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Aspiring and emerging indigenous writers, directors and actors will want to attend NBC Entertainment’s special session at one of the largest Native film festivals in the country, on Friday, November 2 at 2 p.m. California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival (CAIIFF) brings screenings and panels to the Temecula-based Pechanga Resort Casino November 1-3, the start of Native American Heritage Month.

Jandiz Estrada Cardoso, senior director of Talent Development & Inclusion for NBCUniversal, will share the company’s Talent Infusion Programs—pipeline initiatives that seek to polish, scout and identify new talent, including writers, directors and actors.

Cardoso will share the steps necessary to break into a creative job in entertainment. She currently leads all programs for in-front of the camera talent and is a former award-winning casting director and audition coach.

More information about NBC’s pipeline initiatives is listed on www.NBCuniTIPs.com.

  • The Alternative Directors Program is NBC’s new annual directors’ initiative that addresses the need for more representation behind the camera in unscripted programming.
  • The NBC Universal Casting Assistant Program is a career development opportunity for individuals pursuing a career in scripted casting.
  • Writers on the Verge is a program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series.

NBC Universal Talent Development and Inclusion is a sponsor of the CAIIFF, which is supported by the Pechanga Development Corporation.

A powerful theme will resonate throughout the sixth annual CAIIFF, bringing Native and Indigenous women’s voices into focus through stories, films and art.

“This year’s festival comes at a time when women in Hollywood and beyond are demanding their voices to be heard. CAIIFF is excited to help elevaute women’s voices in showcasing their stories through art. It’s our honor to feature the talents of these Native female artists,” said Dr. Joely Proudfit, CAIIFF Director.

Art by Wakeah Jhane, who says: “It’s important for me to create artwork that empowers indigenous women; to encourage respect and authenticity.  My goal for this piece was to show how Indigenous women of all ages and backgrounds are reclaiming their voices as storytellers, media makers, screenwriters, directors of film and passing their knowledge to younger generations.” (caiiff.com)

Featuring an all-female lineup, the CAIIFF features the United States premiere of the feature film “Through Black Spruce”, which tells the story of a young Cree woman whose disappearance triggers events in two worlds: in Moosonee, the remote Northern Ontario community she fled years ago, and Toronto, where she modelled before vanishing. Making its world debut last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, Saturday, November 3, is the first time American audiences will be able to screen the acclaimed film.

Warrior Women is the opening night feature for CAIIFF and marks the film’s Southern California premiere. Warrior Women is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk (Oohenumpa Lakota), one such AIM leader who cultivated a rag-tag gang of activist children – including her daughter Marcella/Marcy Gilbert (Lakota/Dakota/Nakota) – into the “We Will Remember” Survival Group as a Native alternative to government-run boarding schools. A post-screening Q&A features Christina King, Elizabeth Castle, Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcella Gilbert. (CAIIFF)

Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas will send in a special message to introduce his unreleased new music video “One World” filmed on the Pechanga Indian reservation in December following his successful performance at last year’s film festival with his group Mag 7. Members of Mag 7 will be at this year’s festival working with tribal youth.

CAIIFF will also showcase several student films from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) including The Blanket, Exhaust and Legacy.

Kiowa-Choctaw artist and filmmaker Steven Paul Judd will facilitate the Youth Track at CAIIFF, as well as lead a digital media workshop. (CAIIFF)

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