First Nations filmmaker Mark Ennis (Maliseet Algonquian and a member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada) can now add ‘internationally-recognized” to his resume as the Cine Las Americas film festival based in Austin, Texas will be showcasing his film, Road of Iniquity on May 4th.
As described on their website, Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural non-profit offering theatrical screenings of films made by and/or about Latinos or Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Road of Iniquity will be featured as part of their Narrative Features competition.
Road of Iniquity tells the story of a young man who returns home after being released from prison. He struggles to gain a sense of normal life after prison, and gets caught in the middle of a conflict between two First Nations organized crime factions operating a lucrative drug trade through the U.S./Canadian border.
Filmmaker Mark Ennis told ICMN in an email, “Road of Iniquity is a film devoid of the persistent stereotypes of spirituality and stoicism that often plague Native characters represented in scripted entertainment.
“My intent was to tell a story in a modern way, to offer a world where the Native characters are real people with the same universal wants, needs and desires as anyone else.
Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!
“Native people have been consistently essentialized as the ‘Other,’ which has given way to the continuing portrayal of Natives as mysterious, stoic beings—portrayals that scream of rote, one-note representations.”
The film features Native actors Justin Rain, Linsay Willier, Michael Lawrenchuk and Justin Courchene, and a song by A Tribe Called Red – “Burn Your Village to the Ground,” as well as songs by Indigenous artists Leonard Sumner and Billy Joe Green.
About Mark Ennis
Mark’s professional experience includes working for the federal government as a news producer. He also worked in research and production on the PBS pilot, Planet Forward. His creative endeavors have been recognized by Telefilm’s Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program where his project was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants for development funding.
In 2014, he was also one of three recipients in Canada to receive Telefilm’s Aboriginal Microbudget Production Grant, a program designed to cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds.
Most recently, Mark served as the Director of Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Online Film Program where he also taught directing and screenwriting classes. He is currently working on a new screenplay in development with Telefilm. His latest film Road of Iniquity, produced by Maliseet Fury Pictures and Kistikan Pictures is currently in film festival submission status and is seeking distribution.
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor – Follow @VinceSchilling