Stand­ing Rock film fest fo­cuses on pipe­line protest

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - BLAKE NI­CHOL­SON

BIS­MARCK, N.D. — A film fes­ti­val on the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Reser­va­tion aims to bol­ster the anti-pipe­line move­ment that blos­somed there last year while also fos­ter­ing con­nec­tions be­tween the Na­tive Amer­i­can com­mu­nity and the film in­dus­try.

The in­au­gu­ral Stand­ing Rock Na­tion Film and Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, which runs this com­ing Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day at the tribal casino near Fort Yates, will show­case the tal­ent of Na­tive Amer­i­can film­mak­ers and mu­si­cians. It also fea­tures films about Amer­i­can Indians and pro­vides a venue for those who op­posed the $3.8 bil­lion Dakota Ac­cess oil pipe­line to rem­i­nisce.

“It was the most amaz­ing com­ing to­gether of peo­ple from all over the coun­try, all over the world,” said fes­ti­val pro­ducer Tri­cia van Klav­eren, an in­de­pen­dent film­maker in San Fran­cisco who spent time in a protest camp in south­ern North Dakota that held hun­dreds and some­times thou­sands of peo­ple be­tween Au­gust and Fe­bru­ary. “Stand­ing Rock rep­re­sents, peo­ple re­ally came to­gether and united. His­tory was cre­ated.”

Peo­ple in the camp dubbed them­selves “water pro­tec­tors,” a ref­er­ence to the fear that oil and gas pipe­lines threaten water sources. They couldn’t stop Dakota Ac­cess — the line to move North Dakota oil to a dis­tri­bu­tion point in Illi­nois is set to go into com­mer­cial ser­vice on Thurs­day — but the move­ment has spread to other pipe­line projects around the coun­try.

Or­ga­niz­ers hope some peo­ple will make a re­turn trip for the fes­ti­val, though the casino has a ca­pac­ity of only 1,000 peo­ple. Many events and pan­els will be live-streamed on­line.

“It is our goal that this week­end fes­ti­val will em­power, en­lighten, and en­ter­tain the Na­tive com­mu­nity and all global ci­ti­zens,” said Mitchell Ze­phier, a member of the Lower Brule tribe in South Dakota and the fes­ti­val’s founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Among the films be­ing screened are “AWAKE, A Dream from Stand­ing Rock,” which pre­mièred at the Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val in New York in April, and “Rum­ble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” a doc­u­men­tary about Na­tive mu­si­cians, which won an award at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val in Utah.

The fes­ti­val is free, though dona­tions are en­cour­aged.

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