Winners Announced – American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show

Saturday, November 10, 2012 – 6:00 pm Evening Screening

• Bay Theatre at Pier 39 • Free Admission! •

The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI) is proud to announce the nominees for the 37th annual American Indian Film Festival. The awards will be presented at the annual American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show on Saturday Nov. 10 at 6:00 p.m at the historic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Over 80 films have been screened and judged by a jury panel designated by the American Indian Film Institute (AIFI). Twelve prestigious awards will be recognized to those with outstanding cinematic accomplishments, including: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Live Short Subject, Best Animation, Best Music Video, Best Industrial and Eagle Spirit Awards.

Since 1978, the American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show has evolved and revolved, maintaining its focus as a community – based circle where creative storytellers are showcased and commended for their cinematic achievements. The Awards Show reflects the essence of Indian cinema and performance.
“The Film Festival and Awards Show are the cornerstone of what we do – providing an opportunity and national venue for emerging and established filmmakers, entertainers and performing artist to convene, renew their artistic spirit and share their gifts.” Director Michael Smith

Best Film

More Than Frybread
Director: Travis Holt Hamilton

West of Thunder
Directors: Jody Marriot Bar-Lev & Steve Russell

Director: Yves Sioui Durand (WINNER)

Path of Souls
Jeremy Torrie

Tiger Eyes
Lawrence Blume

Best Director

Jeremy Torrie, Director
Path of Souls (WINNER)

Yves Sioui Durand, Director

Travis Holt Hamilton, Director
More Than Frybread

Best Actor

Adam Beach
Path of Souls

Victor Andres Trelles Turgeon
Mesnak (WINNER)

Best Actress

Eve Ringuette
Mesnak (WINNER)

Teresa Choyguha
More Than Frybread

Best Supporting Actor

Tatanka Means
Tiger Eyes (WINNER)

Gary Farmer
Path of Souls

Best Documentary Feature

Smoke Traders
Directors: Jeff Dorn & Catherine Bainbridge

Racing the Rez
Director: Brian Truglio

Dancing Salmon Home
Director: Will Doolittle (WINNER)

Vanishing Point
Directors: Stephen Smith & Julia Szucs

Documentary Short

Sousa On the Rez
Director: Cathleen O’Connell

From the Heart
Director: Sean Owen

The Gathering
Director: David Martin (WINNER)

Modern Native Warrior
Director: Veronica Maday

Best Live Short

Throat Song
Director: Miranda de Pencier (WINNER)

Director: Tracy Rector

The 6th World
Director: Nanobah Becker

A Red Girl’s Reasoning
Director: Elle-Maija Tailfeathers

Best Animation

Skatne Ronatehiarontie: They Grow Together
Director: Marion Konwennenhon Delaronde

Fighting Chance
Director: Alexandra Lazarowich (WINNER)

Little Wind
Kevin Johnson

Best Music Video

Geronimo by the Knocks
Director: Daniel Pappas

Native Blood by Testament
Director: Mike Sloat (WINNER)

Down On Broadway by Crystal Shawanda
Director: Tony Hrywchuk

Best Public Service

Hidden: Elder Abuse in Aboriginal Communities
Director: Lese Skidmore

Native Cry Suicide Prevention
Director: Daniel Golding

Agicida Cande: Warrior’s Heart
Director: Justin Lubke

REDress Redress Project
Director: Tina Keeper (WINNER)

Best Industrial

Traffic Safety Successes on the Colville Reservation
Director: MJ Haught (WINNER)

Sustainable Fishing for the Future
Director: Desautel Hege Communications and Corner Booth Media


Tonanztin Carmelo

Tonanztin Carmelo (Tongva and Kumeyaay),  is an award winning, multifaceted actor of the stage, screen and new media. She is best known for her leading roles as Thunder Heart Woman in the emmy-winning Steven Spielberg miniseries Into the West; and the Michael Linn film Imprint for which she was awarded Best Actress at the 2007 American Indian Motion Picture Awards.


Michael Horse

A true modern day renaissance man, Michael is a jeweler, actor, stunt man, sculptor, painter and activist. As an actor, he has appeared in many movies and on television, including Twin Peaks, Passenger 57, Lakota Woman, and the CBC Canadian series, North of 60. His works of art have been shown in galleries throughout the world, and are currently available at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, the Eiteljorg Museum in Indiana, Kiva Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe, and Gathering Tribes Gallery in Albany, California.


Crystal Shawanda

Crystal was born on the Wikwemikong Native Reservation on Canada’s Manitoulin Island in Ontario. At 13, she recorded her first album in Nashville, all of which were songs that she wrote. Crystal kicked off the year, storming up the country radio charts in January with the infectious track “Closer”, the first single from her upcoming album “Just Like you”.  Following up with “Closer”, Crystal released her next single, “Down On Broadway”, on May 28th with the accompanying video burning up CMT.



Kashtin – Claude MacKenzie & Florent Vollant

Kashtin were a Canadian folk rock duo in the 1980s and 1990s, one of Canada’s most famous First Nations musical groups.The band was formed in 1984 by Claude McKenzie and Florent Vollant, two Innu from the Maliotenam reserve in northern Quebec. The name Kashtin means “tornado on the horizon” in the Innu-aimun language. The band quickly became popular in the region, and in 1988 they were featured in a documentary on the Innu for a Quebec television station. They were soon brought to Montreal to record, and released their self-titled debut album in 1989. Although that album was recorded in their native language, spoken by just 12,000 people in the world, the album quickly became a major hit in Quebec, and soon in English Canada as well, eventually being certified double platinum. The singles “E Uassiuian” and “Tshinanu” were popular hits for the band.


Teresa Choyguha

Teresa is from the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona. She defines herself as a big, brown, drug-free, sober O’odham woman from the Rez. She is a popular Mistress of Ceremonies for various events throughout the Southwest, including pageants, special events, and conferences. She performs stand-up comedy specializing in Native humor.
She is very active in her community promoting wellness, encouraging the youth, and supporting language preservation and cultural traditions. She is an avid toka player (traditional field hockey). She lives with her family in Sells, Arizona. Her role as Sharmayne Cruz in More Than Frybread is her debut in movies. She participated in the Green Valley’s Community Theatre’s Vagina Monologues several years ago.


Swil Kanim

Swil Kanim is a world class virtuoso violinist who advocates self-expression to create stronger community. He intertwines his music with storytelling, poetry, and audience interaction. His original compositions are mesmerizing and inspiring to all ages alike, so bring the whole family when he is performing.


Dennis Banks

Dennis Banks, Anishinaabe born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota is a teacher, lecturer, activist, actor, author and traditional singer. Banks is also known as Nowa Cumig. His name in the Ojibwe language means “In the Center of the Ground.” He has been a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, which he cofounded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Bay Theatre at Pier 39 • Free Admission!
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