By Alyssa Kelly (Pend d'Oreille), University of Montana
San Francisco, CA- The American Indian Film Festival wrapped up 2009 with an impressive awards show recognizing excellence in American Indian and Canada First Nations cinematic achievement on Nov. 13 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
Some celebrity faces where to be found in the crowd and mingling with guests, including singer and artist Buffy Sainte-Marie, American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks, and singer Andrea Menard, all who received awards.
There was an an array of talent to entertain between award announcements: Singer Andrea Menard, blues band The Plateros, singer Paula Bowers- Sanchez, Yaaw Tei Yi Tlingit Dancers from Juneau, Alaska, singer Jeremy Good Feather, indie singer/songwriter Samantha Crain, and violinist Swil Kanim.
List of winners:
- Best Film – A Windigo Tale, Director: Armand Garnet Ruffo, CAN
- Best Director – Jeremy Torrie, A Flesh Offering, CAN
- Best Actor – John Cook, Of Mice and Men, CAN
- Best Actress – Andrea Menard, A Windigo Tale, CAN
- Best Supporting Actor – Stanley Wood, Of Mice and Men, CAN
- Best Supporting Actress – Jani Lauzon, A Windigo Tale, CAN
- Best Documentary Feature – A Good Day to Die, Director: Lynn Salt & David Mueller, USA
- Best Documentary Short – Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family, Director: Bryan Beasley, USA
- Best Live Short Subject – The Cave, Director: Helen Haig-Brown, CAN
- Best Animation – Wapos Bay: The Hardest Lesson, Director: Trevor Cameron, Canada
- Best Music Video – The Road Forward, Director: Marie Clements, CAN
- Best Public Service – The Healing Lens, Director: Michelle Derosier, CAN.
- Eagle Spirit Honorees: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Eloise Cobell, and Billy Frank Jr.
A performance by the Komoks tribal members of the traditional Sapa dance portraying a shape shifter shot on location at the tribe's longhouse in Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
Four Host First Nations Welcome