Sometimes During a Summer Storm, Her Hair Ran With Rainbows 
Painting by Kevin Peters (Nez Perce)

Sapatq’ayn Cinema

Fifth Annual

The University of Idaho’s Annual American Indian Film Festival has been re-named to reflect its location in Indian Country.  Sapatq'ayn Cinema will continue to screen recent films and videos written, directed and acted by Native people.  Sapatq'ayn is a Nez Perce word meaning "to display" (verb) or "a motion picture" (noun).  


 Sapatq'ayn Poster (PDF)

March 28 - 31, 2007




Song Journey


This film festival honors the University of Idaho Native American Student Association

Horace Axtell (Nez Perce) receiving a gift from Jan Johnson, 2007



Bonnie Looksaway

Real Indian

Mohawk Girls


Wounded Knee

Nazi Germany


Heather Rae

John Trudell


For more information, contact:

Prof. Janis (Jan) Johnson

 English Department and American Indian Studies
University of Idaho Moscow, ID 83844-1102

(208) 885-6156 or (208) 882-0109  

To view the:

 2003 Film Festival

2004 Film Festival

2005 Film Festival

2006 Film Festival

  Sapatq'ayn Cinema is under the direction of Jan Johnson, faculty member of the English Department and American Indian Studies Program.

    Sapatq’ayn Cinema Committee: Heather Kae, Stacey Barron, Tiffany Midge, Jan Johnson

Qe’ci’yew’yew’ (Thank You) to all who helped make this program possible.



Wednesday March 28 at 7:00 pm:

Singing Our Stories


Song Journey

Opening Night Ceremonial, Movie and Dialogue

  • Opening Prayer: Horace Axtell
  • Opening Song: Rose Creek Singers, Coeur d'Alene Women's Drum 
  • Opening Remarks: Jan Johnson 
  • Singing Our Stories (60 min) is an extraordinary cross-cultural documentary that explores the lives and historical musical roots of Aboriginal women from across North America. Features performances by Rita Coolidge, Ulali, Walela, Monk-Sanders Family Singers (from the same lineage of the great jazz composer Thelonious Monk), 'Namgis Traditional Singers, and more.
  • Song Journey (57 min) takes Arlene Bowman (Navajo) on the pow-wow circuit in the hope of reviving her connection to traditional Native culture. There she finds a fascinating movement amongst Native American female musicians who are both carrying forward the musical traditions of the First Nations as well as conducting a gentle but effective rebellion against the male monopoly of the "inner circle" represented by the drum. SONG JOURNEY is a powerful illustration of the strength of contemporary Native cultural identity and a wonderful companion to Bowman's award-winning Navajo Talking Picture.
  • Panel Dialogue: Margo Aragon, KLEW-TV
    and Jill Nanpuya (Colville Confederated Tribes)

Free of charge


Thursday March 29 at 7:00 pm:

Bonnie Looksaway's Iron Art Wagon, 

Real Indian, and Mohawk Girls

  • Bonnie Looksaway’s Iron Art Wagon (36 min.) is Cherokee actor Wes Studi’s directorial debut.  Bonnie is a young Native art student who takes to the road in her 1985 Pontiac (her Art Wagon) in an effort to sell her artwork. While on her road trip, Bonnie is doing a documentary of the difficulty Indian women have in the Indian art world. She encounters trouble and hospitality, and learns some lessons.
  • Real Indian (7.5 min) is a lighthearted, very personal look at the meaning of cultural identity. As a Lumbee Indian, the filmmaker is constantly confronted with the fact that she doesn't fit any of society's stereotypes for Native Americans. Those stereotypes are imposed by both whites and other Indians, alienating the filmmaker from many of the conventional definitions of Native American identity. Real Indian is a unique look into the fascinating and complex world of Lumbee Indian culture and makes the viewer question perceptions of Native Americans, as well as the meaning of our own cultural identity.
  • In Mohawk Girls, filmmaker Tracey Deer intimately captures the lives of three exuberant and insightful Mohawk teenagers as they face their future. Like Amy, Lauren and Felicia, Deer grew up on the Kahnawake Native Reserve, but she left to attend school. Now, she returns to document two critical years in the lives of these teens who are contending with the unwritten rules of their close-knit community. To move away from the reserve means you risk losing your credibility, or worse, your rights as a Mohawk. But to stay is to give up the possibilities offered by the "outside world." With insight, humor and compassion, Deer takes us inside the lives of these three teenagers as they tackle the same issues of identity, culture and family she faced a decade earlier.  Interspersed with home videos from Deer's own adolescence, Mohawk Girl's is a deeply emotional yet unsentimental look into what it means to grow up Native at the beginning of the 21st century.
  • Lapwai Valley Boys and Girls Club PSA Video (dirs. Chelsey Leighton and Annie Kane; 5 min.) This public service announcement video was made by Nez Perce high school students Leighton and Kane. Both appeared in the film Doing It? which screened at last year’s festival.
  • Panel Dialogue:  Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak (Nez Perce) and Angel Sobotta (Nez Perce)

Free of charge 


Friday March 30 at 7:00 pm:

American Holocaust: When It's Over I'll Still Be Indian


The Spirit of Annie Mae

  • American Holocaust: When It’s Over I’ll Still Be Indian (30 min) is a powerful, hard-hitting documentary reveals the link between Adolf Hitler’s treatment of German Jews and the U.S. government’s treatment of American Indians depicts disturbing parallels between these two Holocausts and explores the historical, social and religious roots of America’s own "ethnic cleansing." The film also examines, through the words and experiences of contemporary Indian people, the long term lasting effects of this on-going destructive process and the possible ramifications for the future of American Indian people in the 21st century.
  • In The Spirit of Annie Mae (73 min), 30-year-old Mi'kmaq American Indian Movement activist Annie Mae Aquash was found dead in rural South Dakota -- the victim of an execution-style murder. Fellow tribeswoman and noted filmmaker Catherine Anne Martin turned her attention toward Aquash's dramatically short life and unsolved murder. Aquash became a high-ranking leader of AIM, as well as an intelligence target on the part of the FBI, and thereby made her a target of suspicion by both organizations. Martin look into Aquash's life includes a number of interviews with many of the activist's friends and family members, as well as speculation into the perpetrators of her murder.
  • Panel Dialogue: Professor Roberta Paul (Nez Perce)  

Free of charge 


Saturday March 31 at 7:00 pm:

An Evening with Director Heather Rae

  • Heather Rae (Cherokee) has worked in some producing capacity on more than a dozen documentaries and half dozen features through her sixteen years in the film industry. She began working on Trudell in 1992, the creative culmination of 12 years of work as a filmmaker and activist. For six years Rae ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. For the past three years she has worked independently including a recently produced feature film, American Monster, starring Adam Beach, Gary Farmer and Udo Kier. She is also producing A Thousand Guns, with Michael Robinson (Trans, The Slaughter Rule) which Julian Goldberger (Trans, The Hawk Is Dying) will direct. Additionally she is producing The Space Between All Things with Yvonne Russo (Naturally  Native, True Whispers) and Randy Redroad (The Doe Boy) directing. She co-produced Backroads, directed by Shirley Cheechoo, which premiered at Sundance in 2000. Prior to her years at Sundance, Rae produced on such documentary films as CBS's 500 Nations, Turner Broadcasting's The Native Americans, and PBS' Storytellers of the Pacific.  She produced the behind-the-scenes making of Smoke Signals for the Sundance Channel and was an Associate Producer on Silent Tears, directed by Cheechoo.  Rae is more recently an Adjunct Professor at Boise State University and sits on the Board of Directors for Treasure Valley Television, Boise's community TV affiliate, and Chairs the Board for the regional True West Cinema Festival. Rae is Cherokee and a mother of three. She and her family reside in Boise, Idaho.
  • Dialogue, questions and answers

Free of charge 


All screenings are at the Kenworthy Theater in Moscow, Idaho

508 South Main at 7:00 pm

And all are Free and Open to the Public

 Sapatq'ayn Cinema is sponsored by the American Indians Studies Program. With additional support and funding from the Idaho Humanities Council

Return to American Indian Studies Program

Page manager: