carolina (Qualla Boundary).
Previously, Brit directed the documentary film Zibi Yajdan (2019), which tells the story of the Kalamazoo River and its relationship to the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Pottawatomi people (Gun Lake Tribe) in the wake of the Enbridge Pipeline 6B oil spill. Her first film, Native and American (2017), explores identity through the lens of a young Potawatomi woman as she navigates her tribe’s blood quantum standards. Brit’s films have screened both nationally and abroad, including Māoriland Film Festival. She was awarded NeXtGen’s 30 Under 30 and was a NeXt Doc Collective Film Fellow.

Brit recently worked on the first and second seasons of the FX series Reservation Dogs. Her short film, “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)” was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022. “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)” is also a part of the Reciprocity Project by Nia Tero at Upstander Project. She was awarded the 2022 Tulsa Artist Fellowship and 4th World Indigenous Fellowship. Brit continues to use her love for storytelling to help amplify the voices and values of her community. Most importantly, she hopes her work makes Cherokee people proud.


Keli Gonzales (Cherokee Nation)

Keli ᎨᎳᏗ Gonzales is a Cherokee artist from Welling, Oklahoma. She merges pop culture and traditional Cherokee cultural images to make personal statements. Women are central figures in her work. She also incorporates the Cherokee syllabary into her work with the hope that it will inspire people to learn to read syllabary and possibly learn the Cherokee language.


Peshawn Bread (Comanche/Kiowa/Cherokee)

Peshawn Bread (she/they, them) is a screenwriter and director from the Penatʉkʉ (sugar eater) and Yapurʉka (root eater) bands of the Comanche tribe. Her writing focuses Indigenous women, sexuality and humorous experiences. In the winter of 2015, they were introduced and welcomed as one of Sundance Institute’s Full Circle Kellogg Fellows. Peshawn was also a 2015-2016 recipient of the 4th World Indigenous Media Lab Fellowship supported by SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival), and in partnership with Longhouse Media, Sundance, and ITVS. They have also attended the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, hosted by Joan Tewksbury. Throughout the years, she has worked on many sets, from Drunktown’s Finest (2014) to “Mud (Hast?’ishnii)” (2017). In 2019, they had the honor of receiving Sundance’s Native Filmmakers Lab Fellowship, where they had the opportunity to workshop her script “The Daily Life of Mistress Red” a mockumentary short film about a Native Dominatrix for hire who whips apologies out of white supremacists. “The Daily life of Mistress Red” is currently in post production. After graduating from Academy of Art’s Screenwriting program in 2020, Peshawn worked with Amazon Studios on production. Currently, Peshawn is creating new works, working on a Disney+ production, and serving as the Creative Director of Teton Trade Cloth.


Anthony Sneed (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

Anthony Sneed is an award-winning Cherokee filmmaker (EBCI) who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Cherokee, North Carolina. In 2018, his directorial debut, the dark-comedy short “SUCK,” premiered at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. He’s since graduated from the director program at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where he completed his thesis film “Kush: A Bubblegum Western.” Since graduating, Anthony’s short “SWIPE” has won multiple awards, including Best Comedy Short at Cleveland International Film Festival. In 2021, he was featured in CAA’s MOEBIUS Film Festival and was a finalist in Disney’s Launchpad Season 2. His newest short, “STRIPPER,” a coming-of-age dramedy was shot entirely on the Qualla Boundary and is now submitting to festivals. Sneed is currently in production on his feature documentary “Bastards of the Boundary: Indian Stickball,” which chronicles a year in the lives of The Hummingbirds team in the little-known, violently beautiful game of Indian Stickball.


Event Schedule

5-10:30pm: Art Market
6pm: Panel with Indigenous Filmmakers
7:30pm: Film Screenings
8:30pm: Q&A with Indigenous Filmmakers
9-10:30pm: VIP Reception (separate ticket required; light bites, beer, and wine included in ticket price)

Tickets

Limited general admission tickets are available to enrolled members of federally-recognized tribes at no charge. Learn more and request tickets here. Tickets must be requested by June 30, 2022.

General Admission ($35): Grants ticketholder access to art market, panel with Indigenous filmmakers, film screenings, and Q&A with filmmakers. Click here to purchase.

General Admission – Preferred Seating ($50): Grants ticketholder access to preferred seating section, art market, panel with Indigenous filmmakers, film screenings, and Q&A with filmmakers. Click here to purchase.

VIP Reception Ticket Add-On ($50): Grants ticketholder access to VIP Reception (9-10:30pm), held on-site at the Mountainside Theatre. Ticket price includes light bites and complimentary beer and wine. This is a separate, add-on ticket and does not include general admission. Click here to purchase.

Art Market: Call for Indigenous Artists

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is seeking Indigenous artists to participate in an art market held on-site at Mountainside Theatre on July 22, 2022. Spots in this market are extremely limited. Artists will be selected on an application process after the quality of work has been vetted. Artists can apply here.

Requirements 

  • Must be a member of a federally-recognized tribe.
  • Crafts must have a foundation in tradition and be handmade. 
  • Applicants must fill out an application.
  • Applicants must also submit 3-5 photos of their work to jenn.wilson@mci.org.
  • Setup will be from 1-3pm on the day of.
  • In lieu of booth fee, artists must donate 1 item for a silent auction. The donated item must be submitted by June 30, 2022, or your booth will be forfeited to the next artist on the waitlist.
  • Proceeds from the silent auction will directly support Community Learning and Educational Programming at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
  • Paper applications can be available if needed, but applicants will still need to submit photos of work.

Once selected, artists will either submit a headshot/bio or can schedule a time with Jenn Wilson to have their headshot taken.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities for The Way We See The World: Exploring Indigenous Representation in Film are available. To learn more and complete an application, click here.