Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

First Indigenous Film Festival in San Antonio to Launch at the Guadalupe Theatre This August


American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions has teamed up with local filmmaker Scott Pewenofkit to bring a new film festival to San Antonio.

The group has worked for 25 years to promote the culture and traditions of indigenous peoples of San Antonio and beyond.

Now in its 25th year of operation, the American Indians of Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions has partnered with local filmmaker Scott Pewenofkit to curate the Talom Apztai Film Festival, a free event celebrating the work and stories of indigenous filmmakers in San Antonio and beyond.

The name of the festival comes from a phrase in the Coahuiltecan language Pajalate, "Talom Aptzai," which translates to "ancient fire" and refers to the custom of gathering around the fire to share stories with family.

“The festival was curated to highlight the wide array of voices and types of movies that are part of Native cinema currently,” says Pewenofkit. Selected films highlight a variety of topics, including cultural appropriation, addictions, gender dysphoria and gender stereotypes, forced family separations, social and health inequities, unjust labor practices and spirituality.
A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas) - FACEBOOK / CINELASAMERICAS
The first round of films opens with Amanda Armstrong's short and sweet "Hipster Head Dress," which addresses the unfortunate trend of music fest cultural appropriation with a simple message: "Don't do it." Also on deck is Steven Paul Judd's "Ronnie BoDean," a comedic short Judd funded via Kickstarter in 2014 starring Wes Studi, who just became the first Native American actor to be awarded an Oscar.

Special guests producer Laura Varela and director Anne Lewis will be on hand for a screening of their documentary A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas), followed by a Q&A. The film covers two stories of POC workers fighting for their rights in Texas – the 1938 strike of San Antonio pecan shellers and the 1987 Jobs with Justice march led by cafeteria workers, housekeepers and groundskeepers in Nacogdoches.

Free, noon-9 p.m. Sunday, August 25, Guadalupe Theatre, 1301 Guadalupe St., (210) 271-3151,

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