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Arts & Culture

Native American Film Festival Brings Cultural Dialogue To North County

Joely Proudfit, Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos, and Megan Doughty show off the t-shirts on sale at the second annual Native American Film Festival, Nov. 20, 2014.
Alison St John
Joely Proudfit, Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos, and Megan Doughty show off the t-shirts on sale at the second annual Native American Film Festival, Nov. 20, 2014.

The theme of the second annual Native American Film Festival is, “Seeing ourselves though our own lens.“ It’s put on by the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at California State San Marcos, which is working to build partnerships between American Indians, academics and the community. It runs from Thursday through Saturday.

Joely Proudfit, director of the center, said the goal of the festival is to get conversations going between Native Americans and non-Native Americans alike.

“People are going to be exposed to some American Indian film making and features like none they’ve ever seen before,” she said. ”If there’s one word that best described this film festival, it’s empowerment.”

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The festival will include a "Friday Night Funnies" event at the Arts Building at Cal State San Marcos, to celebrate Indian humor and the life of stand up comedian Charlie Hill.

Saturday (at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula) will feature shorts by student filmmakers and an Emmy award winning documentary about the Sycuan and Kumeyaay nations. Also on Saturday, San Diego-based bands are featured in the documentary “Once We Had A River,“ about the San Luis Rey Indian Water Settlement Act. The three-day event wraps up with the film “Empire of Dirt” Saturday, followed by a discussion moderated by members of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians.

San Diego is home to more Native American reservations than any other county in the nation.