After an incredibly successful first year, the Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival returned to Richmond’s historic Byrd Theatre on Thursday, November 15, 2018, for four days of films and live performances by Native American artists. The Festival, which attracted more than 750 attendees over the weekend, is one of the East Coast’s most comprehensive American Indian film festivals.
A Legacy Project of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, the Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival fostered greater awareness of, and exposure to, indigenous languages, cultures, and history. The Festival included Native American-affiliated classics and recently released films that have been official selections of world-renowned festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, the South by Southwest Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival.
A pre-festival symposium was held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture on Wednesday, November 14 to kick off the weekend of films and programming. The symposium, titled Pocahontas: Her Life, Legend and Legacy, included distinguished speakers from around the world who discussed what Pocahontas has come to symbolize in contemporary culture. Academics, tribal leaders, and historians participated in discussions whose themes ranged from cross-cultural understanding to the role of religion and faith in Pocahontas’s life. The program honored Virginia’s Indian tribes and recognized their integral role in the founding of the United States.
Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers had the opportunity to engage with both classic and contemporary films, all of which detailed rarely seen aspects of the native experience. Stories from around the world were brought to life with films like Hochelaga, Land of Souls set in Montreal, to Werowocomoco which tells the story of the powerful Powhatan Indian town that existed right here in Virginia before English settlers established Jamestown. Hollywood blockbusters like Hostiles with Christian Bale, played alongside documentaries such as More Than A Word, a film that analyzes the Washington, D.C. football team name, all sparking important discussions about indigenous cultures.
A variety of media outlets covered the Festival:
- Symposium will explore the life, legacy of Pocahontas, AP (11/13/18)
- Native American Film Festival Returns, Richmond Magazine (11/14/18)
- Bradby Brown column: Reframing Native American life and experience through film, Richmond Times-Dispatch (11/15/18)
- Native American Storytellers, Chasing History Blog (11/19/18)
For more information on the annual Festival, visit http://pocahontasreframed.com/.