Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media Streaming 40 Native Films FREE November–August 2016

Vision Maker Media Streaming 40 Native Films FREE November–August 2017

Lisa J. Ellwood

A collection of 40 Native films featured on PBS are available for free streaming in celebration of Vision Maker Media’s 40th anniversary. The screenings began November 1, 2016 and will end August 7, 2017 with a different film scheduled to be screened each week on and

The following titles will be available in November:

Nov. 8: Way of the Warrior

This documentary examines the visceral nature of war and the bravery of Native-American veterans who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War–and came to grips with the difficult post-war personal and societal conditions.

Nov. 15: Surviving Columbus

Taped in New Mexico by KNME-TV and the Institute of American Indian Arts. Host: Conroy Chino, Acoma Pueblo. “Public television documentary chronicles the epic struggle of the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico to survive the military, political and psychological onslaught of waves of conquest and annexation. It is a gripping, thought-provoking saga told effectively in quiet, understated fashion.” – Variety

Nov. 22: Robert Mirabal: Music from a Painted Cave

This stirring performance features Mirabal (Taos Pueblo) with a band of world champion Native singers and dancers in eye dazzling regalia , two percussionists, and players of the cello, electric guitar, and Aboriginal didgeridoo. Special lighting effects create the illusion of a petroglyph-filled cavern wherein the performance takes place. 

Nov. 29: Vis a Vis: Native Tongues

Vis à Vis: Native Tongues, credit: National Museum of the American Indian

Director: Steve Lawrence, Phil Lucas (Choctaw), Producer: Nick Torrens, Steve Lawrence, Co-director: Nick Torrens, Produced in association with: Vision Maker Media.

Payómkawichum (Luiseño) performance artist James Luna and Australian Aboriginal actress/playwright Ningali Lawford (Walmajarri) “compare perspectives on life and society, using dialogue via satellite, scenes of their performances, and video diaries to inform the conversation.” – National Museum of the American Indian Film & Video Center, New York

Vimeo Excerpt:

In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford proclaimed a week in October as “Native American Awareness Week.” Six Native producers in public television met to charter the Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium (NAPBC), later known as Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) and now as Vision Maker Media. These producers focused on cultivating interest among Native American tribes in developing their own media, which led to the initiation of several tribal media projects.

In the past 40 years, Vision Maker Media has created more than 500 films, awarded $11 million to independent producers and held hundreds of film-screening events across the US. They have been Indian Country’s premiere source for quality American Indian and Alaska Native educational and home videos. The organization envisions a world changed for the better and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

To that end, VMM’s professional development programs encourage the involvement of Native young people to learn more about media careers and be the next generation of storytellers. Their ongoing mission as stated in a press release: to “make films that inspire people to look at the world through Indigenous eyes and encourage young warriors to embrace their rich culture as part of their identity”.

40 Years, Films, Weeks Poster courtesy VMM

Vision Maker Media is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowering and engaging Native People to tell our own stories our way. VMM’s Public Media Content Fund awards support to projects with a Native American theme and significant Native involvement that ultimately benefits the entire public media community with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). More than $500,000 in production contracts are awarded annually to independent producers and public television stations to produce programming by and about Native Americans for use by PBS stations. Funding can be for production, completion, or research & development. Please visit for more information.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting preserves and makes significant historical content created by public media accessible. It also coordinates a national effort to save at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity. More information is available via


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