“The second annual Sarasota Native American Film Festival (March 19-28, 2021) was a great virtual event that ran successfully for 10 days, streaming a unique selection of features, shorts, and music videos, created by indigenous people of the Americas. The festival, presented by the Boxser Diversity Initiative and the Sarasota Film Festival, reached thousands of people around the U.S. and abroad and was shared widely on social media. Other collaborators included the Native Reel Cinema Festival, Stranahan House Museum & the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of Seminole Culture and History.
The mission of the festival, which is returning for a third time in 2022, is to present cinematic works related to the experiences of indigenous people. The 2021 program, offered to the public for free, showcased a diverse program of over 20 films, live Q&As and panels, featuring the World Premiere of the documentary “Finding Angola: Manatee’s County First Black Community,” directed by Charles Clapsaddle, and a retrospective of films from the First Nations Mi’kmaq filmmaker Catherine Anne Martin, including the World Premiere of her new documentary “The Basket Maker.” Among other programming highlights were films by the noted Seminole/Muskogee director Sterlin Harjo and short films by emerging indigenous filmmakers. The festival also presented “Smoke Signals,” the seminal 1998 road-trip dramedy directed by Chris Eyre, as well as “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” the debut feature from the celebrated, Academy Award-nominated director Chloe Zhao.”