The First Nation Program

  • n/a mins

A large diversity of ethnic groups existed when Europeans arrived in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and other countries. Their arrival was part of a plan of conquering lands, accumulating riches, and subjugating peoples. The impact of this terrible project still resonates today.  ADIFF-NY 2020 is paying attention to the history and legacy of these events with a selection of 10 films from the USA, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia that illustrate the impact of colonization and the struggles that followed for indigenous peoples.  The program also includes a virtual conversation about the history and fights of First Nation People with filmmakers, activists, and scholars.





Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Castle, co-director WARRIOR WOMEN

Myriam Verreault, dir. KUESSIPAN
Sharon Fontaine-Ishpatao, lead actress KUESSIPAN

Treva Wurmfeld, dir. CONSCIOUS POINT

Lee Francis IV, Ph.D., Executive Director

Conversant: Tao Leigh Goffe, Ph.D., Professor Cornell University

In this program

The Tracker

Directed by Rolf de Heer

The year is 1922 and The Tracker (David Gulpilil, Walkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence) has the job of pursuing The Fugitive – an aborigine who is suspected of murdering a white woman – as he leads three mounted policemen…

Spears From All Sides

Directed by Christopher Walker

Spears From All Sides follows the young, charismatic Waorani activist Opi as he tells the dramatic story of a vehement, community based resistance by tribal communities in one of the most remote and beautiful areas of the world.

Warrior Women

Directed by Christina D. King, Elizabeth A. Castle

Warrior Women is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, one such AIM leader who shaped a kindred group of activists’ children – including her daughter Marcy – into the “We Will Remember” Survival School as a Native alternative to government-run education.

Conscience Point

Directed by Treva Wurmfield

Exploring the roots of American inequity, greed and pollution, Conscience Point contrasts the values of those for whom beautiful places are a commodity – who regard land as raw material…

Sweet Country

Directed by Warwick Thornton

Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Directed by Zacharias Kunuk

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is an epic film made by and about the Inuit peoples of the Canadian arctic, telling a story of a crime that ruptures the trust within a closely knit group, and how justice is achieved and healing begins.


Directed by Myriam Verreault

Adapted from Naomi Fontaine’s acclaimed novel, Kuessipan is Myriam Verreault’s first narrative feature.

In Times Of Rain

Directed by Itandehui Jansen

In Times of Rain is a powerful story of economic migration between rural and urban Mexico, and the bonds of love, family and culture.

White Lies

Directed by Dana Rotberg

Based on a novel by Whale Rider writer Witi Ihimaera, White Lies – New Zealand’s entry in the 2014 Oscar competition for best foreign-language film – is an intense drama that explores with great humanity and sensitivity such difficult topics as race relations, skin bleaching and abortion.

Rosa Chumbe

Directed by Jonatan Relayze

Critically acclaimed Rosa Chumbe is a rare film from Peru where the multiculturalism and multiracialism of Peruvien society is present everywhere.