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Shining Mountains Film Festival

10/13/2019 to 10/14/2019

Shining Mountains Film Festival is Aspen’s first Native American film festival that celebrates the spirit of our nation’s indigenous cultures.  In honor of Aspen’s second year of declaring the second Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples Day”, this festival explores Native American culture, spirituality, vision, determination, and strength through shorts and feature films.


2018 Schedule below, Stay tuned for 2019 details!

- The first session will start with a blessing by Roland McCook, former Chairman of the Northern Ute Tribe. In this film session, you’ll discover how the Utes’ legacy continues to have an impact in Colorado today in “The Original Coloradans,” produced by Julie Speer, followed by a Q&A session with Roland McCook.
- Next up will be LaRonn Katchia’s “Awakening” about a grandmother who sends her unwilling grandson to see a Shaman. To overcome his fears, he must find his culture within him.
- The final film of session one is “Conspiracy to be Free” by Colter Johnson. This film is the story of Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means and follows his career from 1970s activism to the entertainment industry in the 2000s. His son, Scott Means, will end the afternoon with a question-and-answer discussion at 5:20 
- Dave Taylor’s “Whitewashed,” a documentary that digs into history to explain generational traumas and shows the resilience of the American Indians will lead into session two.
- James Anaquad Kleinert’s “Horse Medicine” will reconnect hearts with the power of the horse and Mother Earth.
- Kyle Bell’s “Defend the Sacred,” a documentary that attempts to capture the spirit of Indigenous people at Standing Rock will appear next.
- Following Bell’s film is James Anaquad Kleinert’s “Standing Rock” about the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- Nina Barbier’s “The Last Battle of Lakota Indians” will continue the evening with a focus on “Healing Camps,” and what happened after Standing Rock. The session concludes with an expert panel of speakers including Dave Taylor, Kyle Bell, Anuk and Phyllis Bald Eagle, Amos Cook, and James Kleinert. 
“Neither Wolf Nor God”, Steven Lewis Simpson’s film retelling the true story of a white author sucked into a road trip through Native American Country, will debut before a Q&A with the director and family members of the film’s main character, as played by Chief Dave Bald Eagle. Between the film screening and the panel discussion, Native American flute player Moontee Sinquah and hoop dancers will perform. Traditional Indian fried bread will be available outside.

The Shining Mountain Film Festival is presented in honor of Aspen’s second year of declaring the second Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples Day.” As Aspen’s first Native American film festival, the film series celebrates the spirit of our nation’s indigenous cultures. For more information, please visit www.wheeleroperahouse.com

Wheeler Opera House
Location Address: 
320 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
Admission Price: 
$15 (Special price for Wins members)
Contact Phone: 


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