January 08, 2007

Film doings in Alaska

Young Native filmmaker updates tradition with documentaryCathy Rexford, who co-organized the Native Revolution Film Festival during the 2006 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention and worked as associate producer for the documentary on the Duck-In, said Alaska Natives are adept at passing their stories, values and traditions from generation to generation, and film offers another way to do that.

"Film provides us with a strong voice that is both contemporary and traditional and is a powerful tool with which we can raise important issues," Rexford said. "Perhaps our stories can be compared to a flint rock, and filmmaking the act of striking it. A dialogue sparks from their union that has the potential to move our people forward in a way no other medium can."
Indigenous Film Festival contains several gemsThe World Indigenous Film Festival comes on the heels of the Anchorage International Film Festival, just over a month later but loaded with good tidings. For one thing, those of us who missed "Expiration Date" can feel grateful a second chance.

According to Steven Alvarez, organizer of the festival and director of cultural education and strategic initiatives for the center, plenty of other lesser-known films deserve highlighting. He particularly noted the following:

• "Mystic Ball"
• "Hokule'a" or "Guiding Star"
• "Home"
• "Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy"
Best film scores can go unnoticedAll ears grasp for the notes, chords, voices and arrangements of music played in concert halls, clubs and music festivals, because in those venues, music takes the limelight and music makers take their bows.

Not so in film scores, said composer Brent Michael Davids, whose score for the 1920 silent film, "Last of the Mohicans," will be featured at the third annual World Indigenous Film Festival Friday and Saturday at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Comment:  Davids is a frequent critic of David Yeagley and an occasional correspondent.

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