Aug. 7—PEMBROKE — The fourth annual Lumbee Film Festival returns to the big screen with 18 new films directed by indigenous filmmakers, screening over two days at the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub on Main Street.
This year’s festival is presented by the North Carolina Museum of Art and includes live music, film, food and fellowship. The festival opens Sept. 17 with an outdoor screening of “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” an electrifying look at the American Indian influence in popular music — despite attempts to ban, censor and erase Indian culture.
The film reveals how early pioneers of blues and jazz had American Indian roots, and how artists like North Carolina’s own Link Wray helped define its evolution and forever changed the trajectory of rock ‘n’ roll.
Before the film, Robeson County native and Lumbee Tribe member Charly Lowry will perform a mixture of her well-known songs and new works. Lowry appears in “RUMBLE” along with mentor Pura Fé and many other well-known Lumbee musicians.
Lowry first gained international recognition as a semi-finalist on American Idol in 2004 but has since built a following for her unique, energetic and captivating performances. She is also active as an advocate for American Indian rights and women’s rights.
“Each year the Lumbee Film Festival gets better and better,” said Kim Pevia, the festival’s founding director. “I am so excited about this year’s lineup of short and feature films. Some are traditional and some have us thinking out of the box. Some are local and some are far away. Just like in real life. Something for everyone. Come join us. You will be glad you did.”
The festival is organized through a partnership between the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and the Cucalorus Film Foundation, with the goal of showcasing films made by American Indians while raising awareness about the legacy of indigenous artists. The festival creates a platform for emerging Native artists, especially those working in the Southeastern United States.
Three shorts blocks will screen at the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub on Sept. 18 starting at 2 p.m., with the “The Sun Shines, The Water Flows” shorts block, which includes films by Lumbee youth, like “Climate Change,” directed by Leanna and Ethan Deese, made through the Unlocking Silent Histories project. The film explores climate change and its implications on local and global communities.
Films from the Wapikoni Mobile collective from Canada, who use media to raise awareness about indigenous cultures, issues and rights, will also screen in the block.
The “Roots Run Deep” shorts block starts at 3:30 p.m. and includes the poetic and observational documentary “Concrete 49” by LFF Alum Justin Deegan. The short is a subtle and effective examination of the lives of indigenous people living in New York City.
The “All My Relations” shorts block brings together five dramatic works to close out the afternoon’s survey of short-form indigenous cinema.
Several short films showcasing the Lumbee culture also will be screened during the festival.
“Lumbee Accent,” directed by Gabby Maynor and Lexie Caulder, will examine the prevalence of the Lumbee accent and how it affects its speakers. This film explores the concept of code-switching and how it has affected indigenous language.
Lumbee Tribe members will discuss the importance of and relationship with the Lumber River in the film “Lumber River,” directed by Denise Hunt.
A special screening of “The Trancscenders,” a feature film by Montana Cypress (Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida) will be screened immediately after an awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub. The film follows the struggles of two brothers who find a remedy that promises to “transform their primitive behavior” as they transition from life in the city, which differs greatly from their upbringing on the reservation.
Directors Catherine Oxendine and Nolan Oxendine will address the issues of colorism and how Lumbee Indians come in difference shades in the film “The Lumbee Indians: The Color of the Sun.”
For tickets, passes, and the full festival schedule visit https://www.cucalorus.org/lumbee-film-festival/. The Lumbee Film Festival is a partnership between the Lumbee Tribe of NC, Cucalorus Film Foundation, ARRAY, SouthArts and the NC Arts Council.