California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival returning to Pechanga


California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival (CAIIFF), a program of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at CSU San Marcos, serves as a showcase of the best in American Indian and Indigenous film, shorts and documentaries.

“We want audiences from all walks of life to experience American Indian and Indigenous cinema and filmmakers,” said Joely Proudfit, executive director of CAIIFF.

“Our goal is to provide California moviegoers with a unique opportunity to encounter American Indians through honest and empowering film narratives about what it means to be Indigenous in the 21st century.”

The highlight of this year’s festival, at Pechanga Nov. 2-4, will be a screening of “Hostiles,” the highly-anticipated, if not controversial, new western directed by Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart,” “Black Mass”).

Debuting at the Telluride film festival last month, “Hostiles,” starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Adam Beach and Wes Studi, follows an embittered Army captain charged with escorting a dying Cheyenne war chief back to his tribal lands.

The film is not expected to be released commercially until December 2017 or January 2018.

Opening the festival, Thursday, Nov. 2, will be a screening of “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” a 2017 documentary film about American Indians who became rock and roll musicians, directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana.

A live performance by Mag7, an all-Indigenous group comprised of seven hip-hop artists including Taboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, Jerimiah Manitopyes, aka Drezus, Marcus “EmceeOne” Guinn, Supaman, Doc Battiest, PJ Vegas and Natalia “MyVerse,” will follow the Thursday screening.

Closing night, Saturday, Nov. 4, features the screening of “Hostiles,” to be followed by a Q&A moderated by Steven Gaydos, vice president and executive editor at Variety Magazine.

The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) fosters collaborative research and community service relationships between the faculty, staff, and students of CSU San Marcos and members of tribal communities, for the purpose of developing and conducting research projects that support the maintenance of sovereignty and culture within those communities.

Both the California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival and the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center are directed by Joely Proudfit, PhD. Dr. Proudfit also serves as a professor of American Indian Studies and is the Department Chair of American Indian Studies at CSU San Marcos.

If you go

The film festival will be held from Thursday, Nov. 2 through Saturday, Nov. 4 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Screening events cost $15 per person. For more information and a schedule of events, including the free Youth Film Shorts Program and Workshop, with filmmaker Steven Paul Judd, visit the website at