“Tribe of One” http://www.nfb.ca/atribeofone/ was awarded Best Documentary at American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco on Sunday Nov 14th. http://www.aifisf.com/ The NFB film is directed by Eunhee Cha and concerns the story of Rhonda Larabee (my mom's cousin), as she grew up in Vancouver's Chinatown/Strathcona neighborhood thinking she was Chinese/French, but as a young adult learned that her mother was actually First Nations. And thus began Rhonda's journey of First Nations self-discovery that saw her resurrect an “extinguished” indian tribe, and become chief of the Qayayt Band.
The following is an excerpt from Chief Rhonda Larrabee's e-mail to me about the experience!
First, they showed our film on Tues night (9th) and introduced Eunhee and me. After the film, they called us up to the front and had a q & a period. There were so many questions that after 30-40 mins. they had to stop it as there was another film to be shown.
It wrapped up on Saturday with a luncheon in the afternoon (we got all dressed up) and the Awards Show, which will be televised in the U.S. sometime later on. Since ABC & CBS were sponsors, we're hoping we'll be able to get it here.
The best news is that our film was nominated in the 'Best Documentary' category, along with two other films. We were on pins & needles at the Awards show…they showed the first clip about the Tootoo brothers – the hockey players and then our clip and the third clip was about the Alaskan Aboriginal Olympic Games, which was amazing. We thought we were Out, but then they said “The winner is —— A Tribe of One!!”
Eunhee and I screamed and ran up to get our award – she made a speech and then my turn came. Then we were whisked back-stage to the back and had a photo session and a TV interview! It was just like the Oscars! You should google the American Indian Film Festival and see how big this festival is. It's 29 years old and one of the most respected festivals in the U.S. http://www.aifisf.com/
We don't have our pics yet, but am going to get them pretty quick. It was the most amazing week. We met all the aboriginal film stars — Gordon Tootoosis, Tantoo Cardinal, Tina Keeper, George Leach, Michael Horse — and many many filmmakers, directors, up-and-coming young stars.
I'm still on Cloud 9…. Bryan is too — he's at work today and can't think straight – we left our hearts in S.F.
Will talk to you soon. Kinda busy for the rest of the week — am speaking at UBC on Wed and the Justice Institute on Friday. And still have to squeeze work in….