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Our undying gratitude to Phil Lucas who set the bar tremendously high for this 2004 American Indian Film Festival. Phil's vast knowledge and his superb reputation allowed us to have this world-class event with a budget one-tenth of what it would have cost under any other circumstances. His constant striving for the best made us all work past the capability any of us thought possible. Mounting this world-class event proved that we are world-class as well.

Thanks to Jean Floten and the entire campus community for support and encouragement. Thanks to Barbara Brodsky and TRIO and Faisal Jaswal and Peter Kirov and the ASG for the strong financial support that made this all possible. An estimated 900 people attended the events over the 3 day period, many of which covered controversial topics. This shows the high level of maturity and willingness to deal with complex and difficult issues that is inherent in our campus community. Thanks to Diane Douglas for making this seamless with the BCC Reads events.

 

 

The festival opened with Phil Lucas' primetime Emmy-nominated film Dances for a New Generation which featured the American Indian Dance Theatre. This pan-American Indian group has performed throughout the world to great acclaim. Immediately after, three dancers from the current troupe of fifteen performed dances that brought the audience to tears and ended with a standing ovation. Thanks to Ron Taplin for providing the introduction, Rick Otte and his crew for immortalizing this performance and Charlotte Black Elk on tape, and Jay Strevey, the stage manager who did on-the-fly stage lighting that looked as if it had been designed and rehearsed a thousand times.

 

 
Charlotte Black Elk is considered one of the most prominent American Indians and one of the great American intellects of any background. A scientist and lawyer, she has held positions in the National Science Foundation and the United Nations. She is considered one of the foremost authorities on Lakota history, religion, and culture. A method for gathering evidence has been named after her, sparked by her drive to provide scientific evidence for Lakota mythology. She has met with world leaders and represented the Sioux nation which has over one million Canadian and American members in many world forums. Members of the audience were given an incredible insight into the scientific work that verifies Lakota rituals. Charlotte covered a wide breadth of topics and provided indepth explanations of Lakota language and culture and the relevance of ceremonies to environmentalism and the social structure of the Lakota.

Due to the efforts of Zandra Apple, a childhood friend of Charlotte's, we were able to get this incredible individual on our campus to speak. Thank you, Zandra, for your passion and determination. Lakota women rock! 

 

We had the pleasure of hearing Hanay Geiogamah speak via teleconferencing from his office in UCLA on the final day of the festival. In order to find someone comparable to Hanay, you would have to combine the talents of Edward Albee, George Balanchine, Robert Redford, and Henry Louis Gates. Hanay is the author of more than a dozen plays including the first full volume published by an American Indian, the editor of Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of 12 American Indian Plays and Voices of the Seventh Generation: A Native American Theater Anthology and coeditor of A Reader for American Indian Theater Studies. His plays Body Indian, Foghorn, 49, Coon Cons Coyote and Land Sale have been performed throughout the US and Europe. He is the founder of a major internationally renown American Indian Dance Theatre and serves as principal choreographer for the company. He was producer of the Turner Broadcasting critically acclaimed Native American series including the film Lakota Woman. He is an incredible intellect and creative force plus mentor to many in the American Indian artistic community. Thanks to Roger Ewald and Tom Demyan for helping us with the ever-changing telecommunications logistics. Thanks to Jim Bennett for doing the introduction.

 

 

The film festival ended with a potluck. Thanks to the over twenty people who contributed delicious food and drink for the occasion. Thanks to Georgia Watanabe for being our official food handler. Thanks to Pat Andrus for the hard work of setting up and the many people including Louis, Juan, Sayumi, Scott, Georgia, Cheryl, and others who helped clean up. Kudos to event planner extraordinaire, Carol McKee, who pulled together the feast single-handedly.
 

Thanks for Adam Burke, Larry Boykin and Darla Abraham for handling the millions of requests for equipment, making the films run on time and without a hitch, accommodating last minutes changes, and being there until the late hours of night. You all performed above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks to Jamie Dye and Terri Halsey for their magic in making an impossible schedule possible. Thanks to Casey Spence, who worked and reworked budgets to find us money, made sure all the proper forms were filed, and found us the best travel agent. Thanks to Becky Turnbull for helping us get the AIDT bags back to the dancers on time. Kudos and thanks for the great AIFF logo and poster designed by our one-and-only James Torrence and Becky Turnbull for handling the poster printing. Much appreciation to Kate Bradley who worked long and hard to get us all the films.

Thanks to Bob Adams for his work in getting the AIFF into the Seattle Times and the King County Journal for the second year in a row. Thanks to Steve Ramsey and Kristen Walsh at KCBS for the great promotion and public service announcements.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our very capable Diversity Caucus Chairs, Judy Woo and Donna Meek. Donna used all her rallying powers to draw classes to the events and to secure financial support. Judy truly is the Living Treasure she wouldn't allow us to name. Nothing is impossible for her.