If you are looking for something interesting to get yourself into the week/end in the desert then travel over to the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs to catch the 12th annual Festival of Native Film & Culture.

This festival is one of the most culturally relevant and educational film festivals to place all year long in the Coachella Valley .  I appreciate that there’s no hype, media, flashing lights, or red carpets…. just good, interesting, thought provoking, inspiring, culturally enriching and educational films.  Everything a film festival should be.

However, never mind my hype, you can see for yourself.  Make sure to read all the synopsis of each film and pick a few that interest you.

Hope to see you there…

native film




Agua Caliente Cultural Museum presents the twelfth annual Festival of Native Film & Culture at Camelot Theatres in central Palm Springs.

Now celebrating its 12th season, Native FilmFest – a signature cultural program of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum – is one of the most highly regarded events of its kind. The festival presents the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples from around the world. Screenings will be followed by informative Q&A sessions with filmmakers, directors, and actors in attendance.

Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, returns as our Guest Programmer. Her participation in the festival is made possible through our Museum’s partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program. The lineup of films selected for this year features engaging, entertaining, and enlightening feature films and documentaries paired with short films that have been described as “cinema-graphic gems.”

Every year, the late Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Richard M. Milanovich, attended Native FilmFest. He was a true lover of films of all genres. It is most fitting that we honor him with the good wishes of his family by establishing the Richard M. Milanovich Award for Distinguished Contributions to Indigenous Film. Although not an annual award, the Museum will present the first Award to Native filmmaker Chris Eyre at the 2013 festival.

Tented receptions will be held daily between the afternoon and evening screenings, where filmgoers may purchase tasty meals and beverages at minimum cost at Camelot Internationale Café, as well as visit with other filmgoers and the filmmakers, directors, and actors in attendance.

Ticket Info: $10 for Adults and $7 for Senior Adults (60+), Youth (16 and under), Students, and Active Military Personnel. All Access Passes are $70 and provide entry to all screenings.

For more information, call Agua Caliente Cultural Museum at 760-778-1079


xxCamelot Theatres


Screening Times

Friday, March 1

5:00 pm 
Purchase Tickets 

(United States, Short, 6 minutes) Film Trailer

After watching Back to the Future Part ll, an imaginative young girl and her stuffed teddy bear try to invent a real, working hoverboard.

Director: Sydney Freeland (Navajo)

From the Heart
(United States, Documentary, 42 minutes) Film Trailer

Through the ages, bird singing and dancing have been an important part of Native culture for tribes of the Southwest.  From the Heart focuses on the many varieties of singers in California and Arizona through filmed interviews with elders and younger singers on their respective reservations.

Director: Sean Owen

Racing the Rez
(United States, Documentary, 57 minutes) Film Trailer

Racing the Rez is about running, Native American culture, high school cross-country, and what it takes to have a goal and never say die. In the rugged regions of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from rival high schools compete for the state championship and learn how their triumph over adversity will impact their lives forever.

Producer: Brian Truglio

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests.

8:00 pm Purchase Tickets

Amaqqut Nunaat (The Country of Wolves)
(Canada, Short, 14 minutes)

In Amaqqut Nunaat, two brothers find themselves adrift on broken sea ice while hunting for seal. For many days, the boys drift in the darkness until the ice they are on settles on the shore of a strange and distant land.

Director: Neil Christopher
Producer: Louise Flaherty (Inuit)

On the Ice
(United States, Feature, 96 minutes) Film Trailer
Strong language and situations

Two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town find their bond tested when a seal-hunting trip goes wrong, resulting in the accidental death of their friend. Bonded by their dark secret, the two best friends are forced to create one fabrication after another in order to survive.  With their future in the balance, the two boys explore the limits of friendship and honor.

Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Inupiat)



Saturday, March 2

5:00 pm Purchase Tickets


(United States, Feature, 90 minutes) Film Trailer

This is the story of two Lakota Sioux brothers, Rudy and Mogie Yellow Lodge, on the fictional Beaver Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and the impact of destruction in Native American history on their lives today. Through his attempts to help his family and people, Rudy searches for answers to understand why they are in a condition that needs so much help, and the reasons for the sometimes extreme actions he employs to be helpful.

Director: Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes)

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests.

8:00 pm Purchase Tickets

SCREENING CHANGE: Two films by Chris Eyre will be shown in lieu of the originally scheduled Hide Away. A short film by Eyre will be followed by Skinwalkers, a crime thriller based on the novel by Tony Hillerman.  Those who purchased a ticket for Hide Away but do not wish to attend the updated screening may request a refund at the Camelot Theatres Box Office.

(United States, TV movie, 100 minutes) Film Trailer

Navajo Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn investigate murders that lead them into spine-tingling and mystical world of Navajo witchcraft. Three unsolved homicides and an attempt on Chee’s life have left the Navajo Tribal Police baffled. Are the murders somehow connected, although they occurred 120 miles apart? Or are they random acts of violence? Chee and Leaphorn’s efforts to solve the seemingly unrelated individual crimes leave them with clues that point toward one suspect, in this suspenseful mystery. Based on the novel by Tony Hillerman.

Director: Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes)




Sunday, March 3

5:00 pm 
Purchase Tickets

Sousa on the Rez
(United States, Documentary, 26 minutes) Film Trailer

The phrase “Native American music” may not suggest tubas and trumpets, but march music by composers like John Philip Sousa has been a part of Native culture for over a century. Sousa On The Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum takes a look at the vibrant but little-known tradition of brass band music in Indian country. It traces the origins of these groups and uncovers a secret history of the 20th century when all-Indian bands toured the United States and abroad.

Producer: Cathleen O’Connell

My Louisiana Love Trailer from Sharon Linezo Hong on Vimeo.

My Louisiana Love
(United States, Documentary, 66 minutes) Film Trailer
Strong language and situations

My Louisiana Love follows a young Native American woman, Monique Verdin, as she returns to southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. But soon she sees that her people’s traditional way of life is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. In this intimate documentary portrait, Monique must overcome the loss of her house, her father, and her partner – and redefine the meaning of home.

Director: Sharon Linezo Hong

7:00 pm

Festival Tent Meet & Greet – Tasty meals, snacks, and beverages moderately priced are available for purchase at Camelot Internationale Café. Visit with filmmakers, actors, and other guests.

8:00 pm Purchase Tickets

The 6th World

(United States, Short, 15 minutes) Film Trailer

Navajo astronaut Tazbah Redhouse is a pilot on the first spaceship sent to colonize Mars. But a mysterious dream the night before her departure indicates there may be more to her mission than she understands.

Director: Nanobah Becker (Navajo)

Shouting Secrets
(United States, Feature, 88 minutes) Film Trailer
Strong language and situations

Shouting Secrets is a dramatic, yet hopeful and heartwarming, universal story that takes place in a Native American family. It’s a story that is at once about the constancy and the fragility of love, as well as the importance of family. It is finally a movie, which skips the stereotypes and lets the Native Americans save themselves with no need to be saved by the white man.

Director: Korinna Sehringer







Individual tickets as well as the 2012 All Access Pass can be purchased at Camelot Theatres during normal Box Office business hours. Online purchases at www.camelottickets.com can be printed at home or held in Will Call in the Box Office. Ticket holders are advised to arrive at least 20 minutes before show time. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camelot Theatres is located at 2300 East Baristo Road in Palm Springs.

Ticket prices are $10 (Adult), $7 (Senior Adult 60+, Students, Youth 16 & Under, and Military Personnel). All Access Passes are $70 and provide entry to all screenings.

For additional Information

call the Museum at



Camelot Theatres Box Office