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Sundance brings Film Forward festival to Sulphur

The Sundance Institute is staging Film Forward a three-day event beginning Thursday at Sulphur's Chickasaw Cultural Center. The event will showcase indigenous-based movies and directors who use their medium to create cross-cultural understanding.
BY GEORGE LANG Modified: September 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012

As part of the Oklahoma Film Forward event, which follows tour stops in Arizona, Mexico, China, Colombia, India and Morocco, the Sundance Institute will stage two panel discussions: “Perspectives on Indigenous Filmmaking,” moderated by Bird Runningwater with Oklahoma-born directors Sterlin Harjo (“Four Sheets to the Wind,” “Barking Water”) and Jason Asenap (“Rugged Guy”) as panelists; and “Perspectives on Oklahoma Filmmaking” moderated by the Oklahoma Film Commission.

Runningwater, a 1994 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is director of the Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program. In May 2011, Runningwater brought Film Forward to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation in Michigan, and he said the upcoming event in Sulphur is continuing the festival's commitment toward reaching out to American Indian filmmakers and artists as well as emphasizing the importance of independent filmmaking.

“You know, I think a lot of audiences get trained by the American studio system,” Runningwater said in a recent phone interview. “We like to present films that are definitely independent and really offer different points of view. Not just American points of view, but global.”

For a full listing of Film Forward events through Saturday, go to