SULPHUR, OK -- The Chickasaw Nation is bringing a new event to Sulphur, sharing culture and ideas on the big screen.
Lani Habrock and her boyfriend came from Shawnee to take part in Film Forward, a promotion of cultural dialogue through independent documentaries and film.
Habrock is part Seminole, so coming to the festival has extra significance for her.
"I feel like the only way you get a strong understanding of native american culture is if you're raised in it. And whenever I heard that they were talking specifically about native short films, I felt like I needed to come and kind of get an understanding of different tribes and different cultures cause not all natives are the same," said Habrock.
The Chickasaw Cultural Center hosted their first festival in conjunction with the Sundance Institute.
Bird Runningwater was integral in bringing the festival to Sulphur this year. He says it was vital to him to include a Native American Culture Center in the 8 stops they make around the world.
"I think the wave of tribes establishing these cultural centers is such a vital part of continuing our own identity in a larger world, but also kind of I think it's a great place to be able to integrate film into kind of like traditional arts and traditional cultural representation," said Bird Runningwater, the Director of Native American and Indigenous Programs at Sundance Institute.
And its something that the Chickasaw Cultural Center wants to keep as a tradition of their own.
"We hope that this is the first of many for the Chickasaw Cultural Center. We're looking for more and more ways to make the Chickasaw Cultural Center and Southern Oklahoma an international tourism destination. And this is certainly a step in that direction," said Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham.
The festival begins Friday at 10 A.M. and goes through Saturday evening.
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