“Storytellers and filmmakers tell us where to look and get information. It’s important to remember we have a voice, especially Native people, to talk about what’s going on.” —Chris Eyre
Join celebrated director Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) for a screening of his 1998 breakthrough Smoke Signals. A landmark of Native filmmaking, it was the first feature produced, written, directed, and acted by Native talents. Eyre was also the first Native American director to win the Audience Award and the Filmmaker’s Trophy at Sundance and to receive a national release. After the film, Eyre will discuss the impact of Smoke Signals 20 years later, his ongoing body of work, and independent Indigenous filmmaking past, present, and future. Hosted by guest curator Missy Whiteman.
Developed at the Sundance labs, Smoke Signals is based on the story “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene). Eyre’s lyrical debut features follows humorous young storyteller Thomas and his buddy Victor on an epic road trip from Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation to bring back the ashes of Victor’s estranged father—found dead in a trailer park in Phoenix. 1998, 35mm, 89 minutes.