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MISSOULA, MONTANA  — Taxam Films is pleased to announce that the feature documentary Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun from director Banchi Hanuse (Nuxalk Radio, Cry Rock) will have its world premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 in Missoula, Montana where it has been nominated for the Big Sky Award alongside 5 other films.

Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun is an intimate and thrilling portrait of a young Siksika woman and the deep bonds between her father and her family, as she prepares for one of the most dangerous horse races in the world, on bareback. The documentary follows Logan Red Crow on the golden plains of Blackfoot Territory, as she trains for a race that will propel the determined and skilled young woman into the male-dominated Indian Relay Racing world, where riders vault bareback from horse to horse. As she pushes towards her goal, the connections between animal and human, family and community, ancestral tradition and contemporary life are profound and lasting.

“It is the intense journey – the celebrations, the heartbreaks and the teachings – leading up to the races that pull the audience along intimately with Logan, and the horses, and everyone who has helped them prepare,” says Hanuse. “In essence, the film Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun is an Indigenous story about love and one we do not see often enough. Big Sky is a great world premiere destination for this film and we are looking forward to experiencing it with an audience.”

Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before The Sun features Logan Red Crow, Allison Red Crow, Racey BigSnake and Jayme BigSnake. Directed by Banchi Hanuse and edited by Tanya Maryniak (British Columbia: An Untold History), the film was shot on location in beautiful Siksika Nation, Tsuut’ina, Îyâxe Nakoda, Blackfoot Territory, Enoch Cree Nation ᒪᐢᑫᑯᓯᐦᐠ Maskêkosihk, Casper, Wyoming. Carey Newman, Izzy Pullen and Mike Wavrecan are producers and Ben Giesbrecht and Luke Connor serve as the directors of photography.

The film was made with the support and financial partnerships from Telus, Creative BC, FIBC and CAVCO.

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival takes place from February 17-26, 2023.

More information:
In-person Screening Details:
Saturday, February 25th at 7:30 pm at the Missoula Community Theatre
*the film will also stream starting on February 25th through Big Sky’s festival portal
Tickets / Website / Facebook / Instagram

About Taxam Films
Taxam Films is a 51% owned Canadian Indigenous production company aimed at the development and production of high quality cinematic documentaries and doc series.  Led by multi disciplinary artist Carey Newman-Hayalthkin’geme,we work with exceptional talent to create thought provoking, impactful, and entertaining stories. He is also the Impact Chair for Indigenous Art Practices at the University of Victoria.  Grown from the Indigenous concepts of witnessing the past, present and future generational responsibility. Taxam strives to tell compelling stories, intended to inspire change. We created Taxam to envision a future where land has agency and people coexist sensibly and sustainability upon the land.  In Kwak’wala, “Taxam” translates to “thin branches of the red cedar” which are used for the structure in weaving. Cedar is considered the tree of life and are intergenerational witnesses.

About Banchi Hanuse
Banchi Hanuse directed the short documentaries Cry Rock (2010), Nuxalk Radio (2020) and the short film Uulx (2015), all filmed in Bella Coola, Nuxalkulmc, where she was born and raised. Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun is her first feature length documentary. She is the co-founder and station manager of Nuxalk Radio whose mission is to keep the Nuxalk language alive, assert Nuxalk Nationhood and promote the stewardship and protection of Nuxalk homelands.

About Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
For 20 years Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has been showcasing global stories to a growing regional, national and international audience. Beginning in 2004 as a modest, local arts event in Missoula, MT, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF) has grown to become a prolific 10-day event and established itself as Montana’s premier cinema event and the largest documentary film festival in the American West. Hundreds of filmmakers, industry professionals, and nearly 20,000 highly engaged filmgoers attend screenings, live events, educational programs and film industry forums. An Academy Award-qualifying event, BSDFF brings stories from around the world to our beautiful mountain town, creates a vibrant, quality event that gathers our engaged community, and expands the knowledge and conversation around issues that matter. Over two decades the institute has broadened its programs to include a year-round film series, the 5-day DocShop filmmaker’s forum and industry conference, youth education programs including fellowship and mentor programs, and the Native Filmmaker Initiative for aspiring Native youth filmmakers and emerging Indigenous artist professionals. BSFI continues to nurture and elevate the medium of documentary film, its consumers and its creators, to inspire, educate and connect communities through media literacy and storytelling.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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