The screening schedule for the NatiVisions Film Festival has been announced. This festival will be held Sept. 22-24 at the BlueWater Cinemas, which are located next to the BlueWater Resort & Casino. The festival features films that are by and about Native Americans.

While most of the films are short, the first night, Sept. 22, will feature a screening of a full-length animated feature from 2022, “Quantum Cowboys.” The screening is scheduled to start at approximately 7:20 p.m.

Directed by Geoff Marslett and written by Marslett and Howe Gelb, the film is described on the IMDB website as a science fiction comedy and a “rotoscoped time travel Western.” The stars include Kiowa Gordon (Frank), John Way (Bruno) and Lily Gladstone (Linde).

Here is how the film’s plotline is described on the IMDB website:  “Two hapless drifters, Frank and Bruno, team up with Linde to recover her land and trek across 1870's Southern Arizona to find an elusive frontier musician. The complex quantum time theory is blended with philosophical musings about art as the way we understand our history and memories, with gunfights, horses, dance halls, cacti, and saloons.”

Holly Jones of “Variety” described “Quantum Cowboys” this way:  “The film is a captivating out West fever dream that takes place across a surreal frontier. A patchwork tapestry of time and space, it follows the ill-fated duo Frank (Kiowa Gordon) and Bruno (John Way) on an inter-dimensional search for redemption along infinite timelines.”

Jones went on to say the film is, “An ambitious collaboration, characters are conceived in 8K and 16MM live-action and across 12 different animation techniques that include stop-motion animation, hand-drawn digital rotoscoping, acrylic paintings combined with live-action characters, digital collage, CGI 3D animation, and hand-drawn traditional 2D animation.”

Jones said the scenes that advance the plot through saloons, prairies and solemn deserts were crafted by artists from Swerve Pictures, Minnow Mountain, Artless Media and Mystery Meat Media.

Actor Gary Farmer, who plays Calvin in the film, will be on hand for the Parker screening.

“Quantum Cowboys” scored an 8.1 out of 10 on the IMDB website.

The first night will also include a screening of “Bring Her Home,” a 2021 film originally shown on PBS. It shows the work of three native women, an artist, an activist, and a politician as they seek to honor and vindicate female relatives who are missing or who were murdered. The film is scheduled to be screened at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 22.

The screening will be followed at 6:30 p.m. with a ceremony honoring missing and murdered native women and raising awareness of the issue.

The festival will conclude with an award ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the River’s Edge Cantina. The ceremony will include a live performance by Raye Zaragoza and sound by DJ Fabe.

Zaragoza is a singer-songwriter known for her acoustic guitar playing. She has been described as a “Powerhouse folk-songstress carrying an acoustic guitar and a message. She was named ‘one of the most politically relevant artist in her genre’ by Paste Magazine.”

She’s become known for dealing with social issues and issues of injustice in her songs. Her song, “In the River,” was written as a response to the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline has become highly controversial, with large protests from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. These protests drew international attention and widespread media coverage. 

Zaragoza appeared in Parker in 2019, when, at the invitation of Keith Moses, she sang to children at the CRIT Head Start School and the Parker Public Library. She’s of Akimel O’odham descent, who were formerly known as the Pima. She has been singing professionally since 2016.

The festival includes the always popular frybread-making competition at 9 a.m. on Sept. 24 in front of the BlueWater Cinemas.

The NatiVisions Film Festival is being held ahead of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Native American Days Fair & Expo. Admission to all festival films is free. Running times are approximate.

Thursday, Sept. 22

4 p.m.:  “The Long Game,” directed by Justin Deegan; 45:00

4 p.m.:  “A Woman’s Voice,” directed by Robert Bruce; 12:52

5 p.m.:  “I am the Warrior,” directed by Tara Audibert; 7:52

5 p.m.:  “Remember the Children,” directed by Arlo Iron Cloud; 22:40

5:30 p.m.:  “Bring Her Home,” directed by Leya Hale; 56:14

6:30 p.m.:  Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women ceremony

6:50 p.m.:  “Whispers in the Wind,” directed by Ricky Lee; 22:50

7:20 p.m.:  Quantum Cowboys, with special appearance by Gary Farmer

Friday, Sept. 23

4 p.m.:  “L’inhuman,” directed by Jason Brennan; 1:25

5:30 p.m.:  “Concrete 49,” directed by Justin Deegan; 10:23

5:30 p.m.:  “The Music of the Wewa People,” directed by Michael Brims and Jaime Bofil; 11:25

6 p.m.:  “The Journey of Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo,” directed by Mark Williams, 47:29

7 p.m.:  Special Presentation:  “From the Mountain to the Sea,” directed by Anna Marbrook; 12:06

7:30 p.m.:  “My First Native American Boyfriend,” directed by Joey Clift; 4:45

7:30 p.m.:  “In Our Own Hands,” directed by Jennifer Verenchik, 11:00

7:30 p.m.:  “Mirror Man,” directed by Ginew Benton; 14:45

Saturday, Sept. 24

1 p.m.:  “Two Bears,” Directed by Anthony Flores; 18:02

1 p.m.:  “Titration:  Radioactive Waste, Princeton and the Navajo Nation,” directed by Michael Q. Ceballos; 9:59

1 p.m.:  “Tsiyeet (Hair Bun),” directed by Shanique Yazzie; 3:41

2 p.m.:  “Rose,” directed by Roxann Whitebean; 24:41

2 p.m.:  “Life is an Expedition,” directed by Jeremy Williams, 19:46

3 p.m.:  “Older Than the Crown,” directed by Derrick Lamere; 57:00

4 p.m.:  “Aniskenamakewin,” directed by Marie-Christine Petiquay; 10:30

4 p.m.:  “Dues,” directed by Michael R.L. Begay; 15:00

4 p.m.:  “Chris,” directed by Ryker Sixkiller; 10:55

4 p.m.:  “Dogwood (Sipinikimm),” directed by Maya Rose Dittloff; 15:41   


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