Multiethnic Coalition welcomes filmmakers to University

2/16/2011 - By: Misha Ray
Movie poster for “Columbus Day Legacy,” a film by Bennie Klain. Movie poster for “Columbus Day Legacy,” a film by Bennie Klain

The University of Nevada's Multiethnic Coalition is pleased to announce award-winning Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain along with his producer and Linguistic Anthropologist Leighton C. Peterson will be screening two new documentaries on Feb. 28 and March 1 in the Joe Crowley Student Union. Events are free and open to the public.

Klain, founder of the Austin, Texas-based TricksterFilms, LLC, will screen his two documentary films, "Weaving Worlds" at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28, and "Columbus Day Legacy" also at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1 in the Third Floor Theatre of the Joe Crowley Student Union.

"The projects I undertake demonstrate my willingness to engage the challenging task of bridging indigenous concerns and social commentary with broader artistic and audience considerations," Klain said. "My goal is to bring new voices and hidden histories to broader audiences."

Peterson is a linguistic and social anthropologist whose research has explored the emerging cultural attitudes, language ideologies, and discursive practices among Navajos and Navajo speakers through the lens of new media technologies. He is a professor at Miami University and producer for TricksterFilms and Native American Public Telecommunications. He will give a lecture, "Native Languages and the Media," at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1 in the Rita Laden Senate Chambers of the Student Union. 

"Weaving Worlds" highlights the lives of Navajo weavers with their unique-and often controversial-relationship with Reservation traders, showing how indigenous artisans struggle for cultural vitality and environmental sustainability in the face of globalization.  "Weaving Worlds" has screened on public television and around the world, and has won numerous awards including an Award of Commendation from the American Anthropological Association, Best Documentary Feature at the Black Hills Film Festival, and the second Rigoberta Menchu Prize for Social Justice at the Montreal First Peoples Festival.

 "Columbus Day Legacy," the team's newest documentary, explores quintessential American issues of free speech and ethnic pride against the backdrop of the Columbus Day Parade controversy in Denver, Colo. Klain explores the history of this annual parade in Denver which is often peppered with both verbal and physical violence, asking tough questions about political correctness, the interpretation of history, and what it means to be an "American."

These campus events are organized by the University Multiethnic Coalition, a University committee commissioned by the Office of the President to promote informed discussions of social diversity among University students and faculty. The events are made possible through generous funding from the Office of the Provost.



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