Photo courtesy N. Bird Runningwater.
Randi LeClair and Razelle Benally. Photo courtesy N. Bird Runningwater.

Pair of Talented Filmmakers at Sundance's Native Film Lab


The Sundance Native Filmmakers Lab is taking place right now (it runs June 10-14), and this year's participants, Razelle Benally (Navajo/Oglala Lakota) and Randi LeClair (Pawnee), are receiving grants and expert advice on their film projects.

The writers and directors  serving as Creative Advisors for this year’s Lab include: Janicza Bravo (Gregory Go Boom and Pauline Alone), Beck Cole (Plains Empty and Here I Am), Sydney Freeland (Drunktown's Finest and HoverBoard), Aurora Guerrero (Pura Lengua and Mosquita y Mari) and Lucas Leyva (#PostModem and Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke).

"Our Native Filmmakers Lab responds to the unique need within our community to support Native American artists with grants and mentorship focusing on the crucial phase of producing their films," said N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), director of the Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program. "I am excited to embark on this creative journey with these two bright female directors as they begin the tactical phase of creating their films."

In Benally's I Am Thy Weapon, A young artistic Navajo woman relives memories of her deceased sister, that in turn help her heal and battle against the modern-day adversities of reservation life. In The Other Side of the Bridge, LeClair's film, lingering racial tensions rear their ugly head in a small-town diner after two high school football stars are found dead.

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