Friday, October 02, 2015

American indigenous film expert joins Borneo Eco Film Festival

KOTA KINABALU: Noted Native American and indigenous film expert, Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute, will be speaking at the 2015 Borneo Eco Film Festival (BEFF), which runs from today, October 2 to 4 at the National Culture and Art Department (JKKN) Sabah Auditorium.

Runningwater, who is based in Los Angeles, is the director of the prestigious Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program. This week, he will be in Kota Kinabalu to speak at the Borneo Eco Film Festival and lend his expertise in filmmaking during the Suara Komuniti Filmmaking Workshops at JKKN Sabah.

“We are extremely honoured and privileged to have someone of his caliber at this year’s festival. Our Suara Komuniti Filmmaking workshop participants are excited to have him share his knowledge and expertise,” said Dr Agnes Agama, co-founder of the Borneo Eco Film Festival.

She added Runningwater’s involvement in the film festival was ideal given the parallel between scenarios facing Sabah’s indigenous communities with that of Native Americans and indigenous peoples the world over.

“One of the key objectives of Suara is to encourage our local people to share their stories and find their unique suara or voice through filmmaking. It will be good to gain an insight on other indigenous storytelling styles and approaches to further inspire our budding filmmakers,” said Dr Agama.

During his time with BEFF, Runningwater – who belongs to the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache peoples and reared on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico, USA – will be talking about the Sundance Institute (at 8.30pm today) and introducing several short films by award-winning Native American and indigenous filmmakers on both Friday and Saturday night. He will also be giving a brief talk on Indigenous Filmmaking on Saturday night at 8pm. Admission is free.

Several students of University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) and members of Filmcamp KK will also have the privilege of spending an afternoon with Runningwater during a closed-session talk and discussion on filmmaking during the BEFF weekend.