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Showing blog posts tagged with Margaret Mead Film Festival


“Skydancer” Q&A with Margaret Mead Filmmaker

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Over 10,000 Native Americans of the Mohawk tribe live on the Akwesasne reservation in upstate New York—and every family in the community has included an ironworker. For decades, these men have weekly made the six-hour drive to New York City to build its tallest skyscrapers. Katja Esson’s film Skydancer, which will be shown at the Margaret Mead Film Festival on Sunday, November 13, at 2 pm, follows a group of Mohawk “sky walkers” as they continue the craft of their forefathers, spending weeks apart from their families and risking their lives for a job that pays well but also perpetuates superhuman stereotypes of Mohawk men.

Following the screening of SkydancerBear Fox andKatsitsionni Fox, who appear in the documentary, along withRobby Baier, the composer of the film’s score, will perform traditional Mohawk songs. Esson, who will attend the Mead Festival screening of the documentary and participate in a Q&A immediately afterward, recently answered a few questions about the film.

Tags: Margaret Mead Film Festival

Playing at the Mead: Language in We Still Live Here, Flames of God

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The protagonists of We Still Live Here and Flames of God, two of the selections in this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, live worlds apart, but they share a remarkably similar passion: to preserve their unique languages and codify them in dictionaries where none existed before.

For Jessie “Little Doe” Baird, the quest involves reviving her ancestors’ language, Wampanoag, one of many Algonquin tongues that have gone extinct despite their echoes across her corner of Cape Cod: Sippewisset, Hyannis, Narragansett. Director Anne Makepeace’s film We Still Live Here, which will be shown on Saturday, November 12, follows Baird as she studies linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and forges a friendship with the late Kenneth Hale, a scholar of indigenous languages. Makepeace will be in attendance at this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival.

Tags: Margaret Mead Film Festival


Margaret Mead Film Festival Celebrates 35-Year Anniversary With Exciting Program

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Much has changed in documentary filmmaking since the American Museum of Natural History organized the first Margaret Mead Film Festival in 1977 as a celebration of the pioneering anthropologist and longtime Museum curator.

A still from We Still Live Here, featured in this year's Margaret Mead Film Festival. Photo by J. Reed.

But the one constant has been the Mead Festival’s enduring distinction for bringing the public the best in innovative nonfiction films, a legacy that will be celebrated at this year’s 35th-anniversary program held from Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13.

“Since I first began working in film, the Mead Festival had a legendary place among film festivals,” says Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, who is leading the jury selection for this year’s Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award. “The films are always amazing.”

Tags: Margaret Mead Film Festival


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