American Indian Film Festival: Awards, Winners List & More

The American Indian Film Festival is an annual non-profit film festival in San Francisco, California, United States. It is the world’s oldest venue dedicated solely to Native American/First Nations films and prepared the way for the 1979 formation of the American Indian Film Institute.

American Indian Film Festival

According to the Institute, the festival debuted in Seattle, Washington in 1975. It relocated to San Francisco in 1977, where it continues to be held. The festival was incorporated in 1979.

More than 3,100 films from Native American and First Nations Communities in the U.S. and Canada have been screened. The festival features events including film screenings, panel discussions, an awards ceremony, and networking opportunities.

This festival is not to be confused with the Native American Film and Video Festival, which was founded in 1979.

American Indian Film Festival Winners List:

American Indian Film Festival Winners List:

Here is the list of American Indian Film Festival Winners of Best Film Award:–

1987LoyaltiesWilliam Johnston and Ronald Lillie
1988Journey to Spirit IslandBruce D. Clark and Rodger Spero
1989Powwow HighwayJan Weiringa
1990Dances With WolvesJim Wilson and Kevin Costner
1992Incident at OglalaArthur Chobanian
1993Medicine RiverBarbara Allinson, John Danylkiw and Arvi Liimatainen
1994Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded KneeFred Berner
1995Dance Me OutsideBrian Dennis
1996Grand AvenueTony To
1998Smoke SignalsLarry Estes
1999UnbowedLisa Karadjian and Nanci Rossov
2000BackroadsShirley Cheechoo, Phyllis Ellis and Christine K. Walker
2001The Doe BoyChris Eyre and Anthony Vozza
2002Atanarjuat: The Fast RunnerPaul Apak Angilirq, Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk and Germaine Wong
2003DreamkeeperRon McLeod and Matthew O’Connor
2004Edge of AmericaChris Eyre and Willy Holtzman
2005Johnny TootallCynthia Chapman and Danielle Prohom Olson
2006Expiration DateJohn Forsen and Rick Stevenson
2007ImprintChris Eyre and Michael Linn
2008Before TomorrowStéphane Rituit
2009Barking WaterChad Burris
2010A Windigo TaleArmand Garnet Ruffo
2011Shouting SecretsJosef Ueli Bollag and Korinna Sehringer
2012MesnakReginald Vollant
2013MaïnaYves Fortin and Karine Martin
2014Drunktown’s FinestChad Burris and Mateo Frazier
2015MekkoChad Burris and Jasper Zweibel
2016Before the StreetsChloé Leriche
2017Wind RiverElizabeth A. Bell, Peter Berg, Matthew George, Basil Iwanyk and Wayne L. Rogers
2018Angelique’s IsleAmos Adetuyi, Dave Clement, Michelle Derosier and Floyd Kane
2019Edge of the KnifeJonathan Frantz
2020Monkey BeachLoretta Todd, Patti Poskitt, Carla Robinson, Fred Fuchs, Matthew O’Connor, Lisa Richardson
2021Run Woman RunPaula Devonshire, Laura Milliken, PJ Thornton
2022Broken AngelPatti Poskitt, Jules Arita Koostachin, Anne Wheeler
Best Film Award Winners List

Here is the list of American Indian Film Festival Winners of the Best Director Award:–

2001Randy RedroadThe Doe Boy
2002Zacharias KunukAtanarjuat: The Fast Runner
2003Norma BaileyCowboys and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story
2004Chris EyreEdge of America
2005Aaron James SorensenHank Williams First Nation
2006Zacharias Kunuk, Norman CohnThe Journals of Knud Rasmussen
2007Sterlin HarjoFour Sheets to the Wind
2008Georgina LightningOlder Than America
2009Kevin WilmottThe Only Good Indian
2010Jeremy TorrieA Flesh Offering
2011Andrew Okpeaha MacLeanOn the Ice
2012Jeremy TorriePath of Souls
2013Alex Smith, Andrew J. SmithWinter in the Blood
2014Jeff BarnabyRhymes for Young Ghouls
2015Chloe ZhaoSongs My Brothers Taught Me
2016Nathan FrankowskiTe Ata
2017Marie ClementsThe Road Forward
2018Zoe Leigh HopkinsKayak to Klemtu
2019Marie ClementsRed Snow
2020Loretta ToddMonkey Beach
2021Trevor MackPortraits from a Fire
2022Jason BrennanThe Inhuman
Best Director Award Winners List

Here is the list of American Indian Film Festival Winners of the Best Actor Award:–

2001James DuvalThe Doe Boy
2002Natar UngalaaqAtanarjuat: The Fast Runner
2003August SchellenbergDreamkeeper
2004George LeachDistant Drumming
2005Adam BeachJohnny Tootall
2006Robert A. GuthrieExpiration Date
2007Cody LightningFour Sheets to the Wind
2008Trevor DuplessisIn a World Created by a Drunken God
2009Wes StudiThe Only Good Indian
2010John CookOf Mice and Men
2011Chaske SpencerShouting Secrets
2012Victor Andrés Trelles TurgeonMesnak
2013Chaske SpencerWinter in the Blood
2014Glen GouldRhymes for Young Ghouls
2015Rod RondeauxMekko
2016Gil BirminghamTe Ata
2017Graham GreeneWind River
2018Lorne CardinalKayak to Klemtu
2019Tyler YorkEdge of the Knife
2020Adam BeachMonkey Beach
2021Stormee KippSooyii
2022SamianThe Inhuman
Best Actor Award Winners List

Here is the list of American Indian Film Festival Winners of the Best Actress Award:–

Best Actress Award:
2001Jeri ArredondoThe Doe Boy
2002Lucy TulugarjukAtanarjuat: The Fast Runner
2003Alex RiceCoyote Waits
2004Tina KeeperDistant Drumming
2005Stacy Da SilvaHank Williams First Nation
2006Andrea MenardThe Velvet Devil
2007Tonantzin CarmeloImprint
2008Candy FoxMoccasin Flats: Redemption
2009Casey Camp-HorinekBarking Water
2010Andrea MenardA Windigo Tale
2011Michelle St. JohnEvery Emotion Costs
2012Ève RinguetteMesnak
2013Roseanne SupernaultMaïna
2014Cara GeeEmpire of Dirt
2015Ève RinguetteLe Dep
2016Imajyn CardinalThe Saver
2017Devery JacobsThe Sun at Midnight
2018Julia JonesAngelique’s Isle
2019Lake DelisleRustic Oracle
2020Grace DoveMonkey Beach
2021Dakota Ray HebertRun Woman Run
2022Sera-Lys McArthurBroken Angel
Best Actress Award: Winners List

American Indian Film Festival 2023 Winners List:

Best ActressFilm
1. Grace Dove
2. Isa Antonetti
3. Meadow Kingfisher
4. Melanie Bray
Bones of Crows
Gift of Fear
The Beehive
Winner: Grace Dove
Best Animated Short
TinyRitchie HemphillRyan HachéWinner: Tiny
Best DirectorFilm
1. Marie Clements
2. Gail Maurice
3. Jack KohlerKaty Dore
4. Shelley Niro
Bones of Crows
Gift of Fear
Café Daughter
Winner: Marie Clements
Best Documentary FeatureFilm
Before the SunAitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi (original title)
Banchi Hanuse (Director)
Winner: Before the Sun
Best Documentary ShortFilm

Cara Romero
(What They’ve Been Taught)
Brit Hensel (Director)
Following the Light
Kaela Waldstein
Winner: Udeyonv
Best FilmDirector
Bones Of Crows
Café Daughter

Marie Clements
Shelley Niro 
Gail Maurice 

Winner: Bones of Crows
Best Supporting ActorFilm
Justin Johnson Cortez
Phillip Forest Lewitski
Gift of Fear
Bones of Crows
Winner: Justin Johnson Cortez
Best Supporting ActressFilm
Laura Vallejo
Michelle Thrush
Keris Hope Hill
Sera-Lys McArthur
Gift of Fear
Bones of Crows
Café Daughter
Winner: Laura Vallejo
American Indian Movie Award 2023


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