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Tuesday December 11th 2018

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Indigenous people focus of new “Movies and Music” series

Indigenous artists, filmmakers, producers and actors will be showcased this summer in a four-part music and movies series at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park in Minneapolis. The series is hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Migizi Communications and the First Nations Composer Initiative.

Musical performances will feature local artists Red Ponie, Blue Dog, Mitch Walking Elk, and Chase Manhattan. The series offers the opportunity to catch Indigenous films that have been shown at national and international film festivals, and been sold out at the Walker Art Center (Barking Water).

The last evening in the series features the next generation of filmmakers with several student-produced short films from youth media programs such as In Progress and Migizi Communications, as well as Magic Wands, a new pioneering Ojibwe language film from Minneapolis filmmaker Elizabeth Day.

The music and movie series will take place on the banks of the Mississippi River and highlight the St. Anthony Falls area which was and is sacred to the Dakota. The Dakota had a variety of names for St. Anthony Falls including “O-Wa-Mni” (whirlpool) or “Ha-Ha Tanka” (waterfall). When Father Louis Hennepin saw the falls in 1680 he renamed them in honor of his patron saint,

Anthony of Padua. The falls is the only water fall on the entire length of the Mississippi River and served as the catalyst for the development of Minneapolis.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and take in the view of Minneapolis’ downtown skyline as you enjoy Indigenous Music and Movies at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park. Concerts begin at 7 p.m.; movies begin at dusk

Thursday, July 22
Red Ponie – Guitar-driven, powerful vocals and a rhythm band bring an intense, almost spiritual energy to the stage.

Movie: Reel Injun (85 minutes) – An entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through the history of cinema. Traveling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding – and misunderstanding – of Natives. Real Injun was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

Thursday, July 29
Blue Dog – An original blues-rock band based in the Twin Cities area since 2003.
Movie: Barking Water (80 minutes) – Before Oklahoma was a red state, it was known as the Land of the Red People, described by the Choctaw phrase Okla Humma. In his sophomore film, Sterlin Harjo takes viewers on a road trip through his own personal Oklahoma, which includes an eclectic mix of humanity. It was an official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and awarded Best Film and Best Actress at the American Indian Film Festival San Francisco.

Thursday, Aug. 5
Mitch Walking Elk – A folk singer with an equal love of the blues.
Movie: Kissed by Lightning (90 minutes) – The feature film and directorial debut of celebrated Mohawk filmmaker and visual artist, Shelley Niro (The Shirt, Honey Moccasin) tells the story of a Mohawk painter who keeps the memory of her dead husband alive through the recreation of stories he would tell her. It was awarded Best Indigenous Film at the 2009 Santa Fe Film Festival

Thursday, Aug. 12
Chase Manhattan – A local Hip Hop artist winning national acclaim and awards.
Movies: Discover and support the work of the next generation of filmmakers, producers and actors. This evening features eight shorts produced by Native American youth and emerging filmmakers. Films include winner and runner-up in the best documentary category of this year’s .edu film festival, Life in the Seventh Prophecy, made by students from the Bois Forte Reservation through the award-winning youth media organization In Progress; as well as New Circle, a short documentary about the history and scope of Native American art, produced by youth from Migizi Communications’ Summer Media Institute. Also screened will be Magic Wands, a film in the Ojibwe language made by local Ojibwe filmmaker Elizabeth Day.
Father Hennepin Bluffs Park is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River at 420 Main St. SE. Bike racks are located in the park. Metro Transit bus line #6 comes within two blocks of the park. Parking is available at meters along Main Street, local parking lots and city streets east of the park.

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