LOS ANGELES - Red Nation Films is proud to congratulate Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and the cast and crew of The Revenant for their Golden Globe awards. That’s especially true for the movie’s Native performers, including Forrest Goodluck, Duane Howard, Arthur RedCloud, and newcomer Melaw Nakehk’o, who stole the show at the end with her haunting look.
DiCaprio highlighted the importance of Natives in his acceptance speech Sunday night. “I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world,” he said as the music tried to play him off the stage. “It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests.”
“Leonardo DiCaprio is today’s Brando,” says actor/director Joanelle Romero, founder of Red Nations Films and its annual film festivals. “Not since Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage at the 1973 Oscars has anyone spoken this much truth to Hollywood. Like Marlon Brando and a few others, Leo gets it.”
The Revenant is further proof that indigenous-based movies can not only win awards, but succeed at the box office. In its opening weekend, it earned $39.8 million, narrowly losing to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With the Oscar buzz it’s getting, it’s likely to join Avatar and the Twilight series in the pantheon of Native-themed hits.
Hollywood’s Natives are already working on modern-day shows such as Longmire, The Red Road, and House of Cards, but they can do so much more. “The American public wants to see and experience our stories,” says Romero, who’s developing a thriller titled Second Sunrise. “We can’t afford to wait 25 years for another Dances with Wolves or The Revenant. Supporting Native filmmaking isn’t just good policy, it’s smart business.”
Red Nation Films is dedicated to creating and sharing indigenous-themed entertainment. Its next festival, the 3rd Native Women in Film & Television, will take place February 25-28, 2016, in Los Angeles. The annual Red Nations Film Festival and Awards Show happens every November during Native American Heritage Month.
For more information, visit Red Nation Film Festival at www.rednationff.com.