Santa Fe Film Institute receives $ 10,000 grant; rewards filmmakers


Gary Farmer is the mastermind behind the Indigenous Film Program at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. The Santa Fe Film Institute received $ 10,000 for its Indigenous programming. (Courtesy of Linda Carfagno)

The Santa Fe Film Institute is making great strides in film.

The organization received $ 10,000 in funding from the last round of grants from the Indigenous Advisory Fund of the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

SFFI and its main project, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF), recognize Santa Fe’s central role in Native American cinema by presenting the Native Film Program each October.

“This grant will help SFiFF travel the earth in search of the best cinematic narrative from Native American and Native filmmakers around the world,” said Gary Farmer, Chairman of the SFiFF Advisory Board.

The Indigenous Film Program was created by Farmer and has recognized Indigenous filmmakers such as Tantoo Cardinal, Wes Studi and Chris Eyre, and writer N. Scott Momaday.

In 2021, the program included 17 feature films and short films, showcasing films created by Indigenous filmmakers with a focus on Indigenous topics. SFiFF’s Indigenous Film Program shines a light on Indigenous tribes around the world including, but not limited to, First Nations, Native Americans, Maori, Sami, Greenlanders, Indigenous and Inuit. SFiFF also presents the Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) Student Short Program.

The SFFI also recently awarded a grant to five filmmakers.

Grant recipients are Deja Bernhardt, Sharon Arteaga, Siena Sofia Bergt, Petyr Xyst and Lois Lipman.

SFFI created this grant in 2021 as a professional opportunity to encourage and support filmmakers in New Mexico and the surrounding region. SFFI received nominations from filmmakers across New Mexico, as well as neighboring states of Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas during its undergraduate cycle.

“It’s really wonderful to recognize such an exciting group of projects,” said Jacques Paisner, president of the Santa Fe Film Institute.

SFFI will provide total funding of $ 5,000 split among award-winning film projects in 2021.

Bernhardt was honored for “The Last Hawaiian Sugar,” which is a dramatic short film set on the only remaining sugarcane plantation on Maui.

Arteaga was awarded for “In Tow,” which follows standalone high school cheerleader Sheila and her overworked single mom Bonnie as they wake up to find their mobile home is taken over – with them inside.

Bergt is honored for “Radon Daughters,” which follows Nita Iglesias as she balances mourning the loss of her sister, retrieves items left in the desert of northern New Mexico by other missing local women, and fights to prevent her grandmother’s drug addiction.

Xyst for “The Original Shareholder Experience,” which follows Rebecca, a darling of her employer The Freedom Company, as she is invited to meet with her superiors in order to sell a “controversial” product, kept secret due to an anti-insurgent. -colonial movement led by his brother from whom he is separated, which threatens to disturb the peace of the Company, which is in the process of becoming a quasi-governmental state.

Lipman for “Downwinders,” which tells the story of a government betrayal with tragic consequences and the rise of a popular movement for justice. Galvanized by a charismatic Hispanx woman entrepreneur, Tina Cordova, those concerned came together to lobby Congress and speak out. While the federal government tracked the damage to remote Nevada communities affected by the subsequent test blasts and ultimately made amends through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA 1990), the New Mexican Downwinders were ignored.

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