Published August 7, 2016
SANTA FE – Native Americans have had a place in the movies literally since there were movies. But it’s taken until now for them to be seen as well rounded characters, to be played by actual Native actors and — very recently — to be the people behind the cameras as well as in front of them.
In its most recent program last month, The Evolution of Native Cinema, Silver Bullet Productions brought some familiar faces and names to Santa Fe for a reception and panel discussion to trace the changes in the film industry.
Silver Bullet Productions is a nonprofit corporation that specializes in educational filmmaking programs for rural and tribal communities and students. The company engages students and community members in an educational workshop or the creation of a film relevant to the geographic, cultural or historic vision of that community.
Last month’s panel was made up of Wes Studi (“Dances With Wolves,” “Powwow Highway,” “The Last Of The Mohicans”); Gary Farmer (“The Red Road,” “Skins,” “Smoke Signals”); A Martinez (“General Hospital,” “Longmire,” “L.A. Law”); and Forrest Goodluck (“The Revenant”). The panel was moderated by produce/director Chris Eyre (“Smoke Signals” and “Skins”) and was introduced by Santa Fe mayor, Javier Gonzales.
SBP CEO Pamela Pierce began the formal portion of the evening with some introductory remarks about the organization. “Our events have to mirror our mission,” she said. “They have to go towards education and cultural awareness.” She reminded the audience that SBP’s mission is to focus on the bigger picture of telling Native narratives from the Native perspective. “We help frame it. And, these incredible gentlemen help frame it.”