SHIMÁSÁNÍ (15 min., USA, Directed by Blackhorse Lowe)


In 1934 on the serene Navajo reservation, Mary Jane spends her time daydreaming and tending to her family’s flock of sheep. Mary Jane lives under the ways and guidance of her Másání (grandmother). When Mary Jane’s older sister Anne Mae flees from boarding school, she returns to the reservation with a world geography book. The images in the book reveal new worlds that are “just over the mountain.” Conflicted by her obedient nature and her curious imagination, Mary Jane must privately decide her own fate; whether to maintain her typical lifestyle alongside the sheep and Másání or to depart into the exotic unknowns of the world expressed on the pages of the book.

SHIMÁSÁNÍ won several awards, including SWAIA’s Indian Market Best of Show prize (a first time for the medium of film), Montréal First Peoples’ Festival Meilleure Direction Photo Award for best cinematography, and Best Narrative at the Marin County Festival of Short Film and Video; Nominations for Best Short Film include honors at Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, LA Shorts Fest and received two honorable mentions at the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto. SHIMÁSÁNÍ was made with the support of The New Mexico Film Commission NEW VISIONS/NEW MEXICO PANAVISION Award, BHP, APS Four Corners Power Plant, FIIO, Sundance Institute Native Initiative, Sundance Institute Mark Silverman Award, Re:New Media, Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau and Appaloosa Pictures.



IVAN AND IVAN (17 min., Russian Federation, 2009, Directed by Philipp Abryutin)

In present-day Russia of the Magadan region, Marfa and Ivan are raising their grandson little Ivan to live off the land, herding reindeer and fishing. Ivan junior is a happy nineyear-old who loves his grandfather, his dog, the beautiful hills and rivers, and, of course, his grandmother’s tasty flat cakes and kasha. Elder Ivan loves having his grandson close-by, learning and maintaining the traditional culture and language of the Evens people. Ivan and Ivan do everything together. But it’s time—young Ivan must leave all that is dear to him.

IVAN AND IVAN has screened at several prestigious film festivals, including MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, SXSW Film + Music Conference, Tromsø International Film Festival and took home the grand prize, the Teueikan Grand Prize for Best Film (a short film that beat out features!) at Montréal First Peoples’ Festival in the summer of 2010.



PREVENTION OF REPEATED CRIMES (17 min., Russian Federation, 2008, Directed by Philipp Abryutin)

Based on a true story set in the USSR of 1946, the film tells a story about a young NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) officer who visits a northern reindeer herding encampment to inform the Komi people about possible refugees from a nearby Gulag concentration camp. The officer provides explicit instructions to catch or kill these fugitives in order to prevent repeated crimes. But will his words be heeded too well?

PREVENTION OF REPEATED CRIMES premiered in 2008 at the Moscow International Film  Festival of VGIK and won several awards including Best Student Film, Best Screenplay and Best Sound. Since, the film has screened internationally at festivals such as Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway, Glimmer the 7th Hull International Short Film Festival in the UK, Dawson City International Short Film Festival in Canada, and the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto where it was nominated for Best Short Film.



ČURTE-NIILLAS (THE SHORT MOVIE) (3 min., Animation, Sweden, 2010, Directed by Per-Josef Idivuoma)

The Sámi people never had their own superhero. That’s where Čurte-Niillas steps in, and he is determined to do his best for the Sámi people. He aims to correct all the injustices the western world has made on the Sámi, but Čurte-Niillas (a.k.a. Butt-Niels) lacks special strengths necessary for a superhero to overpower his adversaries.  As it is, he is Sámi, and unfortunately things don’t often go as planned for the Sámi people.

ČURTE-NIILLAS (THE SHORT MOVIE) had its premieres in 2010 at several Sámi Film Festivals (in Inari, Finland and Kautokeino, Norway) as well as the Riddu Riddu Festival.  It was honorably selected as the center piece film for the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon at the UN Headquarters in New York in August 2010.




REVERBERATIONS (1 hour to feature length documentary, Canada/USA/Norway, production slated for April-July 2011, Directed by James Kinistino and Ken Are Bongo. Produced by Laura Milliken and Michelle Svenson. Production Studios: Big Soul Productions and Kautokeino Films AS. Subjects: Digging Roots and Adjágas)

REVERBERATIONS is a one-hour to feature length documentary that follows two indigenous bands, Juno Award winning Canadian First Nations group—Digging Roots, and acclaimed Norwegian Sámi group—Adjágas, as they journey to each other’s homelands to meet each other for the first time, learn and experience each other’s cultures and collaborate on the creative musical process. The film will capture the deeply spiritual aspect of both their unique forms of songwriting and musical technique that was passed down to them generationally while also exploring the eerie similarities, in both culture  and political oppression, between two indigenous nations that live half a world apart.



ROLLING THUNDER (5 minute short experimental documentary, Canada/USA/Sweden/Norway, production slated for August 2011, Directed by Per-Josef Idivuoma. Produced by Per-Josef Idivuoma, Michelle Svenson and Lisa Marie Kristensen. Director of Photography: Robert Cangiano. Starring Cody Lightning and Kyle Conrad.)

In the style of MTV’s “Jackass,” director, Per-Josef Idivuoma, attempts to thwart off unsuspected passersby on a busy day in the heart of Stockholm.



THREE LIVES (56 minute narrative, Russian Federation/Norway/USA, production slated for Summer 2011, Directed by Philipp Abryutin. Produced by Philipp Abryutin and Michelle Svenson)

To be shot in the Magadan region of the Siberian Arctic, THREE LIVES tells the story of one family’s downward spiral as they attempt to cope with life after the loss of their reindeer.



SUNRISE DIARY (Feature length docu-drama, Russian Federation/USA, production slated for Summer 2012, Directed by Philipp Abryutin. Produced by Philipp Abryutin and Michelle Svenson)

Based on the true stories of the director’s grandmother’s life, we follow the journey of a Chukchi reindeer herding woman who marries an outsider to her community and reconciles the many hardships of leaving and returning home in the shifting political climates of Russia’s modern history.


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