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April Mulherin
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: (207) 778-7081
Cell: (207) 491-0064
TDD: (207) 778-7000
april.mulherin@maine.edu

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University of Maine at Farmington presents Native American Film and Performance Forum, Sept. 25-Nov. 16

FARMINGTON, ME (September 20, 2011)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to present the “Native American Film and Performance University Forum,” an insightful series of film screenings, talks, and performances centered on illuminating contemporary Native American experiences. This series of events is free and open to the public and will be held throughout the fall at venues across the UMF campus.

Native American actors and artists have been on screen since the earliest days of Hollywood, but in the past decade, have been exercising more control over all elements of filmmaking—as writers, directors and stars. There has been a similar movement in theater, as Native American performers have been taking to the stage to tell their own stories.

Georgina Lightning

Actress Georgina Lightning

The purpose of the Native American Film and Performance University Forum is to make some of these sometimes hard-to-see films and performers available to the UMF campus and to the larger Farmington community. This is a rare opportunity to welcome Georgina Lightning, actress and filmmaker of the Cree Nation; and William Yellow Robe, Jr., actor, director, and playwright of the Assiniboine Tribe, to the UMF campus. These artists will share their work with the audience, collaborate with students and make themselves available for conversation and discussion.

UMF Native American Film and Performance University Forum events include:

Sunday, September 25
“Kissed by Lightning” (dir. Shelley Niro)
7 p.m.; Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center
Film Screening in conjunction with the Sunday Film series

Wednesday, September 28
“Shelley Niro and Contemporary Indigenous Filmmaking

11:45 a.m. –1 p.m.; North Dining Hall C, UMF Olsen Student Center
A presentation by Laura Beadling, assistant professor of film studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Monday, October 3
“Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War”
7:30 p.m.; Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center


Friday, October 14
A Conversation with Georgina Lightning
11:45 a.m. –1 p.m.; The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

Director and actress, Georgina Lightning, will participate in a general discussion of contemporary Native American film and media creation as well as of her own experiences in the film industry.

Friday, October 14
“Older than America” (dir. Georgina Lightening)
7:30 p.m.;
The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center
Film screening will be followed by a question and answer session with director Georgina Lightning.

Sunday, October 16
“Older than America” (dir. Georgina Lightening)
7 p.m.;
Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center

Friday, October 21
“Two Spirits” (dir. Lydia Nibles
)
3:15 p.m. -4:30 p.m.; North Dining Hall C, UMF Olsen Student Center
Film screening in conjunction with the “Teaching and Working in a Diverse World Conference” on social justice.

Wednesday, November 2
“The Battle at Elderbush Gulch” (dir. D. W. Griffith)
11:45 a.m. –1 p.m.; Room 23, UMF Roberts Learning Center

Screening and discussion of D. W. Griffith’s short silent film from 1913

Wednesday, November 2
“Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Injun” (dir. Neil Diamond)
7:30 p.m.; Thomas Auditorium, UMF Ricker Hall

Wednesday, November 16
A Reading by William Yellow Robe, Jr.
11:45 a.m. –1 p.m.; Performance Space, Emery Community Arts Center

William Yellow Robe, Jr. will give a reading from a new book of poetry.

Wednesday, November 16
“Wood Bones”
7 p.m.; Performance Space, Emery Community Arts Center

Staged reading by William Yellow Robe, with Q&A following the reading

The UMF Native American Film and Performance University Forum events are sponsored by the University’s Culture Committee; Office of the Provost; Emery Community Arts Center; UMF Division of Humanities; Mantor Library; UMF Department of Sound, Performance, and Visual Inquiry and Gedakina— a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England and to conserve their traditional homelands and sacred places.

For more information, visit http://umf.maine.libguides.com/NativeAmForum

More information on Georgina Lightning and William Yellow Robe, Jr.

Georgina Lightning is well known as an actress (she’s appeared in dozens of films and television series, including “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “The West Wing”) and as an acting coach (working in over 200 films and television shows in that capacity). Her directing and writing debut in “Older than America” (2008) made her the first native woman to direct a feature film. She is also one of the founders of Tribal Alliance Productions, which their website describes as a native-owned production company that supports media creation by indigenous folks of all tribes, bands and backgrounds.

A well-regarded playwright, William Yellow Robe, Jr. has published two anthologies: “Where the Pavement Ends: Five Native American Plays” and “Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldier.” He has served as the artistic director of Wakiknabe, an inter-tribal Native American Theatre Company, at the University of New Mexico, and is one of the founders of the No Borders Indigenous Theatre Company. He has taught courses recently at the University of Maine-Orono, where he was teaching when he received one of the inaugural Native Achiever Awards from the Smithsonian Institute in 2010. His play “Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldier” was performed at the National Museum of the American Indian in conjunction with his acceptance of that award. His most recent play,” Thieves,” will have its world premiere at The Public Theater in New York, August 3-14, 2011, directed by Steve Elm.

# # #

Media Contact: Michael Johnson, UMF associate professor of American literature, at 207-778-7424, or michael.johnson@maine.edu; or Gaelyn Aguilar, UMF assistant professor of anthropology, at gaelyn.aguilar@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2011/09/RP112-007.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Georgina Lightning