Preserving culture is only possible when people take the time to understand its origins, respect its traditions and implement it into their lives in the future. The Native Reel Cinema Festival aims to do just that – celebrate the art and culture of Native Americans through film and showcase that celebration to all.
Now in its fourth year, the free festival gathers dozens of people every year to learn about the stories of Native Americans through film. This year, the festival will take place at the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Feb. 9 and 10 in meeting rooms 1 through 4.
On Feb. 9 from 8 to 10 p.m., spectators can see the award-winning film “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” directed by Catherine Bainbridge. Following the film, producers Stevie Salas and Christina Fon will accompany Black Eyed Peas music artist Taboo in a question-and-answer panel. As an added bonus, guests will also get to see a special performance by Taboo and the Magnificent 7 – a group of Native American artists from different tribes, including Zack “Doc” Battiest, Spencer Battiest, Emcee One, Drezus, PJ Vegas, SupaMan and Natalia Aka.
The festivities will continue Feb. 10 from 8 to 10 p.m. with a screening of the 1958 film “Wind Across the Everglades.” The festival will also put on a special presentation of the 2015 film “Ronnie Bodean.” Afterwards, there will be another Q&A session and special guests, including Taboo, director and artist Steven Paul Judd (“Ronnie BoDean,” “Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco”) and actors Wes Studi (“Hostiles,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Ronnie BoDean”), Martin Sensemeier (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Wind River,” “Westworld”), Michelle Thrush (“Pathfinder,” “Blackstone,” “Dead Man”).
The festival is part of the Tribal Fair and Pow Wow, which starts Feb. 9 with alligator wrestling and a wildlife show at noon and ends the night of Feb. 10 with the Bill Osceola Memorial Rodeo at Hollywood Rodeo Arena.
“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” (2017)
Dubbed “Revelatory in almost every sense” by Hollywood Reporter, this documentary highlights the influence Native Americans had on the history of music in the past century. Directed by Catherine Bainbridge, “Rumble” features interviews with some of the most iconic musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Slash, Steven Tyler and John Trudell.
“Wind Across the Everglades” (1958)
This film follows game warden Walt Murdock, played by Christopher Plummer, who ventures to Florida to lay down the law, conservation law that is. Despite his homely attempt at adding some conservation peace to the everglades, he ends up as the arch rival of bird poachers, led by a man named Cottonmouth, played by Burl Ives.
“Ronnie BoDean” (2015)
This short film follows the story of Ronnie BoDean, a “larger-than-life outlaw with a short fuse and probably some loose screws.” The character, played by Wes Studi, ends up falling into an unusual situation, at least for him – babysitting his jailed neighbor’s children.