Native visions on the silver screen | SierraSun.com

Native visions on the silver screen

Alanna Lungren
Sierra Sun

The natural theater of the Lake Tahoe Basin is the ancestral home of the Washoe Tribe. Starting Friday, the Meeks Bay Resort will become the amphitheater for the second annual Native Visions Film Festival.

“The homeland of the tribe is Lake Tahoe,” said Washoe Tribe Vice-Chairman Anthony Smokey. “It is very important for us to be out there on the land together.”

The festival began last year after the San Francisco-hubbed American Indian Film Festival visited the Washoe Tribe with its Tribal Touring Program, an event meant to expose Native youth to positive role models, creative work options and educational training.

“[Lake Tahoe] is our aboriginal territory,” Smokey said. “We’d like to promote all tribal people to attend.”

The festival began last year with the intention of showing the youth of the tribe other avenues of cultural expression in addition to traditional basket weaving and painting. This year, there are several student-made films that will be showcased at the event.

“[Film] is a way to share the Washoe culture and the culture of other Indian tribes throughout the country,” said Washoe Spokeswoman Felicia Archer. “A lot of our youth are interested in filmmaking as a way to preserve the Washoe culture ” it is a great bridge of generations.”

The festival, which begins Friday at 7 p.m., will offer daytime viewings in an event tent, and nighttime viewings of feature-length films outside after sunset.