All Roads Film Project
Personal Invitation to Native Village Readers  from Francene Bly, Director, National Geographic All Roads Film Project

The National Geographic All Roads Film Project works with indigenous filmmakers from around the globe. These up-and-coming filmmakers are making films that are regularly accepted and shown in great festivals, including Sundance in Utah, Berlinale in Germany and even Cannes in France. Our filmmakers have also screened at indigenous film festivals around the world, including our own All Roads Film Festival in Washington, D.C. If you are an aspiring filmmaker, join us July 12-18 for the American Indian Summer Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, and learn how to make new media from some of these accomplished indigenous filmmakers.

To inquire about how to attend, email with "American Indian Summer Institute" in the subject line. We hope to see you in Los Angeles!

    Francene Bly,
                                   Director, National Geographic All Roads Film Project

Press Release :
All Roads to Promote Native Storytelling in Commercial Media
May 15, 2009
Condensed by Native Village

Washington D.C.  —The National Geographic All Roads Film Project; Native Media and Technology Network (NMTN); Indigenous Language Institute (ILI); Fox Entertainment Group  Naninaaq Productions; and Community Prophets, Australia, have partnered to create the 8th annual American Indian Summer Institute (AISI).  AISI is a series of professional workshops and training opportunities for Native students. The first partnership training takes place July 12-18, 2009 at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles.) Participants will be accepted via nomination from member organizations.

AISI was founded in 2002 with the guidance of the Southern California Indian Center. To draw participants from across the U.S., NMTN joined Fox in a national outreach effort.

“Our affiliation with All Roads and National Geographic Society has provided the training program to go global,” said Gerald Alcantar, vice president of diversity development at Fox.

“This focus on a global indigenous collaboration to increase Native American and indigenous peoples’ access and participation in the media and entertainment industry can only expand media-related employment and business opportunities for under-represented communities,” said Syd Beane, Flandreau Santee Sioux tribal member and national coordinator of NMTN.

According to UNESCO’s “Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger,” more than 2,500 languages are in danger of dying. The United States ranks second only to India with the highest number of diminishing languages. AISI helps address this problem by giving American Indian students an opportunity to explore and experience media that shares their native languages. AISI also trains the students in mixed media with new global indigenous insights. It then offers them a platform of opportunities to share their work across the world.

“Like ILI, National Geographic is concerned with the urgency to record diminishing languages and the need to assist communities worldwide in the documentation process of these languages, in order to have them accessible to younger generations to revitalize, said Francene Blythe. Blythe has Diné, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota and Eastern Band Cherokee heritage and is the director of National Geographic All Roads Film Project.  "Currently in its sixth year, the All Roads Film Project has the global platforms and resources to bring cultural exchanges of creative storytelling in film and media to the American Indian Summer Institute. This partnership will bring together five dynamic organizations that can pool their resources to broaden the reach of indigenous voices from Native America and bring them out to the world.”

“Indigenous Language Institute is excited about the positive impact that our partnership can achieve for Native peoples in revitalizing culture and language,” said Inée Slaughter, executive director of ILI. “By providing indigenous people training in ILI’s technology tools to document their languages, history, stories and songs and to create vibrant language materials, we can ensure that the endangered languages will have a deservedly distinguished presence and permanence in the global community.”

AISI features some of the world's most talented indigenous media luminaries. They will examine creative storytelling through media, indigenous perspectives on story, community and self-identity, and provide mentoring on technical aspects of mixed media.

Additional workshops are planned for 2010.

A showcase of All Roads international films will wrap up the week’s training on Saturday, July 18, at UCLA's James Bridges Theatre. For a full screening schedule and to purchase tickets, visit

About the All Roads Film Project
The All Roads Film Project is a National Geographic program dedicated to providing a platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture storytellers around the world. The program showcases their works in film and photograph and promotes knowledge, dialogue, and understanding to a broad global audience. In addition to providing a venue for their films, All Roads offers filmmakers and photographers networking opportunities. It also  awards 10 or more seed grants a year to support development and production of film and video projects by or about indigenous and minority-culture communities. Seed grant recipients are considered for inclusion in other National Geographic-affiliated broadcast outlets. The All Roads Photography Program provides photographers with award money, cameras and photography equipment to assist with their fieldwork.

About the Native Media and Technology Network
NMTN works through its affiliates to provide media training, production and distribution assistance to Native film-makers and their communities. These affiliates have included:
Southern California Indian Centers Intertribal Entertainment Program based in Fountain Valley, Calif.,
Native American Public Telecommunications headquartered in Lincoln, Neb.,
Migizi Communications located in Minneapolis, Minn.,
NativeAmerican Community Development Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.,
Sound of American Records (SOAR) of Albuquerque, N.M.,
Banner/Caswell Productions in Santa Monica, Calif.,
The Oglala Lakota College Film Program on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota,

The Oneida Nation of New York
Four Directions Media Company, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians from Portland, Ore.,
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians of Southern California

The Pacific Islanders in Communications in Honolulu, Hawaii,

American Indian Summer Institute (AISI) -
In order to increase the talent pool of those most severely under-represented in the media industry, Diversity Development designed this residential immersion program in 2002 and partnered with UCLA in its launch in that same year. In six years, 110 American Indian youth participated from 18 tribes across the United States including Alaska and Canada.

About the Indigenous Language Institute
The Indigenous Language Institute provides vital language-related services to Native communities. Their efforts ensure that each culture's identity, traditional wisdom and values are passed onto future generations with help from Elders who still speak their original language. ILI researches the best practices in language acquisition, then shares this research with Native communities. This empowers tribes to create educational materials to help children, families and communities learn and use their languages in everyday life.  ILI also offers monthly workshops at ILI headquarters in Santa Fe, N.M., as well as at tribal sites regionally.

Fox Entertainment Group
To increase the talent pool of the most severely under-represented in the industry, FOX's Diversity Development designed this residential immersion program in 2002 when it partnered with UCLA. While topics include broad entertainment exposure, the program emphasizes the production process from story concept to final onscreen images. Activities also include site visits and workshops led by industry professionals. 

About Naninaaq Productions
Naninaaq Productions is an indigenous media production and training company. It  creates documentaries and drama and fosters young creative minds through training and mentorship opportunities. The programs for Alaska's Indigenous and at-risk youth and Australia focus on traditional storytelling promoted by new voices in today's media. Naninaaq Productions is currently establishing the first media hub and interactive Indigenous Network on the North Slope of Alaska.

About Community Prophets
Community Prophets is a social justice media agency. It specializes in long-term training, employment and production partnerships with indigenous and at-risk youth and their communities. It also produces television series, cross-platform interactive online dramas, documentaries and youth training films in Australia. Community Prophets recently partnered with Naninaaq Productions to focus on building community-owned and - operated media centers.

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