The UK’s only annual Film Festival dedicated to Indigenous cinema arts raises its curtains as the 15th Annual Native Spirit Film Festival 2021 (#NSFF2021) officially launches in London – offering an interesting mix of online and in-person screenings as well as music, dance and creative activities. 

The #NSFF2021, which this year, runs from 12 October – 20 November 2021, was established in 2005 by Mapuche artist Freddy Treuquil, a long-standing prominent member of the Indigenous Mapuche community, Chile.

The festival uses the arts to promote Indigenous filmmakers and artists, native languages, international social and environmental awareness, and also celebrates the strength and potential of the human spirit. 

Expect a packed programme from this independent and truly unique film festival, with more than 90 films and up to 30 indigenous languages featured! From Turtle Island to Tajikistan, the festival will showcase film in all forms: Experimental, animation, horror, sci-fi, Native humour and microINDIGENOUS (films under 5minutes).

Opening night treats will include Mâmawi-Nikamowak (They sing together) (2021, 61 min) from Bawaadan Collective (Turtle Island). A celebration of connection and collaboration from artists across the Great Turtles back, showcased through a web series consisting of 21 Artists across 25 Shorts.

The way of the Sqoyaw (2020, 30min) dir. 莎韻西孟 Sayun Simung (Tayal, Taiwan) tells the story of indigenous people’s land rights. In order to learn more about the history of the Tayal people’s migration, the director traces the journey of the ancients.

The Lost Art of Seasoning (2021, 57min) dir. Abo Arangham (India) is also set to tell the interesting narrative to revive a diminishing practice of traditional salt-making by a small tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeastern state of India, after it was long forgotten for more than three decades.

Chwedl Dwr (Fairytale of Water) (2021, 40min) dir. Peter Stevenson, Jacob Whittaker (Cymru/Wales) shares tales from beneath the west Welsh waters – flood myths and fairytales – that tell of a time when you could walk across Cardigan Bay to Ireland, using old methods of visual storytelling.

Look out for special guest film & panel programmes curated by Native Creatives and filmmakers from QuechuaHoopa and Cree communities.

To mark International Inuit Day, filmmakers, Inuk Jorgensen, and Vinnie Karetak present Greenlandic and Inuit programmes in partnership with The Polar Museum, Cambridge.

#NSFF2021 continues to promote Indigenous languages in film for UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-32; and initiatives such as Native American Heritage Month.

Freddy Treuqil, founder of Native Spirit Foundation, said:

“All the [activists] have come to the conclusion that one objective of making video, radio and television is for the other culture to know us. It is necessary to create a bridge to share our culture in an educational form, without losing our identity.”

To learn more and find out how to watch screening please visit the website:

Read the interview with Tweed, Director for the Native Spirit Film Festival.

To volunteer at the festival please contact: 

You can also keep up to date with the #NSFF2021 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

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