On Friday, April 29, the 2011 North American Indigenous Image Awards event will rock the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This second edition of the event, which first occurred in 2009, will honor the best indigenous performers from the United States and Canada. This year’s award categories include Film, TV, Music, Magazine, Comedy and Calendar.
Presenters this year will include Gil Birmingham and Chaske Spencer, both of whom are nominated for Best Actor awards for their work in Twilight films. Other notable presenters are casting director Rene Haynes and five-time Nammy Award winner Micki Free.
The other Best Actor award nominees are Gary Farmer for Good Neighbors, Zahn McClarnon for Medium and Noah Watts for Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco. Nominated for the Best Actress award are Kaniehtiio Horn for Mohawk Girls, Crystle Lighting for Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco and Georgina Lightning for Older Than America.
Other award categories will honor names and work familiar to all who follow the indigenous arts and entertainment scene. Musicians include Victoria Blackie, Gabriel Ayala, Chase Manhattan, the Jir Project Band, and Leanne Goose, all of whom will be in town to play Stage 49 at the Gathering of Nations Powwow. Barking Water, written and directed by Sterlin Harjo, Older Than America, written and directed by Georgina Lightning, and Pearl, produced by David Rennke and the Chickasaw Nation, will vie for the Outstanding Feature Film award, while The Last Explorer, Reel Injun, and Two Spirits are the films nominated for Outstanding Documentary.
For the full list of nominees, click here to download the NAIIA nominees flyer in PDF format.
For more information, and to buy tickets to the event (starting at $20 for general admission), visit indigenousimageawards.com.
In conjunction with the NAIIA festivities, a casting call for Crooked Arrows, a film about an American Indian high school lacrosse team, will be held on April 28. The filmmakers are seeking male American Indian actors between the ages of 16 and 24 who can play lacrosse; for more information, visit crookedarrows.com.