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Local cinema and Native student group host Indigenous short film screenings

Rona Navales

Four Directions, a student organization at the University of Missouri that creates a home for Native people and allies, is partnering with Ragtag Cinema to showcase the 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour. The program includes six films directed by Indigenous filmmakers.

The Indigenous film showcase is the fourth event in Ragtag’s Show Me series. Four Directions president Melissa Horner said when Indigenous filmmakers tell their own stories it can deconstruct misconceptions of Native people, and humanize their experiences.

“So in this set of six films, we get examples of cultural revitalization, we get examples of struggle, we get examples of colonialism and the impact it's had, we get examples of indigenous joy,” Horner said.

The event will also include a panel-led community conversation after the showing. The panelists are Eric Pinto, the project coordinator for Washington University’s Center for American Indian Studies, and MU Professor Dennis Kelley.

MU professor Robert Petrone, the panel moderator, has an ongoing relationship and research collaboration within a Native community in Montana. He hopes that during the panel, they can go past the films and discuss broader issues of indigeneity and media representations of Indigenous people.

“A lot of media representation of Native folks has been by non Native folks,” Petrone said. “And so the idea that all of these films are by and about Native and indigenous communities and peoples, to me, is [a] really important part of the sort of education that I think Ragtag is trying to do at the community level.”

Showtime is 7 p.m. at Ragtag Cinema.