Indigenous Film Festival - Sponsors

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      Sponsorship funds go directly to supporting festival programming, administrative fees, and development expenses

      2018 Budget and Fundraising goal: $58,000

      Funding breakdown: 

      Programming: 71.1%

      Administrative: 20.8%

      Development: 8.2%

      Please contact WILLI WHITE for any questions:

      Email: [email protected]

      Call: (605) 646-3161

      By funding our Festival, you provide the financial support needed to begin the groundwork of advancing representation of Indigenous and Native arts, building an intentional and supportive community of artists, and redefining the narrative of the Pine Ridge Reservation by using art as the vehicle for impactful social change.

      We have ambitious goals, but we believe in our dreams and in the power of movies.

      How We Recognize Sponsors
      Event sponsors will be recognized in meaningful ways through uniquely developed packages that maximize sponsor objectives and partnership building.  This will be achieved through brand awareness and visibility, cross­-promotional marketing, commemorative festival products, exclusive access, on­site event activities, and other reasonable opportunities determined by Sponsors.  Additionally, sponsors have the chance to support and present specific activities at the Festival, like film competition awards, showcases, panels, and performances.  Along with these opportunities, we will honor sponsors through traditional Lakota ceremonial customs to express our gratitude for their generous support.

      Other Ways to Support
       - In-Kind contribution

      ABOUT the Indigenous Film Festival


      August 2-3, 2018

      The Festival is scheduled alongside the Oglala Lakota Nation wačhípi (powwow), rodeo, and fair held annually during the first weekend of August each year on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota.

      For the past two summers, the Indigenous Film Festival has showcased 32 films and celebrated 27 filmmakers representing 24 tribal nations— introducing the Pine Ridge community to a diverse collection of Indigenous-made cinema.  

      We serve Indigenous and Native filmmakers, storytellers, and creators from North American, New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and other regions.


      In our third year, the mission of the Indigenous Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating, elevating, and empowering Native film while reframing the narratives of Indigenous peoples, communities, and cultures.

      The Festival operates entirely on the support from generous organizations and individual people whose philanthropic goals align with supporting and advancing Indigenous and Native arts.

      The power of the story is rooted deeply within Indigenous and Native cultures around the world.  Oral tradition in our communities not only unites us but passes cultural teachings and practices from generation to generation.  We understand, as human beings, that the craft of storytelling has the power to shape culture and incite meaningful change.  That is why we believe creating a platform for sharing, supporting, and celebrating Indigenous cinema, filmmakers, and artists is key to inspiring actionable change in the industry and the difficult challenges our Indigenous and Native communities face today.  This includes supporting efforts that empower Indigenous voices to be represented in popular media and entertainment in Hollywood and throughout the industry.

      Through the Festival, we will explore a diverse spectrum of Indigenous storytelling to strengthen heritage and cultural identity in our communities.  We will host engaging panels and discussions with established and growing indigenous artists, filmmakers, and innovators.  We hope to inspire the next generation of vibrant Očhéthi Šakówiŋ leaders and Indigenous storytellers in our community.  Bringing these resources to the Pine Ridge Reservation, we hope to equip these emerging leaders with the tools they need to succeed and connect them by creating a space to discover, be curious and have dialogues.  Furthermore, we envision continuing opportunities of support for these leaders beyond the Festival, through year-­round workshops, programs, or mentorships.

      Entering our third year, the Indigenous Film Festival has 7 key strategic goals:

      Encourage young people to tell their stories by giving them the access, tools, and opportunities to be successful—while boosting support for emerging artists.

      Strengthen and grow key partnerships with organizations whose philanthropic goals align with supporting and advancing Indigenous and Native arts.

      Expand and develop programming that supports the mission and vision of the Film Festival, while increasing the value and experience for key stakeholders, audience members, filmmakers, and community.

      Engage established and emerging Indigenous and Native artists, influencers, and creators in the industries of film, arts, and entertainment with strategic outreach for meaningful mentorship, partnership, collaboration, and team building opportunities.

      Develop a robust marketing and fundraising strategy—eliciting meaningful conversation, engaging key stakeholders, and continuing to advance the development of the Festival.

      Establish a framework for the order of operations and develop key leadership and staff roles to support specific organizational needs and goals.

      Implement a strong fiscal management strategy that is deeply committed to advancing the Festival work, while promoting healthy sustainable programming, team support, and artist growth.

      In year three, there are three major areas we hope to grow:

      Expand the event. 
      We are growing from a one-night experience to a two-day event with multiple screenings and programming that align with our vision and strategic goals.  We will continue this growth each year until our event days match with the Oglala Lakota Nation wačhípi.  

      Build sustainability.  
      Over the next few years, we plan to purchase theater and event equipment that will ensure self-sufficiency, produce an extraordinary event, and promote year-round programming and sustainability.  Not only will this equipment be a valuable asset to the Festival for years to come, but the community—who will have access to premium event equipment and technology not yet available on the reservation.

      Support our people.  
      A core value of the Festival initiative is providing reasonable economic support to recruit and retain qualified team members, guest talent, and collaborators whose leadership and guidance will ensure impactful workshops, successful Festival programming, and mentorship that advances Native film and arts.


      Home to one of the seven tribes of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ or Seven Council Fires, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke or the Pine Ridge Reservation is located on the southwestern edge of South Dakota.  Roughly 40,000 members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe call the Reservation home, an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.  Rich in culture and tradition, the Reservation faces some harsh realities today—the direct result of the historical oppression and systemic injustices.  Oglala Lakota County, where the reservation lies, is considered one of the most impoverished place in the United States and is designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as an area of persistent poverty with very few opportunities of employment.

      Despite some tough statistics and very real challenges, we’re working to flip the narrative.  Art, particularly film, has the power to create dramatic positive change when empowered and supported.  Imagine the seeds planted when our Indigenous and Native youth see themselves represented in front of and behind the camera.

      Past Sponsors

      We are not yet a 501(c)3 charitable organization, but are working toward this status. All contributions are not tax deductible for this event. No goods or services will be provided in exchange for the contribution, unless otherwise previously agreed before submitting a contribution. All contributions will be noted as sponsorship investments.