Smoke Songs

Smoke Songs
(20 min) USA
[watch trailer]
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Tuesday, 10/23, 5:40pm (Session XVII)

Director/Producer: Briar March 


Punk rock and human rights don’t necessarily share a common cause, but in the case of the band Blackfire, their music and their message are two integral parts of a solid and strong identity. Born into the heart of the Navajo Nation in an area on Black Mesa that is still in political dispute, band members (and siblings) Jeneda, Clayson and Klee Benally find it impossible to separate their passion for music from their socio-political messages. Mixing pure punk rock on electric equipment with Native American words, rhythm and sometimes dance, their music carries messages about government oppression, relocation of indigenous people, genocide and other rights issues that are often suppressed in this country’s dominant media culture. Their outreach doesn’t stop on the stage. 


Briar March is a filmmaker and Fulbright scholar. Her films have been broadcast on major television networks around the world, including PBS, Arte, and ABC Asia Pacific, have been released in commercial cinemas, and are regularly exhibited in film festivals. She has received over twenty international awards for her filmmaking, including the prestigious SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year Award, and a Qantas Film and Television Award for “Best Editing” in 2010. Her extensive filmography comprises two feature-length documentaries, There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho, and Allie Eagle and Me, as well as four documentary shorts: Smoke Songs, Michael & His Dragon, Sick Wid It, and Promenade. In addition to these, Briar March directs music videos, magazine shows, and is a practicing artist in the medium of video and photography. Her wide interest in multimedia has lead her to work as a television editor, production manager, and cinematographer on both fiction and documentary projects, and she is highly involved in the New Zealand Film and Television community. Briar shares the production company On the Level Productions, with Lyn Collie, with offices in the United States and New Zealand. She received an MFA in documentary film and video production at Stanford University, and a BFA at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts. 

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©2012 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)

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Smoke Songs
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