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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 6, 2004 - Issue 108


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FAITA to Host 12th Annual Awards Presentation

by Deanna Brady

Micheal HorseThe annual First Americans in the Arts tribute to indigenous filmmakers and performers will be held on Saturday, March 20, 2004, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This year's ceremonies will be emceed by well-known actor and artist Michael Horse.

This will be the twelfth year the festive and elegant event is presented by FAITA, a nonprofit organization helmed by Bob Hicks and Dawn Jackson, which honors indigenous achievements in the entertainment media and also provides scholarship funds for budding Native artists. According to the 2004 scholarship guidelines, applicants must be pursuing education in one of the following areas of the film and entertainment industry: production, production design, directing, cinematography, screenwriting, or acting.

In 2003, more than a hundred Native performers had speaking roles in ABC/Hallmark's "Dreamkeeper." Those honored by FAITA this year for performances in the landmark miniseries include rising stars Eddie Spears, Delanna Studi, and Teneil Whiskey Jack. Other film and TV performance honorees will include Eric Schweig for his "monster" turn in Columbia's feature "Missing," Nathaniel Arcand for Turner Television/Films' "The Lone Ranger," Mitch Longley for DreamWorks/NBC Studios' "Las Vegas," and Graham Greene for Universal/NBC's "Mister Sterling." Stepfanie Kramer will receive a third FAITA award for her role in the "Hunter" television series, this time for "Hunter: Back in the Force."

Eddie SpearsABC and Hallmark Entertainment are to be honored with a Trustee Award for "Dreamkeeper." John Fusco, writer of the miniseries," will receive a Humanitarian Award. Screenwriter-producer Fusco has a long history of developing Indian-related projects that have employed hundreds of indigenous professionals, both in front of and behind the camera, and has created scripts for such films as "Thunderheart," "Young Guns," "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," and the current release "Hidalgo." (Fusco has also done much work to help save the endangered Indian Pony horse breed.)

FAITA's trustees will honor additional individuals and organizations for their contributions to the Native performing arts community. Recipients include bestselling author Tony Hillerman, whose books set on the Navajo reservation have become a "Mystery" miniseries on PBS (Trustee Award), the legendary KTNN radio station (the Will Sampson Memorial Award), versatile Monty Bass (Technical Award), Henry Kingi, Jr. (Stunt Award), and Norman Howell (Stunt/Humanitarian Award). For her work behind the scenes, Tiffany Roquemore-Delorme will be honored for co-producing Touchstone Television/Bad Robot's series, "Alias."

Arigon StarrFor live theater performances, honorees will include Michael Horse and Arigon Starr for their roles in "The Buz'Gem Blues," a Native Voices production at the Autry Museum. Music category award recipients include the popular Chester Knight, the venerable Black Lodge Singers, and newcomer Darren Geffre.

Tickets for the dinner and awards event are $125 each. According to FAITA trustee and former scholarship recipient Kathy Peltier, there will be a silent auction and reception from 5:30 - 7:30 P.M. Dinner is scheduled at 8 P.M., and the awards ceremony will begin at 9 P.M. An after-party will follow the presentation, with admission starting at $20 for dinner-ticket holders. After-party tickets may also be purchased separately at the door for $40.

Contact information for the event is as follows:

Event tickets, Donna Sanchez - 323-478-1784
Silent Auction producer, Kathy Peltier - 818-458-3207
Hotel reservations - 1-800-245-8673 / 1-213-612-1575
Additional information, Anne Begay - 310-270-5388

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

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