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Navajo Film Fest allows unique storytelling, Countless stories of Dine can be shared through filmmaking

Navajo Film Fest allows unique storytelling, Countless stories of Dine can be shared through filmmaking

FARMINGTON
Diné Bizaad can make or break a film at this special festival, unlike other film fests.

Navajo Film Fest allows unique storytelling, Countless stories of Dine can be shared through filmmaking

Navajo Times | Kianna Joe
Tonalea-Red Lake, Ariz.-native Sage Bond performs during the 2023 Navajo Film Festival at San Juan College’s Henderson Fine Arts Center in Farmington on July 23.

The Navajo Film Fest is an annual event that recognizes and searches for talented filmmakers who have been producing films or beginners who have just started. The film fest culminates its festivities by awarding the best films in adult, junior, and audience choice categories.This year’s film fest reigned close to home at San Juan College’s Henderson Theater, featuring filmmakers and live performances.

Tacey Atsitty is the film fest’s director. She flew in from Florida to continue holding a space that amplifies Diné Bizaad and Diné creativity.

In a conversation with a friend, Atsitty remembered her friend who said there are ideas in languages that only exist in that specific language. That type of logic and thinking became the spark behind the Navajo Film Fest.

Atsitty explained that when languages are lost, those ideas that are only available in that language are also lost.

“It was to cultivate a cache of films where it’s not just those of us who have taken Navajo language, still not as fluent as where we want to be, it’s a little bit more than, ‘Yá’át’ééh, aoo’ yá’át’ééh, haʼátʼíísh baa naniná, baa shił hózhǫ́.’ It’s a little bit more than that. It creates a space for people to create these films but also to hear them in different situations,” said Atsitty.

Read the full story in the July 27 edition of the Navajo Times.


About The Author

Kianna Joe

Kianna Joe is Bit’ahnii and born for Kinyaa’áanii. She was born in Gallup. She received first place for best editorial in the student division for the 2022 National Media Awards. She is now an intern for the Navajo Times, covering matters in the Phoenix Valley while attending school at Arizona State University.

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