ACT presents collection of Indigenous short films from Sundance Dec. 5

two sami dancers with arms overhead on Norwegian Lapland
Still from "Birds in the Earth," directed by Marja Helander. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

The ACT Human Rights Film Festival concludes its 2019 year-round programming on Dec. 5 with A Collection of Indigenous Short Films from the Sundance Film Festival.

The program will feature six short films by Indigenous filmmakers from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds.  

The six films were developed with financial and technical support from Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program and were shown at past Sundance Film Festivals.

The lineup includes:

Birds in the Earth, directed by Marja Helander (Sámi);
 Fainting Spells, directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño);
Jáaji Approx., directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño);
My Father’s Tools, directed by Heather Condo (Mi’gmaq);
Throat Singing in Kangirsuk, directed by Eva Kaukai (Inuit) and Manon Chamberland (Inuit); and
Shinaab, Part II, directed by Lyle Mitchell CorbineJr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians).

Visit ACT’s website for a full description of the six films and for the artists’ biographies. 

Opening remarks

“Honoring Indigenous culture is important because we were never supposed to be here,” says Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies Lindsey Schneider, who will speak briefly on Indigenous cultural expression and self-representation before the collection of short films begins.  

“The intention was always for us to disappear, and too often, our stories are told by others in a way that makes it seem like we did,” Schneider says. “Contemporary Indigenous culture is a celebration of the fact that we are still here. We’re still telling our own stories and doing it in a way that honors tradition and embraces new technologies, just like we have always done.” 

CSU’s Native American Cultural Center (NACC) staff will join the event to highlight local initiatives and organizations that support Indigenous people in Northern Colorado. This fall, NACC is celebrating its 40th year serving CSU’s Native American students. 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring these Indigenous short films from Sundance Film Festival to Fort Collins,” says ACT Human Rights Film Festival Managing Director Beth Seymour. “These films accomplish extraordinary feats in just minutes. It will be an incredibly rich and potent evening of cinematic story telling that no one should miss.” 

ACT Human Rights Film Festival’s screening of A Collection of Indigenous Short Films from the Sundance Film Festival will take place  at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at The Lyric in Fort Collins. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased through The Lyric 

A Collection of Indigenous Short Films from the Sundance Film Festival was curated and distributed by Art House Convergence and Sundance Institute. The program is locally co-presented by ACT Human Rights Film Festival and The Lyric. ACT Year-Round is supported by City of Fort Collins – Fort Fund and The Eye Center of Northern Colorado. Learn more at