Flagstaff Red Screen Film Festival, Celebrating Indigenous World Cinema, Announces Inaugural Lineup

A partnership between Northern Arizona University and The University of Arizona, the festival features 4 filmmakers who are UA alumni


Flagstaff Red Screen Film Festival’s logo, designed by Marian Bitsui (Diné)

Flagstaff, AZ [July 8, 2019] – Flagstaff Red Screen Film Festival, a new film festival celebrating Indigenous World Cinema, will take place in Flagstaff AZ from July 24 through 28. Entirely free to the public, the festival’s inaugural lineup includes the Arizona Premiere of films from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, and the US, as well as a spotlight on Film and Television Director Sydney Freeland (Diné) and a tribute to the late filmmaker Jake Hoyungowa (Diné/Hopi). Four Navajo filmmakers participating in the festival are University of Arizona alumni: Christopher Nataanii Cegielski (BFA, 2014), Stacy Howard (BFA, 2017), Sarah Del Seronde (BA Political Science 1998, MA American Indian Studies 2000), and Donavan Seschillie. The full lineup and free tickets are available at the festival’s website:

A new partnership between the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, the festival is presented by the UA Hanson FilmTV Institute and Cline Library at NAU. The event marks the universities’ first partnership on an Indigenous cultural film festival. The festival’s Co-Directors are Shepherd Tsosie (Diné), Associate Librarian at NAU, and Vicky Westover, director of the Hanson FilmTV Institute. As presenting entities, Hanson’s partnership with Cline Library was a natural fit. Hanson FilmTV Institute brings 30 years of film programming experience and a track record as the 16- year producers of Tucson Cine Mexico, the nation’s first and longest- running Mexican film festival. Cline Library has produced a smaller annual Native American and Indigenous film series – an official film festival was the natural next step.

Festival Co-Director Shepherd Tsosie: “Film has the potential to reach and communicate to a broad audience; Native American and Indigenous filmmakers have done just that with their incredible storytelling abilities. The Red Screen Film Festival showcases these stories and seeks to bring about deeper understanding and awareness of the lived experiences of Native and Indigenous peoples around the world. Flagstaff provides a relevant venue for displaying these stories and lends to a culturally-rich experience for students of NAU and for the broader Flagstaff and Northern Arizona community.”

Festival Co-Director Vicky Westover: “With Red Screen, we are dedicated to the building of community around Native American and Indigenous focused films, and presenting a broad representation of contemporary Indigenous cinema for a diverse audience. We aim to engage and educate festival attendees via interactions with attending filmmakers. Red Screen aligns closely with both the Hanson FilmTV Institute’s mission and with the UA’s aim to support and celebrate diversity.”

Festival Highlights

Highlights of the five-day festival include a Spotlight on Emmy-nominated film and television Director Sydney Freeland (Navajo) with an encore screening of her first feature film Drunktown’s Finest, and the Arizona Premiere of feature film SGaawaay K’uuna / Edge of the Knife, co-directed by Gwaai Edenshaw (Haida) and Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot’in), the first feature film in which the actors speak only in dialects of Haida, an endangered language now spoken by fewer than 30 people in the world. The festival will also present a tribute to Flagstaff filmmaker and photographer Jake Hoyungowa, who passed away in May 2019. Much of Hoyungowa’s works focused on Indigenous rights and life on Dinétah (Diné Land-Nation) and Hopitutskwa (Hopi Land-Nation). The tribute will be followed by a Focus on Navajo filmmakers, at which Christopher Nataanii Cegielski, Stacy Howard, Sarah Del Seronde, Blackhorse Lowe, Deidra Peaches and Donavan Seschillie will be in attendance. Filmmaker Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo) will present a talk on Indigenous Storytelling and Self-Representation at the Museum of Northern Arizona, a festival partner.

Festival Schedule

WEDNESDAY JULY 24, 7:00pm, Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 16 Spotlight on Director Sydney Freeland: DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST
IN PERSON: Actress/filmmaker Morningstar Angeline (Navajo, Blackfoot, Mexican)

THURSDAY JULY 25, 7:00pm, Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 16 Arizona Theatrical Premiere: WARRIOR WOMEN Presented in Association with Vision Maker Media
IN PERSON: Director Elizabeth Castle (Shawnee descent)

FRIDAY JULY 26, 7:00pm, Harkins Theatre Flagstaff 16
Flagstaff Premiere: SWEET COUNTRY
Post-Screening Discussion with Octaviana Trujillo Ph.D., former tribal leader and founding chair and professor of the department of Applied Indigenous Studies at NAU

SATURDAY JULY 27, 11:00am, Museum of Northern Arizona
A Talk by Dustinn Craig: My Career as a Native Filmmaker: Indigenous Storytelling and Self-Representation

SATURDAY JULY 27, 4:00pm, Harkins Theatre Flagstaff 16 Arizona Premiere: SAMEBLOD / SAMI BLOOD Post-Screening Discussion with Octaviana Trujillo

SATURDAY JULY 27, 7:00pm, Harkins Theatre Flagstaff 16
Arizona Premiere: SGAAWAAY K’UUNA / EDGE OF THE KNIFE Post-Screening Discussion with Octaviana Trujillo

SUNDAY JULY 28, 1:00pm, Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 16

SUNDAY JULY 28, 4:00pm, Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 16
Arizona Theatrical Premiere: BLOOD MEMORY
Presented in association with Vision Maker Media
IN PERSON: Director Drew Nicholas with special guest Carolyn Doyle Matter (White Mountain Apache)

Screening Information

The 2019 Red Screen Film Festival screenings will all take place at the Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 16 (4751 E. Marketplace Dr., Flagstaff 86004) and the talk by Dustinn Craig will be at the Museum of Northern Arizona (3103 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff 86001). Free tickets are now available at Note that tickets do not guarantee seats. Seating will be available to ticket holders on a first-come first-served basis. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to secure seats. Tickets are not required, but ticket holders will be seated ahead of non- ticket holders.

Festival Team

Co-Directors: Shepherd Tsosie (Diné) and Vicky Westover
Assistant Director: Kerryn Negus
Committee: David Church, David Gray, Susan Slonaker, Octaviana V. Trujillo (Yaqui) Technical Director: Dan Brock
Guest Narrative Programmer: Sydney Freeland (Navajo)
Post-screening discussant: Octaviana V. Trujillo (Yaqui)
Special Projects: Mathew Bogaert
Social Media Coordinator: Emily Herrera

Festival Presenters and Sponsors


UA Hanson FilmTV Institute
The Hanson FilmTV Institute (, part of the UA College of Fine Arts, is concerned with the art and business of film. The Institute works in partnership with diverse UA entities and local, national, and international organizations. The Institute produces educational programs, public events, and creative projects that provide educational and professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and filmmakers. The Institute contributes to the University’s land-grant mission by producing film events and films that address societal issues. The Institute places a special focus on Mexican and Native American filmmaking.

Cline Library at NAU
The Cline Library at NAU ( engages users in the design of discovery, research and learning experiences that advance NAU’s mission and strengthen a diverse community. The Library’s expertise, collections, services and spaces elevate learning, scholarship, creativity and innovation in Arizona and beyond.

Lead Sponsors:

NAU College of Arts and Letters, UA College of Fine Arts, NAU Office of the President, UA School of Theatre, Film & Television

With Support From: Museum of Northern Arizona, Native American Cultural Center at NAU, NAU Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, NAU Office of Native American Initiatives
Documentary films presented in association with: Vision Maker Media

Press contact

Kerryn Negus
Assistant Director, Hanson FilmTV Institute
p. (520) 626-1405

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