"Miss Navajo" director Billy Luther and contestant Crystal Frazier.
Films light native rites
The Third Annual Hawai'inuiakea: Native Film Showcase, featuring works by native Hawaiian and other indigenous filmmakers, will be held Wednesday and Aug. 23 at the Hawaii Convention Center and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
This year's showcase features two award-winning films: "Miss Navajo" by Billy Luther on Wednesday and the Native American drama "Four Sheets to the Wind" on Aug. 23.
Luther will be attending the Wednesday screening of his feature documentary. For more than 50 years, the Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant has given its contestants opportunities to showcase not only their beauty, but also their skills in dance, music and sheep slaughtering. Following contestants in the 2005 competition, and featuring personal stories of previous winner, the documentary is a celebration of womanhood.
Sterlin Harjo's "Four Sheets" follows the journey of a young man who leaves his Oklahoma reservation after his father's suicide to try to find a more fulfilling life in Tulsa, with the help of his sister.
The showcase is the only film festival in Hawaii highlighting fiction and nonfiction, feature-length and short films produced by and about native peoples. While its focus is on the Pacific, the festival solicits indigenous films from around the world. The showcase includes screenings, musical and theatrical performances as well as workshops and panel discussions.
Panel discussions will be held in the morning and afternoon at UH's Center for Hawaiian Studies.
Opening night features works from Hawaiian, Navajo and Aboriginal Australian filmmakers. Next Thursday night will feature dramatic works from Native American, Hawaiian and Maori filmmakers.
All events are free and open to the public. For updates, call 554-5358 or visit www.hawaiinuiakea.com.
The schedule follows:
» 10 a.m.-noon: "Native Language in Film and Theater," Halau O Haumea, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
» 1-3 p.m.: "Finding Native Film on the World Wide Web," Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
» 6:30 p.m.: Live theater and "Miss Navajo," Hawaii Convention Center
» 6 p.m.: Dramatic works from across the Pacific and "Four Sheets to the Wind"