Indigenous Film Circle

With the support of our funders, the International Sámi Film Institute (ISFI) has initiated a new global network of prominent indigenous filmmakers and supporting organizations to help foster and promote the growth in indigenous storytelling through film. One of the main objectives of this new network, titled “Indigenous Film Circle” is to advise and facilitate an international film scholarship, “The Indigenous Film Fellowship” (IFF) that partners emerging indigenous film talent with notable and distinguished filmmakers worldwide in a two year program aimed at developing strong and compelling scripts and preparing solid marketing and financing plans before going into production.

In addition, the Indigenous Film Circle also helps sustain the growth and connectivity for indigenous films by bringing together individuals and organizations for continued dialog through conferencing and digital resources on the Internet. Both the Indigenous Film Circle and the Indigenous Film Fellowship fulfill the ISFI’s mission to strengthen the indigenous film network while also helping support and develop strong new talent within the film industry through the creation and growth of a permanent network for indigenous filmmakers and supporting partners globally.
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Project Description

In the summer of 2011, the ISFI launched an open call for submissions seeking new film projects by emerging talent in indigenous film from around the world. For this first year, the ISFI received over fifty applications. Through a formalized process of review and rating by the ISFI and participating partners, the Indigenous Film Circle selected eleven projects and filmmakers for the scholarship. The first gathering of selected fellows and mentors was scheduled to overlap with the first Indigenous Film Conference in late October where the announcement of official Indigenous Film Fellowship participants took place. Also at the conference were leaders in the Scandinavian film industry and indigenous filmmakers and funders were also in attendance. Free screenings to the attendees and to the public highlighted some of the best new Sámi films and indigenous media from diverse regions in the world providing just an insight into the talented work being made today.

The Indigenous Film Circle boasts an impressive group of filmmakers as their Fellowship Mentors. The first IFF gathering and workshop took place at the International Sámi Film Institute in Kautokeino, Norway. Also during this time, each of the mentors offered a two-hour master class in film development for the fellows. Topics included writing screenplays, telling personal narratives, visualizing the story and thinking ahead towards marketing and distribution as you develop your script.

Over the next year, the IFC and its mentors are dedicated to review, advise and provide critical feedback to help ensure all fellows’ projects develop into screen-ready scripts. The Indigenous Film Fellowship will meet again during 2012 to assess any script development needs and next steps in each project’s production planning.

The aim of the Indigenous Film Circle is to create a lasting network and establish an Indigenous film fund to support emerging Indigenous film talents world wide.
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