Michon Boston, Community Cinema's Regional Outreach Coordinator in Washington D.C., updates BTB on a new partnership between ITVS and the All Roads Film Project at National Geographic. My first community partnership experience with the All Roads Film Project at National Geographic was in 2007 when ITVS and All Roads co-hosted a special screening of Miss Navajo for the All Roads Film Festival. We brought in filmmaker Billy Luther, and the film’s star Crystal Frazier (and her mom) to join the Q&A moderated by Francene Blythe, the festival's director. The National Geographic special events team hired a vendor to make fry bread on the spot during the after-party on the patio. It was a night to remember; especially the fry bread. Additionally, ITVS International content has appeared on the National Geographic Channel in the past. The two organizations also partnered up this past summer for the premiere screening of Bhutto in Washington, DC and back in 2007 around the film Please Vote for Me.
This season, ITVS and the All Roads Film Festival are co-hosting the festival's presentation of Reel Injun and Up Heartbreak Hill (supported by ITVS) at National Geographic Live! Neil Diamond's Reel Injun opens the festival September 28. Reel Injun chronicles American Indians and the depiction of American Indians in Hollywood films. Up Heartbreak Hill, a film by Erica Scharf, is also part of the festival which ends October 3. The film chronicles the lives of Thomas, Tamara and Gabby — three Native American teenagers in Navajo, New Mexico — as they navigate their senior year at a reservation high school. As graduation nears, they must decide whether to stay in their community — a place inextricably woven into the fiber of their being — or leave in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere.
Both films also received support from the All Roads Film Project. All Roads supports projects by filmmakers who are and feature indigenous and under-represented cultures through first-person storytelling. Director Francene Blythe grew the program which includes a photography component, traveling festival, and grant program. Francene is now putting together an All Roads On Tour, which will bring more of their films to community spaces. I became familiar with the All Roads Project via Francene's dad Frank Blythe, a co-founder and [now retired] executive director of the Native American Public Telecommunications consortium. Community Cinema [DC] will host two screenings of Reel Injun Sunday, October 10 at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center; and Monday, October 11 (Columbus Day) at Busboys and Poets.
All Roads Film Project is a community partner for the DC Community Cinema presentations of Reel Injun. It's great to be back together again.
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