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Meet the Selectors

Anna Rosa DuarteAna Rosa Duarte (Yucatec Maya) is a videomaker and social anthropologist at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida. Duarte writes about cultural change among rural Mayan women in the Yucatán and the growing importance of arts and crafts cooperatives in the local economy. She also writes about Mayan self-representation through media, and has been an active participant in the founding of several organizations to produce and support indigenous media in southern Mexico. In 2000 she was the co-founder with Byrt Wammack of the media organization Yoochel Kaaj: Cine Video Cultura, which concentrates on the use of technology and the media arts. She is a founding member of the TURIX collective which has worked since 2002 to produce independent video in rural communities, the majority produced in Yucatecan Maya, which Duarte speaks fluently. Wammack and Duarte co-founded Geografías Suaves, a video festival focused on regional productions from Mayan communities and other indigenous peoples in southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.

Duarte has participated in video production workshops, including ones taught by French artist Patrick Degeteré and Mexican director Juan Carlos Rulfo. She focuses her own production, such as the recent Arroz con leche (2009), on documentaries focused on her own culture. Duarte, who was born in Chocholá, Yucatán, currently lives in Merida and is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in México City.

Work featured: Turix: Dragonflies without Borders

Helen Haig-BrownHelen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot'in) is an award-winning director, director of photography, and teacher, and a leading talent in producing experimental documentary shorts. Her work is broad-ranging, from experiences within her own family to explorations of land and language that are of significance to many First Nations people. Her first fictional work, ?E?Anx/The Cave, is an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of Berlinale 2010, and in 2009 was named one of Canada’s Top Ten (Short Film) by the Toronto International Film Festival.

Haig-Brown’s recent works include Pelq'ilc, about the Secwepemc Nation’s language revitalization efforts, and works in the television series Our First Voices, which focuses on indigenous language. As a cinematographer, Haig-Brown has worked with other outstanding experimental documentary directors, including Kevin Lee Burton and Kamala Todd and for CBC, Knowledge (British Columbia’s state of the art educational television network) and the National Film Board of Canada.

Haig-Brown serves on the board of directors for Redwire, a magazine for Native youth, and has conducted media training for youth in Big Island Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. She has also taught media production at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School on Galiano Island, British Columbia. She is a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Production Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and now resides on the Stone Reserve, traditional Tsilhqot'in lands in the interior of British Columbia.

Work featured: ?E?anx/The Cave, Mom n' Me, Pelq'ilc/Coming Home, Powwow Driveway

Terry JonesTerry Jones (Seneca) is a filmmaker and commercial photographer whose primary goal is to portray contemporary Native American society. His short videos have included several works on Seneca foods, with screenings often followed by food tastings, including What the Hell Is Corn Soup? and Frybread: A Traumedy, in which he also starred. In other works he explores the struggle to retain Indian identity in his community. Thomas Indian School Reunion documents one of the annual gatherings of former students at the residential school and orphanage, which ran from 1855–1956 on the Seneca reservation. He also produced and edited a five-part series on artists for the Gallery/Museum of the American Indian Community House in New York City.

In 2005, Jones attended the Institute of American Indian Arts Summer Film and Television Workshop where he was awarded an ABC/Disney Talent Development Fellowship for his feature-length screenplay, Salem (working title), about a 14-year-old girl’s experience in residential boarding school in the 1940s, which is under option to Disney. He is currently in development with Casino Nation, a documentary about the impact of the introduction of a casino on the community, which has received funding support from Native American Public Telecommunications, POV-The American Documentary, Independent Television Service, Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund, Sundance Documentary Fund, and New York State Council for the Arts.

Jones has served as a panelist for the New York State Council for the Arts. From 2005 to 2009 he was on the Board of Directors at the American Indian Community House, serving as Vice-Chairman and Secretary. Jones grew up and is currently living in the Cattaraugus territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York, where he is developing projects concerned with Seneca language and culture.

Nancy Marie MithloNancy Marie Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache) is an Assistant Professor of art history and American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches courses on Native American film, fine arts, visual representations, and museum theory. Mithlo is a prolific scholar and curator, exploring the manner in which film, photography, and media, as well as arts and material culture, are used to both produce and define ways of understanding. In her book “Our Indian Princess”: Subverting the Stereotype (School for American Research: 2009), Mithlo explores how stereotypes can be undermined by being appropriated. For her work she has received much recognition, including recent research fellowships from her university and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Currently Mithlo is the director of the Poolaw Photography Project, a joint undertaking of the University of Madison-Wisconsin and The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, concerned with the work and legacy of 20th-century Kiowa photographer Horace Poolaw. Her curatorial work has resulted in five exhibits at the Venice Biennale. From 1997 to 2003, she served on the Board of the IA3/Indigenous American Arts Alliance, which effectively opened the door to exhibition of contemporary Native Arts during the Biennale. She is now at work on a book about the emergence of the indigenous arts presence at the Venice Biennale from 1999 to 2009.

Mithlo earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University, writing on Native American identity and arts commerce in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a board member of the Society for Visual Anthropology and a contributor to SVA’s annual film festival. Her most recent article “‘Can You Hear Me?’ Silence as an Indigenous Representational Strategy in Film” is included in the upcoming Indigenous Voice in Film (University of Nebraska Press).

Work featured: Blood Memory