Despite all I've written about this year's FAITA ceremony, I don't understand the awards themselves. I mean, who is Chauntal Lewis and what the heck is Seance? (A mediocre 2006 made-for-TV movie, apparently.) I saw Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, but I don't remember Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse's performance. Tortilla Heaven, for which Irene Bedard won an acting award, was completed in 2000 but not released until last year.
Were these really the top performances of 2007? The year produced a bumper crop of Native movies: Four Sheets to the Wind, Mile Post 398, Imprint, and Turquoise Rose. Yet they earned only one FAITA award between them (to Sterlin Harjo for directing Four Sheets). What's up with that?
In November I listed the American Indian Film Festival's winners. I've seen all these films and yes, these people are deserving. Other performances may have been just as good--for instance, you might prefer Tamara Podemski as supporting actress in Four Sheets--but these are sound choices. They're a lot sounder than FAITA's choices seem to be.